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Shoulders Uneven During Pullups

When doing wide grip pull ups i’ve noticed my left shoulder is 1-2 inches higher than my right. Anyone know why this would be, and what I can do to correct it?

I had shoulder problems as a teenager, mainly my left, but my right took a beating too. Many dislocations while playing hockey and football. It’s been about 10 years since my last dislocation and the past year while working out it has gotten much more stable and stronger.

[quote]Lateralus4418 wrote:
When doing wide grip pull ups i’ve noticed my left shoulder is 1-2 inches higher than my right. Anyone know why this would be, and what I can do to correct it?
[/quote]

This question has been answered before (in the last month).

What do you think you should do to correct the issue? If you come to the table with something there is a much better chance you’ll follow through on it and actually correct the imbalance (there’s a hint for you).

[quote]905Patrick wrote:

This question has been answered before (in the last month).

What do you think you should do to correct the issue? If you come to the table with something there is a much better chance you’ll follow through on it and actually correct the imbalance (there’s a hint for you).[/quote]

I don’t think it is a strength imbalance, at least not in the primary muscles in the movement. The force pulling on both sides feels even, and when doing chinpus everything is symetrical.

I currently do rotator cuff work on my shoulder days, which i’m guessing is the root cause of the issue. But was hoping someone with more knowledge may identify something that I haven’t thought of.

[quote]Lateralus4418 wrote:
I don’t think it is a strength imbalance, at least not in the primary muscles in the movement. The force pulling on both sides feels even, and when doing chinpus everything is symetrical.

I currently do rotator cuff work on my shoulder days, which i’m guessing is the root cause of the issue. But was hoping someone with more knowledge may identify something that I haven’t thought of.

[/quote]

I think you are probably right with what you say. Thank you for filling in the blanks and giving us more information to work with.

Here’s my feeling (I used to have the same problem):

Your lower traps are not as strong as the need to be to hold your scapula in place during a pull-up OR you are not setting them complete at the start of the movement so your shoulder is able to float up during the movement OR the lower trap fibers are not firing correctly to pull the scapula back and down.

Prone incline Y raises or t3 raises will help to develop the strength of the lower traps, as will hanging scapular rotations (hanging from a chin bar and pulling your shoulders back and down) and T raises to a lesser degree.

It’s an easy fix regardless of the cause. Just do more work for the lower traps. Consider even starting off your back workout with something that will activate the lower traps. Once they get stronger and are able to hold the scapula in place the issue will be resolved.

One other thing that may be is to make the pull-up to distinct movements, the first is the scapula setting and the second in the pull-up portion.

Whats happening is one of your shoulders isn’t being pulled ‘down and back’.

You need to focus on keeping both of your shoulders down and back during your chin ups and you’ll find they will be somewhat even.

Seated row helps with this.

i hate wide grip pullups. it feels so akward. maybe your shoulders are uneven because the exercise sucks?

That’s like saying you can’t squat below parallel because full squats suck.

[quote]eremesu wrote:
i hate wide grip pullups. it feels so akward. maybe your shoulders are uneven because the exercise sucks?[/quote]

People like the exercises they are good at and hate the ones that are difficult.

The OP has the balls to do something that is difficult for them instead of hiding behind the perception that exercise is at fault.

You could learn from their tenacity.

[quote]905Patrick wrote:
I think you are probably right with what you say. Thank you for filling in the blanks and giving us more information to work with.

Here’s my feeling (I used to have the same problem):

Your lower traps are not as strong as the need to be to hold your scapula in place during a pull-up OR you are not setting them complete at the start of the movement so your shoulder is able to float up during the movement OR the lower trap fibers are not firing correctly to pull the scapula back and down.

Prone incline Y raises or t3 raises will help to develop the strength of the lower traps, as will hanging scapular rotations (hanging from a chin bar and pulling your shoulders back and down) and T raises to a lesser degree.

It’s an easy fix regardless of the cause. Just do more work for the lower traps. Consider even starting off your back workout with something that will activate the lower traps. Once they get stronger and are able to hold the scapula in place the issue will be resolved.

One other thing that may be is to make the pull-up to distinct movements, the first is the scapula setting and the second in the pull-up portion.[/quote]

Thanks for the advise, really appreciate it.

Any chance you, or someone else with the knowledge, could explain what “Prone incline Y raises or t3 raises” are? I’m still enough of a newb not to know. I wish T-Nation would work on an exercise database, it would really help the beginners out a bit. I end up using the bodybuilding.com one, but the ones you listed don’t show up, at least not under those names.

[quote]Lateralus4418 wrote:
Any chance you, or someone else with the knowledge, could explain what “Prone incline Y raises or t3 raises” are? I’m still enough of a newb not to know. I wish T-Nation would work on an exercise database, it would really help the beginners out a bit. I end up using the bodybuilding.com one, but the ones you listed don’t show up, at least not under those names.
[/quote]

Prone incline Y raises:

Lay face down on a 45 degree incline bench holding light dumbbells in each hand. Retract your scapula making sure they are pulled back and down. Once they are set, keep your arms mostly straight as you raise them up at 35 to 45 degree angles to your body. If you were to look at your self from above you would look like a “Y”. Hold for a second or two then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.

A T3 raise is similar, but you move one arm at a time. It’s harder to describe the positioning of this movement but instead of lying on a bench, you are resting one arm on the top of it, with your head on top of that arm so the torso in a 45 degree incline (your lower body is in a lunge position with the opposite leg to the working arm in front). Once you have the position, you retract your scapula and then raise the weight. Raising the weight feels like you are pulling it up with your lower trap.

Vary the tempo with these movements but you’ll want the concentric phase to last no more than a second. Holding the peak contraction will help you learn the feeling of this part of the trap working. You’ll know you have it when it feels like you are pulling the weight up and it should take a few weeks before it feels this way.

Thanks :slight_smile:

I think i’ll stick with the prone incline Y raises, the T3 raises sound like an exercise that someone has to show you in person. Trying to picture the position you’re discribing and all i’m seeing is myself in a pretzel with one arm sticking out. My mind doesn’t translate text to visual very well.

I am not saying it is hard, just akward. the last time i did an akward exercise i almost broke my neck

[quote]Lateralus4418 wrote:
Thanks :slight_smile:

I think i’ll stick with the prone incline Y raises, the T3 raises sound like an exercise that someone has to show you in person. Trying to picture the position you’re discribing and all i’m seeing is myself in a pretzel with one arm sticking out. My mind doesn’t translate text to visual very well. [/quote]

No problem and I understand about the description. If I find a picture or video I’ll post it or PM you.

Good luck!