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  1. #1
    I like turtles LatsMakeTheMan's Avatar
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    Doing pullups with bad shoulders?

    I've always felt that pullups are the best upper-body strength builder, particularly for the kind of functional strength you need in grappling/MMA.

    I had a labrum repair in 2007, and I've got what I think are rotator cuff issues that come and go in the other shoulder. In short, both of my shoulders kind of suck. I have found that using a hammer grip for pullups tends to alleviate some of the stress, so lately I've been focusing on them more than "standard grip" or "chinup grip" pullups. I can still do those, but typically I try to limit myself to one set before switching back to hammer grip.

    I don't feel that I'm really losing anything.....in fact hammer grip pullups might even be a little more functional, being that you typically aren't going to have your hand/wrist at a perpendicular angle when pulling on someone's gi or whatever....there's usually a bit more of an angle to it.

    Just curious to hear other people's thoughts.
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  2. #2
    Thanks, Obama! Clark_Kent's Avatar
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    I dislocated both shoulder back in 2001 when I was in the Marine Corps and had a tear in my right rear labrum. Since pull ups were part of our Fitness Test I could not get out of doing them. There was discomfort and weakness for a while but eventually they recovered and I did them almost daily, getting up to 25. That was without getting the labrum repaired as well. I don't see why you couldn't try and work them in. If they do cause a lot of pain I wouldn't keep doing them though. Just my .02
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    Thumbs up

    I have the exact injury.. both my shoulders are horrible (read my MMA log to see me bitching about it)

    you can use tension bands to help build more muscle in your shoulder(s) so it doesnt hurt as bad
    I also do a lot of swimming which i think also builds a lot of muscle there, but i do 50 pull-ups a day (3-4 sets) and I never really notice any shoulder pains.. you should be fine

    this will answer a lot:
    http://familydoctor.org/online/famdo...uries/268.html
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  4. #4
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    I have rotator cuff issues in my right shoulder and have the same problems with pullups.
    Try doing them without going to the full hang range of motion. Going back down on the pullup maybe about 85% of the way has allowed me to keep doing them without the sharp pain and after effects. I find that when you at a deadhang, the beginning of the pullup motion is what puts the most stress on the shoulder.
    Hope this helps, just my opinion
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  5. #5
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    Just don't do wide grip pull-ups (which are pretty useless anyway) and you should be okay.
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    Originally Posted by forcefedfreak View Post
    Just don't do wide grip pull-ups (which are pretty useless anyway) and you should be okay.
    how are wide grip useless? they are the best form to develop lats
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  7. #7
    Misc Nihilist forcefedfreak's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zampono View Post
    how are wide grip useless? they are the best form to develop lats
    Sure they are.
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  8. #8
    I like turtles LatsMakeTheMan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Zampono View Post
    how are wide grip useless? they are the best form to develop lats
    I don't do bodybuilding anymore, but I have to disagree with that. IMO the best grip is just a comfortable shoulder-width grip. You get the best ROM that way.
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  9. #9
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    Pullups aren't as important as grappling. If you are preparing for a fight and pullups are causing you to reinjure you shoulder you should ditch em and focus on grappling. You should be completely focused on grappling about 2 months prior to your fight losing all weight lifting.
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  10. #10
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    I just got my labrum done. According to my Physical Therapist the labrum is connected to the bicep so i doubt youll re injure the labrum unless it is still extremely weak but you said you got it done in 07 so ya should be good id guess. Not sure on rotator
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Clark_Kent View Post
    I dislocated both shoulder back in 2001 when I was in the Marine Corps and had a tear in my right rear labrum. Since pull ups were part of our Fitness Test I could not get out of doing them. There was discomfort and weakness for a while but eventually they recovered and I did them almost daily, getting up to 25. That was without getting the labrum repaired as well. I don't see why you couldn't try and work them in. If they do cause a lot of pain I wouldn't keep doing them though. Just my .02

