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.