Thread: Rafe's problems with pull-ups
6/21/2009 4:55pm, #1
Rafe's problems with pull-ups
So, I am regularly exercising this routine:
5x7 weighted dips
Now, even after roughly six months of training this one and off,
I feel that I am not advancing at all with the pull-ups,
while I am observing nice progression with the other exercises.
(Means, they are still very demanding, I have trouble keeping them formally correct, and so on.)
Should I maybe try another exercise, to build the muscles I need,
so can return to pull-ups later on? - Or should I stick to the pull-ups
until I either break my shoulders or progress somehow?
Appreciating your input,
6/21/2009 5:09pm, #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
-If you were just repping out, how many pullups can you get?
-What is you 1RM/3RM etc. (this requires adding weight)
-Where do you fatigue first doing pullups (grip, arms, lats etc.)
Also, why are you doing pullups? (Do you want to get more reps/stronger, etc.) Either way, don't stop doing pullups.
6/21/2009 5:40pm, #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2008
- Lord Cholmondeley's Airfield, Hants.
CrossFit is crazy for pull ups, and as a result has plenty of advice on how to progress towards a full range of motion. There are a variety of ways to practice progressions, from using a Gravitron machine (that gym machine with the counterweights that you either kneel or stand on), to using resistance bands, doing kneeling pull ups, or "jumping" pull ups (where you jump up to the bar and lower yourself down slowly).
Give yourself a break and try some of those for a while and see how it goes. I'm still at a very early stage myself, but in 8 weeks have gone from no pull ups at all to 5 unbroken reps by using jumping pull ups.
6/21/2009 5:45pm, #4
6/21/2009 6:07pm, #5
6/21/2009 6:29pm, #6
BTW, thanks a lot for the other answers.
Tired as hell right now, will answer tomorrow morning.
6/21/2009 7:21pm, #7
6/22/2009 2:18am, #8
I started with 7 pull-ups about six months ago, and I am still at seven pull-ups.
Additionally, my problem is that I feel my joints after the exercise,
but not my muscles.
To answer your question, I have not tried to add weight,
but have tried different sets and resting periods, of course.
Last edited by Hiro Protagonist; 6/22/2009 2:27am at .
6/22/2009 11:35am, #9
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Lower Hudson Valley / Rochester
- punching bag / crew jitsu
If you feel your joints and not your muscles, maybe it's because you're doing the pull-ups in such a way that you're not really exercising your muscles fully.
That is, take a look at your form. Adjust the width of your grip (although if you're doing them in your doorframe or something this might be difficult) and test out both underhand and overhand grips. And check this great technique guide that I jacked from Stronglifts:Pull-up & Chin-up Technique. Start each rep from a dead hang with straight elbows. Clear the bar with your chin on every rep.
- Squeeze The Bar. And put the bar close to your fingers, not in the palm of your hand. It minimize callus formation.
- Breathe at The Bottom. It’s easier to breathe at the bottom. Take a big breath before pulling yourself up.
- Chest Up. Don’t let your shoulders go forward: it’s unhealthy for your shoulders. Lead with your chest up & keep your shoulders back.
- Look Up. Never look down during Pull-ups & Chin-ups. Look at the bar. Look where you’re pulling yourself up to.
- Elbows to The Floor. Drive with your elbows to the floor. This involves your stronger back muscles more.
- Bend Your Legs. And cross your feet. Letting your legs hang means less strength in my experience. Squeeze your glutes on the way up.
Common Errors. Most common error on Pull-ups & Chin-ups is cheating the range of motion by not going low or high enough on each rep.
- Not Straightening the Arms. Start from a dead hang with straight elbows, like on the picture above. No partial Pull-ups/Chin-ups.
- Shoulders Going Forward. It’s bad posture & bad technique. Lead with your chest up while driving your elbows to the floor.
- Using The Hips. Keep your legs inline with your torso, unless you’re doing Kipping Pull-ups.
- Chin Over Bar. Nose or forehead against the bar is a partial Pull-up/Chin-up. Chin over bar unless you’re not strong enough yet.
edit: if it's your shoulders, you're DEFINITELY doing them wrong.
6/22/2009 11:39am, #10
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
- Sherwood, OR
- SAMBO/BJJ/Judo and others
When you say shoulder joints, do you mean you get pain in the actual joint or the muscles in your shoulders fatigue first?
If it's the muscles it's possible you may have a muscular weakness or imbalances with your posterior deltoid, rotor cuff, or teres major that are causing you to fatigue early. If it's a pain in the joint (and you've had it for several months) then you might want to get that assessed by someone, just to make sure you don't have any damage to the joint or the associated structures.
Have you ever had a flexibility assessment done on your shoulders? Sometimes inflexibility or muscle tightness can cause problems with chin ups
edit: Also have someone check your form