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Stall Bar: How to Enhance Your Mobility

Last updated: June 14, 2022

Mobility is defined as the range of motion you have within your body, especially your joints. Mobility is important for any type of athlete, or even for performing tasks in your daily life. Having proper body alignment and flexibility will help reduce your risk of injury, make movements feel easier, encourage blood flow, and help you achieve greater athletic capabilities. You’ll notice less aches and pains, less tightness, and an improved posture. 

There are many ways to increase mobility, including yoga, dynamic drills (such as hurdle drills), and pilates. The stall bar is also a simple, effective way to enhance mobility. 

What is a Stall Bar?

Stall bars are excellent for body alignment and improving posture. One of the easiest ways to lengthen your body is to raise both arms and hang from the top of the stall bar, allowing your body weight to deepen the stretch. You can also reach your arms back, grab the bar, place your feet firmly on the ground and lean forward for a deep shoulder and back stretch

Stall bars, also known as Swedish vars, are low-profile training stations that are adhered to the wall. They resemble a ladder or wall bars, and originated as a therapeutic tool to treat arthritis and scoliosis back in the 19th century. Today, they have a variety of uses including strength training, mobility, and body alignment, and are an excellent addition to any fitness routine. 

Stall bars are commonly used in gymnastics, since gymnasts can mimic strength movements they’d normally do on the bars or rings. Stall bar exercises are extremely effective at building strength and flexibility in the body, and also work for prehab and rehab. Even if you’re not a gymnast, you can still benefit greatly from a stall bar to improve your overall health and wellness. 

How to Use Stall Bars

Stall bars are incredibly versatile training tools. They allow you to get deeper stretches you wouldn’t be able to do on your own, since gravity is working with you as you hang or lean away from the bar. You can also wrap a stretchy band around one of the bars to help you get a deeper stretch, or to incorporate light movement. Because you are working so closely to the stall bar and adjusting your body to find balance, it encourages a wonderful mind-body connection that helps you feel re-centered and aware of how your body moves.

German Hang

The German Hang is a great stall bar stretch that increases shoulder mobility and opens up the chest. This movement is common for gymnasts who have to twist on the rings, but it’s also great for the average person who has tight shoulders, or a clenched upper body. This movement will release tension in the upper body often caused by sitting for long periods of time.

Kneeling Shoulder Stretch

The kneeling shoulder stretch also opens up your shoulders, but in the opposite direction. By combining this stretch with the German hang, you’ll get a much more flexible upper body. To do this stretch, simply kneel on your knees and grab the stall bar with both hands, several rungs above your chest, and hang. 

Pike Stretch

The pike stretch is one of the most effective full-body stretches you can do on a stall bar. It works your shoulders, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, while also helping you focus on core stability and balance. To do a pike stretch on the stall bar, you will hold both hands on one of the higher rungs while placing both feet on one of the lower rungs. Similar to a pike stretch you’d do on the floor, your body is bending at the waist while you reach forward. The stall bar uses gravity to provide a deeper stretch while you hang. 

Lower Body Stretches

There are numerous lower body stretches you can do on the stall bar. You can stretch your hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors with ease, and use the different heights of the bars to your advantage. The stall bar makes it easy to adjust or modify your stretches. For example, if you’re doing a hamstring stretch, you can start on a lower rung and gradually move higher until it’s more comfortable. Some people will simply stand with one leg on the bar, while others may lean forward and grab onto the bars for a deeper stretch. Stall bars are more effective than stretching your hamstrings on the stairs, for instance, because you can lean forward with more stability. 

Stall Bar for Posture Work

Stall bars are also excellent for body alignment and improving posture. One of the easiest ways to lengthen your body is to raise both arms and hang from the top of the stall bar, allowing your body weight to deepen the stretch. You can also reach your arms back, grab the bar, place your feet firmly on the ground and lean forward for a deep shoulder and back stretch

FAQs

Are stall bars good for strength training?

Stall bars are excellent tools for strength training, and you don’t even need to lift heavy weights! Stall bars allow you to use your body weight to work against gravity while you hang and do specific exercises. You can develop excellent core strength from stall bars by doing hanging leg raises, or a more advanced human flag

How wide is a stall bar?

Most stall bars stand 8’ tall and 34 inches wide. A stall bar of this size will have 11 rungs and a chinning bar that extends from the top. 

Is mobility the same as flexibility?

Mobility and flexibility describe two different forms of movement. Flexibility is passive, meaning that you can be flexible while not having to use other muscles to move. For instance, someone else can stretch your leg while you lay down. Mobility, on the other hand, is dynamic, and is based on the body’s ability to move on its own and achieve a desired range of motion. Both are important and work closely together. 


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