Man Dies Trying to Exercise by Hanging from a Chin Strap

A Chinese man recently lost his life while performing a controversial type of exercise that requires practitioners to hang only by their chins to relieve neck and spine pain by reducing pressure on nerves.

Over the past decade or so, a bizarre form of exercise has been getting traction throughout China. It basically involves swinging one’s body while hanging in the air supported only by a leather chin strap. Reportedly invented around 2017 by Shenyang native Sun Rongchun as a way to relieve back pain, neck swings quickly became a familiar sight in parks and outdoor gyms all over the country. Although hanging in the air by one’s chin doesn’t sound like the safest thing in the world, paractiotioners swear by it, claiming it does wonder for neck and back pain. Still, doctors have been warning about the dangers of neck hanging for years and a recent tragedy suggests that when performed incorrectly, this type of exercise can be lethal.


On May 15, a 57-year-old Chinese man tragically lost his life while hanging from his neck on an outdoor neck swing at an outdoor fitness corner in Chengxi Town, Chongqing. Police confirmed the man’s death as a result of neck hanging, and eyewitnesses declared that he allegedly rested his neck on the swing instead of his chin ,before swinging his body. Someone else suggested that he might have used too much force when swinging his body. Whatever his mistake, it proved deadly.

“It is not advisable to exercise with the contraption even though the concept is based on clinical traction principles,” Zhao Qiang, deputy director of the First Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said. “It can damage the nerves and spinal cord or even cause paraplegia. It is not recommended to hang by your neck for fitness. It will not have any benefit to your health or the cervical spine.”


Althoough it’s unlikely that this tragedy will discourage most neck swinging enthusiasts, it does bring into qustion the risks involved in practicing this physical exercise as well as the need to learn how to use the neck swings properly.