T Nation

Pain From Pull-Ups, Take a Break From Heavy Lifting?


I am a 30 year old male, 70 inches, 180 lbs. my main goal is to overhead press bodyweight and deadlift 315, while staying in relative shape. The problem I have is that doing too many pull ups makes my elbows hurt.

Recently, I did 3x5 bodyweight pull ups. The third set bothered my elbow. I don’t have pain pressing or deadlifting, should I continue despite my elbow problems or take a break from heavy lifts to let myself heal?


maybe just stop doing pull ups but keep doing everything else?


That’s what I was intending to do. I’ll also remove moderate and heavy rows too, I’ve noticed some agitation with dumbbell rows and recline rows. Curls don’t hurt, so besides deadlifts, my pulling will be band pull aparts, curls, shrugs and farmers walk.


There’s an article on T-Nation about lifters elbow, using MFR methods for relief. I’ve had success with that. I also use a $10 elbow compression sleeve to keep things warm and loose in the elbows.


Great tip


Sounds like you’re getting elbow tendinitis. Stop pull-ups. However, fatman pull-ups (especially with straps or a TRX) work just fine and don’t hurt your elbows.

If you’re squatting, stop that too until your elbows calm down and then pay a lot of attention to pulling your elbows into your sides and keeping your wrists as straight as possible. If you can, use a safety bar to squat while your elbows heal.


I just tried the fatman pullups with my rings, no issues with that. I don’t usually back squat, when I squat it’s mostly front squats or single leg squats.


In that case just keep an eye on how front squats affect your elbows.