T Nation

Full Body with Swings


So, I just started doing 5 3 1. My problem is that I can't do pull ups or rows because of a medial epicondylitis. So, here is what I've worked my way into over the past month. I'm doing the first Full Body template from Beyond 5 3 1, but instead of rows or pull ups I'm doing heavy kettlebell swings. My rationale has been that you said I could substitute any pulling motion and that Andy Bolton recommends swings for deadlift assistance. I was thinking it was like an assistance lift version of full Body Full Boring since the swing is like a deadlift hinge.

So far my elbow is improving, but my posterior chain is fairly fatigued and the whole thing is a little too lower body focused.

Thoughts or alternative suggestions?


I personally wouldn't call a kettlebell swing a pulling motion, I'd call it a hip hinge. What kind of upper body pull can you do with your injury?


Well, that's the thing. All upper body movements that involve gripping something and pulling my elbows towards my torso worsen my injury. I know that on EMG studies that the kettle bell swing shows significant lat activation. If anybody has an alternative then I'm all ears, but so far I can't do pull ups, chin ups, barbell rows, dumbbell rows, or lat pull downs.


To hit the back without rows or pull ups I would to a comibination of:

-Band pull aparts

-Reverse flies using cables/machine

-Straight arm pull downs using a cable and lat pull down bar OR pull overs (dumbell or barbell)

This way you will still hit the upper back with the 1st two movements and also hit the lats with the straight arm pull downs/pull overs, but non of the movments involving flexing at the elbow so they shouod be fine for you.

I used this when I had biceps tendonitis and also couldn't row/pull up and it maintained back size and shouldr health pretty well.