T Nation

All Things Chin Up


Last week my right shoulder started to pop during the eccentric in pull-ups. It wouldn’t hurt right away, but after the set it’d get annoying.

Now it’s started to do that even on the concentric, and it hurts mid-set as well. The left one too. In other words, it’s getting worse. The movement also doesn’t feel “right.”

Anyone can relate? How did you fix this?


Stop doing that movement for at least a week, do pull aparts and face pulls for that week instead.

Try pullups again in a week. If it still hurts make the break longer. Don’t mess with shoulder issues.


I kind of want to do another +45 WPU video with close neutral grip tomorrow, since kd’s form was so sexy and I’m competitive like that…but I’ll tell you, I do super dead hangs from time to time, but with my past rotator cuff injuries and the small chunk of bone floating around in my shoulder, I do get worried about coming to a full dead hang with added weight. Seems like a recipe for disaster.

Then again, someone on the internet 1upped my video so obviously I’m gonna just go for it and worry about the consequences later.

Catch you on the flip side.


And @samul this is again coming from someone with shoulder issues, but I’ve always thought that just like dips, wide grip overhand pullups aren’t for everyone. I think I saw a video of you doing pullups before and that was the variation you used. I think they’re freakin amazing for hypertrophy and I hope i’m wrong, but I always found that if my shoulder was gonna pop out of the socket or make that horrible crunching/grinding sound, it was more likely to happen during overhand wide grip. I think @Basement_Gainz is spot on with the rear delt work. I would just add that maybe when you go back, you experiment with different grips. I LOVE wide grip neutral, really feel it in the bottom of my lats.

If I’m wrong and you don’t do overhand wide grip, I’ll retract my addition to BG’s suggestion and just second his.


True that, which is why I stick to neutral grip. I have no issue with wide grip lat pulldowns, but everytime Ive tried with pullups I always get to 5 reps and then my shoulders tighten up instantly and feel wonkey afterwords.


Hi Samul.

@ Shoulder pain. I noticed you have a thread about flaring elbows during pressing. Taking a wide grip with pullups can be a similar issue. Think about BB OHP, or BB Benching. Some of us have to be especially careful to keep hand closer, keep elbows in.

Some acromium types are more prone to impingement. If you happen to have Type 3, then you need to be especially careful. I’ve been told by a PT that I have this type, and you can see a very prominent bump on the top of my shoulders, where the bone is “beaked.” I can press OH, but I need to keep hands closer. Same with BB Bench Press.





I don’t have any shoulder pain doing pullups, but I can see how a neutral grip, or closer grip would be better in these cases. I NEVER train upright rows. They’re a recipe for impingement for me. And I can jerk but can’t snatch without irritating my right shoulder.

It’s about training around injuries, but for young lifters there’s a chance they could avoid these problems. Shoulders injuries are way more worrisome than anything else for most lifters.


I have been doing some chins with the red fat grips, which are 2.75" in diameter (I think). These have been nice, but I would really prefer an actual bar at that diameter as the grip tends to spin and I end up pinching it from underneath as a set goes on. Anyone have any stupidly fat grip pullup bars?


Ironically, this kills my elbows. Wide grip is great, but I’m too weak to do many. I’ve got rings now that alllw me to rotates my wrists during the motion.


I’ve got the blue fat grips on my parallel bars for pull ups. Mine tend to spin, too. Along my wider grip, I have grip tape (like what you might put on handle bars to hold on to) and it gives a little extra hold with the grips. I’ve gotten to where I enjoy the challenge of holding on to the parallel fat grip without the added tape, though. I can only manage one a a time, but I damn sure feel each one…lol.


I definitely have bumps! That’s the part that feels like it’s going to tear away from body when doing dips. I just know it’s going to come unhinged and my bone is going shoot thru my skin…lol

Whiskey Costs Money

Thank you for the tips!

I don’t notice any issues with other movements (neither ohpress nor any form of wide grip Upright Rowing), so Pullups are all that’s been bothering me.

The advice of doing them with a neutral grip sounds great, but unfortunately I don’t have an appropriate bar at the gym to do them. How about if I try switching to close grip, Underhand grip Chin-ups? While not strictly the same movement, I think the training effect will be about the same and it might be less bothersome for my shoulders.


Close Grip/underhand Grip are very different, training-wise, than wide grip overhand. Imagine benching with a wide grip, then benching with a close Grip underhand. Both chin variations will train your lats, but we’re talking a MUCH more forearm/bicep/elbow heavy movement, in return for a less strenuous shoulder movement. I just do lat pulldowns with an overhand grip to make sure I get the effect. Truth be told, I think lat pulldowns are better for hypertrophy than wide grip pull-ups.

In short, yes- switch up your grip, just don’t expect the same lat dominance during them. I bet you’ll get nice and sore right behind your armpits the day after you first do them, though. That’s the nice thing about variations. If you do underhand though, be wary of the forearm/wrist pain that can happen after a while - I’m one of those people who can’t do the wonderful straight B.B. curl because of it, I need the ez bar- it flares up if I do too many in a week.


Really cool thread idea @kd13

I would like to hit a 135 pull-up. I saw Alpha’s 185 pull-up and was really impressed. That might be a good new goal after 135.

Just posted a video of 90x4 pull-up on my log. I’m sitting at approximately 195-200 lbs bodyweight right now. Almost got 5 reps but didn’t count the last one since I didn’t get high enough.

Anyway, I’m really impressed with everyone’s posts in here.


Kind of a crappy video angle, but I was at the gym ending my back workout and was like oh shit, gotta take that video!

Dead hangs, and shoulders at the bar.


Also, being 6’4 230 with long ass arms sucks for these haha


That was awesome!! Those are no joke at your BW, and with an extra 90 lbs. The audio about peanut butter and fish oil with some southern accents was just a bonus. Lol.

You’re welcome, Samul. And that’s good news that you haven’t had any other issues with upright rows or pressing.

@ Grip. Sometimes just pulling my hands in an inch or two makes all the difference. I agree with @flappinit about how moving to a chin makes it a lot more forearm/ bicep dominant. Of course, some of you have no problem building Lats, so this may be less of a deal.


@Powerpuff your video is probably the most impressive one on here. The female body as compared to the male is at a HUGE disadvantage for pull-ups, so when I see a girl doing even one, I’m impressed, regardless of kip, form, or ROM. So 12 perfect dead hang overhand wide grip pull-ups? Sheeeeeeiittttttt


Thank you, flappinit. I love training them.

@ 6’4" and 230. You’re more than twice my BW, but thank you. I just realized that @muskratlifts could do pullups with me hanging on his back. Haha.

Very fun thread. Have a nice Father’s Day, you.


Strong pulls at +90 dude, 135 and up is totally achievable for you