T Nation

Pull-up Pain


Just looking for suggestions for something to alleviate this problem:

I can do narrow-grip pull-ups much more easily than wide-grip. Recently, I've been forcing myself to do nothing but wide-grip pullups, and I've noticed a rather painful, bone-deep pain in my upper forearms after (and sometimes during) doing them.

It's not a, "hoshit, something's wrong" pain, and it doesn't feel like muscle pain. But it's sometimes bad enough that I have to stop before my muscles are quite ready to. I grit my teeth and push through it usually, but sometimes it's just too much, when I could have knocked out another rep or two if it weren't there.

It's definitely not in my joints, either. it's deep in the upper forearm.

I suspect it's because there's a bit more twisting force on my forearms with wide-grip pullups that I don't get with a narrower grip.

I'm wondering if there's any sort of stretch, auxilliary exercise, or massage I could do to lessen the pain after a workout, and possibly lessen it overall.



If it's the twisting thing, then maybe do chinups instead..?


Could be one of many things..

Look up:

Trigger Points in Forearms
Golfer's Elbow
Tennis Elbow
Forearm Extensor Pain
Forearm Flexor Pain

Those should get you started.

In the meantime..Don't do what hurts and massage out your forearms with a tennis ball.


id start the massage at the bottom of your deltoid, and work your way down until you hit the spot.


It's your form, do you use straps when doing them?


I think i get similar when doing heavy bicep curls, feels like theres and ache in the bone about midway on the forearm. Tried doing them with a thumbs on top, not around type grip? that should reduce the twist and maybe alleviate the problem.


Nope, no straps. I'm sure my form isn't what it could be. I'm a heavy bastard (230 lbs). The added weight (5-10lbs on a dip belt, currently) probably isn't helping, either.


That's exactly the pain I feel.

Hm. Today's my workout that includes pullups. I'll give this a shot, and see how it works. My only concern is grip...hopefully I won't lose any grip strength without my thumbs around the bar.


Whenever I add weight to dips/pullups, my joints seem to ache a little bit during the exercises. Goes away if you keep it up, for me at least.


Did this ever resolve? I have the same pain in my left arm...and not sure what to expect down the road. Heavy barbell curls and close grip pullups seem to both flare up the discomfort. I have been using dumbells for now - hoping it resolves itself.


Yea I get pain with wide grip pullups I def. prefer chinups or neutral grip pullups. It doesn't have anything to do with me being heavy as I am only about 170 now.


Nope, never resolved. I just grit my teeth and do 'em anyway.


I'm guessing that could make it worse. I've got the same thing when doing bicep curls or similar movements. Feels like ulna is getting twisted somehow. For now, I just stay away from any movements causing this pain (that means doin bicep curls, pulldowns, pullups, etc. with a neutral grip or similar.


i heard that forearm pain during bicep curls are hairline cracks in ones bone. i got that along time ago but i still feel it sometimes so i am not sure. but i never felt that during pull ups. but i dont do wide grip. it never felt right, or effective. the angle is just wrong. who lifts themself up like that? you only rise a few inches anyway