Pull up problem

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi all.I have a problem with my pull up training.I workout at home and I do pull ups on a bar in my basement.That bar has rectangle(ish) cross section and I can do about 10 good reps on it.But when I try to do pull ups on a round bar I can't even do one rep.I think it's not grip because I can hang for long time I just can't feel my back on round bar.What is going on?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Please post a video of you doing pullups on both kinds of bars.

In the meantime, practice timed hangs on the round bar and your problem will likely disappear.

-S-
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
I can't promise to post videos but I will try.I use thumb on the same side with my bar and on round bar I try both.I can't really describe what I am feeling. It's like my wrists don't work if that makes sense. Also I have trouble engaging my back even on pull downs and I strained my right terres major couple times. It hurts a lot.
 

rwrjr

Level 4 Valued Member
On your rectangle(ish) bar, what is the height of the bar? Does your palm make contact with the rectangular bar?

Try this test. Do pull ups on both bars thumb-less, just the grip bar with your fingers. So if you're using a pronated grip (classic pull up with palms facing forward from body) your thumbs should be pointing at each other. If you're using a supinated grip (classic chin up with palms facing behind head) your thumbs will be pointing away from each other.
 

rwrjr

Level 4 Valued Member
It's like my wrists don't work if that makes sense.
It actually does make sense. When I do pull ups with a parallel grip, on two fixed parallel bars, I get a little torque boost from my forearms. It's hard to describe but for me, parallel (on fixed handles) is slightly easier than pronated or supinated. That boost goes away on rings. I asked how tall your rectangular bar is because if your palm or palm and wrist are making contact you may be using a little leverage that isn't available from your round bar. I would expect a rep or two difference though, not 10 to zero.
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
My bar is 10 cm high and my whole palm makes contact with it and I use grip with thumbs facing each other. It's not really 0 reps but more 0 good reps. If I use really fat round bar it feels more solid. I think it's wrist thing for sure.
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
It is definitely grip and wrist strength issue. One general training problem I have is that there is so much things I should work on that I should train every day for few hours just to hit everything optimaly. It's really frustrating.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Markosix
I understand.

If I may, what is your overall routine ? For instance, if you practice heavy deadlifts before your pull ups, it can explain why your grip is fatigued.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
I do 531 and I am not so worried about pull ups I just thought it was strange that I feel so weak on different bar. Generally my upper back is weak and I just can't feel it work.
 

Benjamin Renaud

Level 7 Valued Member
Have you tried doing regressions on the round bar? Doing assisted pull-ups with one foot on a chair or something for a couple of sessions while you get used to the round bar might take care of it.

 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
I did something similar on my bar until I could do full pull up.Round bars I have only in parks so I don't have time to workout on them regularly.I will try to become really strong on pull ups on the bar I have.I just think it's funny how change in bar affected me so much.
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
Is the diameter of the round bar much bigger than the "diameter" of the rectangular one? A small diameter would be significantly easier to grip.

It is definitely grip and wrist strength issue. One general training problem I have is that there is so much things I should work on that I should train every day for few hours just to hit everything optimaly. It's really frustrating.
If you train deadlifts, perhaps doing pullups the same day isn't a great idea. Try them on different days.

I used to think that there were "too many things to train" unti I realized that many things have carryover to others. A common example is that overhead pressing carries over very well to horizontal pressing.

Another thing to consider is cycling your goals: work more volume and intensity in 2-3 things for a while, then put them on maintenance and switch to something else.
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
Is the diameter of the round bar much bigger than the "diameter" of the rectangular one? A small diameter would be significantly easier to grip.


If you train deadlifts, perhaps doing pullups the same day isn't a great idea. Try them on different days.

I used to think that there were "too many things to train" unti I realized that many things have carryover to others. A common example is that overhead pressing carries over very well to horizontal pressing.

Another thing to consider is cycling your goals: work more volume and intensity in 2-3 things for a while, then put them on maintenance and switch to something else.
I had so much paralasis by analysis that I regressed in strength so much. For everything someone say to do there is someone to say don't do it. Before a "knew" anything about training I was so much stronger. Now I decided to do 531 and don't think about anything else. Only "problem" is my weak upper back.I can't engage it and I am fighting mild kyphosis. Thing I noticed with pull ups is that on a thicker round bar I do better. Like when I can take full grip on a bar I dont pull with my back and when I just make hooks of my hands it feels better.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Generally my upper back is weak and I just can't feel it work.
What style of pullup you do makes a difference. The tactical pullup is a hollow position exercise and upper back and even shoulders don't matter all that much - for me, it's grip, lats, and abs. The other kind of pullup, what I call a bodybuilder pullup, definitely involves more upper back.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
@Markosix try those wall exercises. If you a few sets of 8-10 you'll feel your upper back no problem.

Edit: make sure you keep your entire back as flat to wall as possible by engaging your abs! No arching in the lower back or raising of the ribcage. It'll make the world of difference in how effective the exercise will be over the long run.

Also @Steve Freides makes a very good point. There are arched pullups as well as hollow pullups and they both make the body work in different ways. You could experiment with both to see how your body reacts.
 

Markosix

Level 4 Valued Member
I have a little trouble doing wall slides but I will be persistent. Few months ago I was locked in kyphosis and I had constant pain in my torasic spine but I dealt with it 90%. Now I want to build that part of my body. I have limited equipment only barbells and pull up bar but I am getting there. Thank you all for your advices.
 
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