Monkey bars are a simple piece of equipment & one of the fundamental obstacles found in obstacle races.
The ability to transport your body without the use of your legs should be a natural skill we all posses. However, in the automotive world we live in today, the human body has adapted to a more sedentary lifestyle. Traversing is one of the most gratifying skills we teach in class and is easily broken down to conform to any fitness level.
In this video this is one of 3 different variations of movement on the monkey bars, however an active hang is a valid regression to take. When hanging on a bar it is important to keep the lats engaged by pulling the shoulder blades down the back and lifting the chest so the shoulders can drop away from the ears. A strong grip is something that develops over time but actively engaging and moving from your core is just a matter of making a conscious decision. As you start moving on the bars start with little shifts in your weight that cause a slight release of the bar, called a regrip.
Regrips are essential for building grip endurance and confidence. As you start to move down the bars allow for just enough swing to propel you forward while keeping an intentional placement of your hands. As you start to become more advance you’ll be able to swing further and reach farther, ultimately hanging on one arm for longer lengths of time and traversing further in fewer steps.