T Nation

Lateral Pull-Ups

Long time reader, first time poster. =p

I had a bad shoulder injury two years ago and I can just now do pull ups again. I would like to be able to get back to being able to do lateral pull ups (if that’s the right term), but those muscles have become so weak, that I’m making very little progress.

My question is, if I can use my legs to raise myself to the up position and then lower myself using my back/shoulders/arms, will that slowly build the muscles I need?

Or can you suggest something that might help me along?

I currently do pull ups, lateral pull downs, and try to do lateral pull ups, but only move about 2-3 inches.

I’m relatively fit otherwise and I think the main cause of this is lack of those muscles being used in 2 years, but do let me know if other information might help.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what you mean buy lateral pull UPS

care to explain?

OP, do you mean wide-grip pull-ups? I think you’re talking about doing negative pull-ups - if that’s the case, I found they worked very well for me. Just be sure to keep the downward movement for a decent length of time (I use 3-5 seconds).

to the op- lats are LATIMUSS (sp?) and have nothing to do with lateral movement
easy mistake
yes negative are good

Why not build up your strength with the lat pulldown (cable) machine, then work up to pull-ups? That’s what I did. Once I got close to my body weight on the pulldown, I graduated to wide-grip pullups.

My second injury related post tonight. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that I’m knowledgeable or anything, just that I’ve managed to hurt myself a lot (well, not as much as some people, but enough).

I think I can relate to this in a useful way, though: About two years ago I had horrible internal impingement in my right shoulder. Could barely raise my upper arm to parallel with the ground, let alone reach overhead.

Even when I was able to reach overhead again, Pullups were agony. I started hanging from a pullup bar, letting my shoulder come up to my ears – real, full, dead hang – and then did what I’ll call here “scap pullups,” a “pullup” of three or four inches, arms straight, using just your shoulder blades.

Did these strictly, and squeezed hard at the top. Lowered myself under control. I think I saw an article with something like that here recently (at least that’s what I assume the “pullups plus” are). Several weeks of that and shoulders felt much better.

Couple months and all the popping/discomfort I felt at the start of pullups was gone. I continued to do them in between sets of regular pullups for a good while.

As for working up to wide grip, two things helped me: 1)Exploding on medium grip pullups. Until I started doing this I didn’t realize it’d be possible for me to touch my chest to the bar. (I’m not saying be sloppy or let your shoulders do bad things, but when you feel able, really focus on accelerating up.)

When I could get 10 or 12 really good ones like this – exploding up and touching my chest to the bar – I started playing around with grip: parallel, close, reverse (i.e. chinups) and a little wide. Like 3" or 4" inches wider than normal. Every now and then I’d bump the “wide” ones out an inch or two wider.

Eventually I was doing real wide-grip pullups, 10-12 all the way up and down (though, alas, unable to touch my chest to the bar – woulda’ been something). Not amazing by any means, but a big improvement for me. When I’d tried them (after seeing my kid brother do some) some months earlier, I, like you, could only budge myself a few inches.

EDIT: Okay, like everyone else, I’m not sure what you mean by “lateral pullups”. I’m assuming “wide grip.” I guess negatives would help – you can try attacking this from any number of angles. Above was how I did it.

I’ll take a wild guess.

“Lateral Pullups”… Maybe the OP meant doing a conventional pull-up, but at the top of the movement with the back still in a contracted state, he/she literally moves his entire body to the left, then right, then back to center and drops back down. Repeat with reps.

In other words, you first move in the vertical plane, followed by movement in the horizontal plane.

This is actually what I do on pull-ups myself.

Sounds like he is talking about a horizontal pull-up (i.e. body row or fat-man pull-up).

Ah! Thanks everyone. So sorry for such a late reply --sister’s wedding tied me up.

I DID mean wide grip pullups. I’m not so good with the terminology. I’ll be sure to incorporate everything above till I can do it. Thanks people. I’ll post later, hopefully not too much later when I have can wide grip pull ups successfully.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
I’m not sure what you mean buy lateral pull UPS

care to explain?[/quote]

I meant wide grip pullups heh.

[quote]synthetic wrote:
Why not build up your strength with the lat pulldown (cable) machine, then work up to pull-ups? That’s what I did. Once I got close to my body weight on the pulldown, I graduated to wide-grip pullups. [/quote]

Ah, yes. I do this as well, but I like to use my body weight as much as possible. But glad to know that this way will work.

[quote]Feist wrote:
My second injury related post tonight. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that I’m knowledgeable or anything, just that I’ve managed to hurt myself a lot (well, not as much as some people, but enough).

I think I can relate to this in a useful way, though: About two years ago I had horrible internal impingement in my right shoulder. Could barely raise my upper arm to parallel with the ground, let alone reach overhead.

Even when I was able to reach overhead again, Pullups were agony. I started hanging from a pullup bar, letting my shoulder come up to my ears – real, full, dead hang – and then did what I’ll call here “scap pullups,” a “pullup” of three or four inches, arms straight, using just your shoulder blades.

Did these strictly, and squeezed hard at the top. Lowered myself under control. I think I saw an article with something like that here recently (at least that’s what I assume the “pullups plus” are). Several weeks of that and shoulders felt much better.

Couple months and all the popping/discomfort I felt at the start of pullups was gone. I continued to do them in between sets of regular pullups for a good while.

As for working up to wide grip, two things helped me: 1)Exploding on medium grip pullups. Until I started doing this I didn’t realize it’d be possible for me to touch my chest to the bar. (I’m not saying be sloppy or let your shoulders do bad things, but when you feel able, really focus on accelerating up.)

When I could get 10 or 12 really good ones like this – exploding up and touching my chest to the bar – I started playing around with grip: parallel, close, reverse (i.e. chinups) and a little wide. Like 3" or 4" inches wider than normal. Every now and then I’d bump the “wide” ones out an inch or two wider.

Eventually I was doing real wide-grip pullups, 10-12 all the way up and down (though, alas, unable to touch my chest to the bar – woulda’ been something). Not amazing by any means, but a big improvement for me. When I’d tried them (after seeing my kid brother do some) some months earlier, I, like you, could only budge myself a few inches.

EDIT: Okay, like everyone else, I’m not sure what you mean by “lateral pullups”. I’m assuming “wide grip.” I guess negatives would help – you can try attacking this from any number of angles. Above was how I did it.[/quote]

I’ll be sure to try the shoulder blade suggestion, but focus on accelerating normal pullups.

The progression is thus:

  1. band-assisted chin-ups
  2. normal grip pull-ups
  3. wide grip pull-ups
  4. weighted variations of above