T Nation

Issue with Chin-ups

As part of my back training one of my main exercises are chin-ups. The problem i have is that they are very difficult for me. The reason for this is that few years ago while i was in the Marines the doctor informed me that i have a genetic gap (very small) in my rotater cuff which makes them more difficult(still doable). I can still do them without pain or injury however am worried about how well my Lats will develop. Right now i just do them assisted in sets of 5-10 for a total of 50 reps.

Basically what i am asking is should i replace this exercise with another Lat exercise or should i continue doing them normally and i will still develop as i should?

Elaborate on this genetic gap please.

If they don’t cause any issues, keep them. In you case I’d be very careful with stretching it too much, especially “relaxed” such as in a dead hang pullup.

if you have a narrower grip with your palms towards you then you will probably use your bicep a fair bit to help, especially if you have trouble with lat activation / have weak lats.

if you widen the grip and have your palms facing away from you then you position yourself so your biceps can’t help as much, which really focuses on the lats needing to do the work.

the former is a chin-up in the vertical plane, the latter a pull-up. pull-ups are harder. much much harder for those who are having trouble with their lats. don’t be afraid to use the lat pull down machine or a lot of assistance to perfect your form (lots of articles on this site on pull-up / chin-up form).

do you do any pulling in the horizontal plane? inverse / inverted rows or anything like that? same thing goes…