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Thread: (failed) pull ups and forearm pain page

  1. #1
    Anivair's Avatar
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    (failed) pull ups and forearm pain

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    My goal for last month was to do one pull up. I failed, though I got pretty close. I can pull myself about halfway up and hold for a bit and let down slow, so i'm doing that, but I find that after I do a small number of those my forearms hurt a lot. it's a sort of on-the-bone pain that rides the outside of the forearm and into the wrist.

    Any ideas? It doesn't 8feel* like muscle pain, but it may be.

  2. #2
    Monty's Avatar
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    Pain is weakness leaving the body.

    What are your stats (body weight, height)? Sounds like your just putting a lot of stress on your forearms. Work on some grip and forearm strength also. And keep at it, you'll get that pull up.

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    are you trying to use your wrists? that could cause a lot of stress. Part of learning pull ups is proper muscle recruitment. Until you build foundational back strength you will be using all those little fucker muscles to try and get the job done - and yeah it will be hard.

    Until you can get at least one pull up done your time will be better spent doing rows, negative pull ups (slowly), scapula pull ups (and push ups) and using a resistance band. you want to be doing the exercise in a full range of motion in order to reap maximum benefit and growth.

    another thing that might be helpful as progression are jumping pull ups. Exactly as they sound - using momentum and then pulling yourself up also. Sounds easy - try doing twenty. now twenty more. etc the back of your shoulders will definitely be feeling it. That means they are getting broken down to be built up again, stronger.
    Last edited by TheFastCat; 03-02-2011 at 09:25 AM.
    ad astra per aspera

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    Al_Kavadlo's Avatar
    Al_Kavadlo is offline Senior Member
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    You might be trying to do too much, too soon. Maybe lay off the pull-ups for a bit and practice Australian pull-ups in the meantime. Have you seen my article on learning to do a pull-up?
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com


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    Anivair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monty View Post
    Pain is weakness leaving the body.

    What are your stats (body weight, height)? Sounds like your just putting a lot of stress on your forearms. Work on some grip and forearm strength also. And keep at it, you'll get that pull up.
    This is probably it. I'm 6'0" and 295 (down from 340 before I started paleo, though). it was probably a longshot goal, and I never have been good at pull ups, but I'm eager to get there. I didn't think one would be a hard goal. guess it shows what i know. I'm just wondering if the pain is muscles, tendons, or what. As long as it's normal (for a veritable giant with weak forearms) then I'll suffer through it, but I don't want to do myself any harm trying when i should have stopped.

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    Anivair's Avatar
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    @TheFastCat: I had never seen scapulla pull ups before. that will help a lot!
    @Al_Kavadio: I did. I actually referenced your article a lot this month. I'm getting pretty good at Australian pull ups, jumping pull ups, and negatives. I guess there's still just too much of me to pull up for now!

  7. #7
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    Thank you, for answering. But this method works for me only with .. In all other cases I get only strange results, like those below :lol:

  8. #8
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    Anivair:

    Great job with the weight loss so far! I would definitely take it easy. Work the Australians and other easier forms. At some point, your strength will increase and your weight will decrease to the point where you will get these easy. I couldn't do a single one, but with negatives, chair pullups etc. I can now do more than 10. It will come, but don't injure yourself!

  9. #9
    Thor Falk's Avatar
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    Listen to Al, he rocks! I'll also give my 2 cent. First - DO NOT IGNORE THAT PAIN. I have made this mistake, and got myself some kind of tendonitis that I can't get rid off. The problem is that your grip tends to be very quickly the weakest point, and I have decided to go off all pulling exercises for a couple of weeks to see whether I can shake it Updated plan: the plan is changed | Thor Falk. Just think about it: whilst for your big muscles the method you are using could be OK, you are simply too heavy for the small grip muscles to hold yourself up (...been there, done that...).

    I'll paste below what I had just written in another thread. I would say so, apart from a progressive overload where you can do 5x5 (or even 5x8 or 5x10 to keep the weight lower and give the grip time to adjust) do some specific grip training. And give yourself one, better two days of recovery between attempts.

    What I got myself then was one of the thick bands Westside Barbell uses (pic here: http://www.pullum-sports.co.uk/image...ance_small.jpg but any will do). I used the green one, that gives me 30kg support in the bottom position, with arms just reaching the bar. Then I did a simple linear progression adding a weight-belt & 2.5-4kg every session for 5x5 reps, just the way I would do on squats or deads. Improved in no time - could literally do the 2.5-4kg increase at every step.

    Except that it did not help my tendonitis, but now my weakest link is actually my grip....

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    Thor Falk's Avatar
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    Just wanted to let you know, I have posted something on this topic on my blog Building up to unsupported pull-ups | Thor Falk

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