    Kent knows. I wouldn't do anything that causes pain, especially when there a literally a ton of other exercises that can work what you need done without doing damage. Check out Martin Rooney's publication, it gives a bunch of different back exercises as well a a bunch of different versions of the pull up. I'm a big fan of the rope/towel pulls (pistol and cross grips). i feel your pain, just don't make it worse braddah. Ain't worth it.
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    If you don't already do so take glucosamine. No injuries but I've beat my shoulders up with heavy pressing over the years and for shoulder functionality I've noticed glucosamine taken regularly makes a big difference in how my shoulders feel. If theyre really bothering you, take 1 or 2 weeks off. Works when my shoulders are complaining.
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    Originally Posted by MrBlonde12 View Post
    Pullups aren't as important as grappling. If you are preparing for a fight and pullups are causing you to reinjure you shoulder you should ditch em and focus on grappling. You should be completely focused on grappling about 2 months prior to your fight losing all weight lifting.
    this, at least a month before competing leave the weights alone...althou some pull ups/push ups here and there won't hurt...
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  14. #14
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    Can I recommend anyone with shoulder problems give this warm up a try before upper body workouts:



    It's done absolute wonders for me and for a few others I've spoken to with shoulder problems.
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    get some olympic rings and you can do 'perfect pullups' among many many other amazing exercises...
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  16. #16
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    my left shoulder always gives me issues i hurt it like 10years ago in hockey.

    i cant do pull ups with my knuckles facing me but i can do them with my knuckles facing outwards if that makes sense? the change in hand posistion changes the stress load on my shoulders big time, over course it works the back different but w/e i ****in hate pull ups anyways haha.
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    I've dislocated both my shoulders in similar situations(drunk, throwing a punch, don't even ask) and I know I'm going to need surgery because both are bad and dislocate on occasion but don't really have great medical or ability to take time of off work so I've been dealing with it.

    I went from doing 10 or so before dislocating them, to barely doing 1, and now I'm up to 12 or 13 in one set before failure, just work 'em in.
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    I have shoulder pain on my right. I feel discomfort while doing pressing movement like bench press and shoulder press. Pull ups doesn't really affect it. However, I started taking glucosamine chondroitin 1500mg a day plus super cissus rx and I started to feel better. I probably went past 90 degrees while doing presses.
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    Originally Posted by pikeamus View Post
    Can I recommend anyone with shoulder problems give this warm up a try before upper body workouts:



    It's done absolute wonders for me and for a few others I've spoken to with shoulder problems.
    Looks good but face on towel on bench=Do not want.
    Spike92 is 15.
    ^ place this in your sig to remind the world that Spike92 is indeed 15 and will never be anything other than 15.


    When im not hungry I eat. When Im tired I train. When I feel like giving up I push harder.
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  20. #20
    Registered User CoQ10's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pikeamus View Post
    Can I recommend anyone with shoulder problems give this warm up a try before upper body workouts:



    It's done absolute wonders for me and for a few others I've spoken to with shoulder problems.
    This is great, but I would recommend using bodyweight/arms only when you first start.

    Also, try the push-up plus (which I believe strengthens the serratus anterior) and scapular wall slides as part of your warm-up/mobility work. If your gym has an arm bike, ten minutes on that pre-lifting tends to help as well.

    Good luck. Shoulder pain can be very stubborn and get progressively worse if you're not careful, so take it slow.

    -C10

    PS - Hammer chins are more comfortable for me than pronated-grip pull-ups as well. I've used these exclusively since my shoulder surgery with no problems.
    PR's ... Goals @ 160 lbs. Bodyweight:

    Bench Press - 250 ... 315
    Squat - 275 ... 400
    Trap Dead - 400 ... 480
    Bent Over Row - 195 ... 315
    Military Press - 150 ... 160
    Pull-Up - BW+150 ... BW + 180
    Dip - BW + 170 ... BW + 200
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