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Wide Grip Pullups-Shoulder Issue

Over the past 6 months I have reintroduced weighted pullups back into my routine, with a fair amount of success and have increased my poundage by a considerable amount.

Recently though I seem to have aggravated an old shoulder injury from a few years back, it is only in one of my shoulders right between the shoulder blade and the shoulder cap and I only get it doing wide grip pullups, all other movements including close-grip chins don’t cause any pain.

I’m wondering if anybody has experienced a similar injury? What it’s caused by (possible imbalance etc)? Or how to remedy it? I know I could simply just switch exercises for the moment - which I will be doing as it’s impossible to work through due to the level of discomfort - but I would rather be able to correct any problems so that the injury doesn’t recur further down the line and hinder any future progress…

You should take a few weeks off IMO. Let your shoulder get better and go from there. Cant really help you any more than that tho.

I have a similar problem. My shoulders would hurt after anything wide grip, whether it be pushing or pulling. I have a couple suggestions.

Keep an eye on the speed of your negative during the pull ups. Make sure you control it, especialy if you’re fully extending.

If you don’t already foam roll, pick one up, ever since I started my shoulders have been completely better. Really dig into the upper trap and anterior delt areas.

And I agree with black Label, lay off the pull ups or anything else that bothers it, for a little while.

Hope that helps, good luck with it.

[quote]BlackLabel wrote:
You should take a few weeks off IMO. Let your shoulder get better and go from there. Cant really help you any more than that tho.[/quote]

i have a similar issue with wide grip chins. something weird in my rear left delt when i come down to the stretch.

it hurts and feels as though it’s being pulled in a not so good way. solution? stop doing wide grip chins! you don’t necessarily have to do wide movements to develop lat width. i’ve switched to sw and cg chins and i’m fine.

i can, however do wide grip pull downs tho with no problem because i can control the position of my upper body and avoid that weird pulling sensation. maybe try replacing wgc’s alternately with wg pulldowns and sw/cg chins. there’s always a work around!

[quote]metalhead1982 wrote:
Over the past 6 months I have reintroduced weighted pullups back into my routine, with a fair amount of success and have increased my poundage by a considerable amount.

Recently though I seem to have aggravated an old shoulder injury from a few years back, it is only in one of my shoulders right between the shoulder blade and the shoulder cap and I only get it doing wide grip pullups, all other movements including close-grip chins don’t cause any pain.

I’m wondering if anybody has experienced a similar injury? What it’s caused by (possible imbalance etc)? Or how to remedy it? I know I could simply just switch exercises for the moment - which I will be doing as it’s impossible to work through due to the level of discomfort - but I would rather be able to correct any problems so that the injury doesn’t recur further down the line and hinder any future progress… [/quote]

Again it is lack of flexibility in upper arm rotators, the wider the grip with pronation, the more stretch needed in shoulder.

Thanks for the responses, I’ll have a look into foam rolling as a means to correct the problem, my gym has some so can start this pretty much immediately. I’ve never used them before so will have to do a bit of research as to the best methods for this type of injury.

1morerep, I do have the same problem in that I only get a sharp, pulling pain at the ‘stretch point’ of the movement, so will give your tip on trying pulldowns a go and see if this makes a difference. Also switching over to weighted close grip & shoulder width chins seems like a good way to work around the issue.

Thanks again for the responses.

I suggest decreasing the intensity for a while and maybe stick to lat pulldowns. You should give your shoulder time to heal. I’m currently working through a shoulder injury as well. Mine always used to bug me with doing bench press or high intensity pressing movements.

I have problems too with wide grip pull-ups, especially when my shoulders roll forward, at the end of a set, because of fatigue. I switched to a close parallel grip, which allows me to keep the “beach position” (chest out, shoulders back and down). I suggest you to work on low trap activation and scapular depression (search in this site).

I don’t know what causes the shoulder problem. But I’ve found that neutral grip pullups are easier on my shoulders. Just something to try if you want to keep doing pullups but still give your shoulder a break.

Just dont do wide grip!

Don’t know about your situation but something that helped me after a shoulder injury (when I was experiencing discomfort w/any type of pullup) was what I’ll call “scapular pullups.” Don’t know if I’ve read about them anywhere – came up with them on my own.

Basically, I’d go to a dead hang (tried w/several different grips). Keep my elbows straight, then “suck” my shoulders down as far as I could. Looks like you’re doing a 3" pullup with your shoulderblades. Did these under control, w/as much ROM as I could on each rep, 'til I felt I’d really gotten stronger there. Humbling to do in the gym.

Then, I slowly reintroduced pullups, doing each from a dead hang and starting with that movement. I also widened my grip gradually and only started adding weight when I could touch the bar to my chest for 10 or 12 reps.

I can’t comment on the advisability of this for anyone else, but, in my situation, it helped me.