Wrist Problems with Supinated Pull-ups (Chins)

So when I do chins, palms facing my face, my left wrist starts hurting and my left shoulder feels a bit off. The wrist usually gets me to drop a few reps before failure. Similar, but less intense, pain occurs when doing curls with a straight bar.

I assume I have some (internal?) shoulder rotational issues but figured I’d ask here first before scouring the web.

Any idea what is wrong? Any solutions to fix it?

Thanks in advance

If your shoulder is excessively inwardly rotated that cause increased torque in your wrist. I have other issues that don’t permit me to do chins but if it were me I’d do chins and pull-ups on rings for a while and improve shoulder external rotation in the interim.

Remember that the lats are an internal rotator of the shoulder, so consider if it’s time to focus elsewhere on the back for a while to improve shoulder external rotation more rapidly. Revisit the movement after some time and see how it feels.

For curiosity,


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Thanks for the reply!

Just a guess really, my understanding of anatomy and shoulder function is elementary.

What kind of exercises lead to improved external rotation?

Probably not a useful piece of info but neither neutral nor pronated grip positions cause any issues.

I only chin with a neutral grip. I would say to continue to work on your external rotation but things like bone spurs or impinged nerves and/or tendons can cause pain in a supinated position.

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When you’re in that supinated position, big strong muscles that flex your forearm and inwardly rotate your shoulders are lined up to be twisting against smaller, weaker muscles that externally rotate your shoulders and extend your wrists and forearms.

So you maybe you can “Fire Up” the smaller muscles before the chins, by doing something like band pullaparts with an underhand grip, or a few reverse wrist curls with a dumbbell.

Or you can get really wild and start Training those little muscles with crazy moves like

Thor’s Hammer

shoulder external rotations

pressing while resistance pulls your arm forward

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I have the exact same problems - will follow this thread with great interest.

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Appreciate the knowledge/advice. I do pronated pullaparts before every session but haven’t thought to supinate my hands, I’ll give that a shot and add in some of those others.

No problem man, Good Luck!

Another external rotation one I like is the “No Money.” Sometimes I pull the band apart then make a curling motion, keeping the twisted out tension on the band. Or lifting my arms Up, in like an underhanded overhead press motion, while keeping the external rotation/pull apart tension, to practice.



Training the teres minor, infraspinatus, and rear delts would in theory help. I defer to Dr. John Rusin until my own knowledge improves,

(see item 1)


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Awesome, thanks again.

I have issues with palms facing forward, not as many issues with palms facing in. I prefer to do them using rings.

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