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Monkey bar exercise: The fix for shoulder impingement and shoulder pain

I noticed some pain in my left shoulder after working on last September for a whole day in the garden. That evening I was very tiered and I just thought that the problem will go away with time.

It became worse. By November I had problems when putting on my jacket because I could not reach behind with my left arm. I went on google and searched for "shoulder pain orthopedic exercise". I found some exercise that involved pulling a rubber band sideways and I figured out that my condition was called "shoulder impingement". I did this rubber band exercise for a few weeks but there was no significant change. My condition did perhaps stabilize but it did not improve.

Other people told me that I might need surgery but this is something I did not want to do. Finally I found some youtube videos that claimed "relaxed hanging" from a bar was the solution. I tried it and it made a big difference. 15-30sec a day and after 3-4 days I noticed some improvement. The problem was gone after about 4 weeks.

Links and youtube videos:
I call this exercise "monkey bars". It made a huge difference for my shoulder.

All of the videos use some kind of professionally looking bar. You don't need that. A horizontal branch on a tree or a door frame in your house are all you need. This exercise will hurt a bit during the first few days and you might not be able to fully hang. Just do a much as you can.

During the first few days I was not able to do more than 5-10sec of monkey bar hanging per day. I did however notice a slight improvement and therefore I continued. I simply grabbed a door frame but I stayed with my feet on the ground. I bent my knees and I tried to hang onto the door frame. This will hurt a bit and you can control how much you hang since you have your feet still on the ground. You can use a sturdy chair if you have high door frames and you are small.

After about 2 weeks I was able to do 15sec of hanging in the morning and 15sec in the evening. That's just 30 seconds of exercise per day. Another 2 weeks and it felt like I had a new shoulder. I do still continue this exercise from time to time and now I am really able to hang from a tree branch or the monkey bar at a nearby playground.

Don't try to do pull-ups. Simply relax and hang from the "monkey bar" (door frame or whatever it is).

Shoulder problems: Gone! Back pain: Gone!

Simply grab a door frame and then bend your knees a bit


After most of the shoulder pain was gone I went frequently to the playground and the following structure was really one of the best for this relaxed hanging exercise. The arc shape allowed me to choose the right height and I could also hang form the highest bar and walk at the same time up the steps with my feet. This changes the arm to shoulder angle a little bit. I would hang from the structure for as long as 5min at a time.

Playground structure for shoulder pain exercises

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