Workout and Words For November 26th – Fixing Poor Pull Up Mechanics

I don’t think there is a week that goes by that i don’t have someone come up to me in the gym and ask me how to fix their shoulder pain.  My answer is always easy and simple, fix your mechanics!   Now i understand that can be easier said then done sometimes, but the answer still doesn’t change.  To fix shoulder pain we must first look into the mechanics of the movement.

The movement that usually is the culprit to the pain is the pull up.  In Welded we are often hanging from a bar weekly if not daily during a workout, warm up or strength session.   So since we hang from the bar so much you would think that we all would be well versed on how to maintain a safe and proficient position through the entirety of the pull up.   Unfortunately this is not the case…

Just for a second i want you to stop reading and take a look at your hands, what do you see?  If you see a callus in the middle of your palm then its pretty much a dead giveaway that your mechanics of your pull up are wrong!  This is the first thing i check for when someone tells me that they are having elbow or shoulder pain after pull ups.  This callus forms due to the palm of the hand sliding over the top of the bar during the top of the pull up.  The next question that i ask is due you put your thumb over the bar?  10 times out of 10 they will answer yes!  Having the thumb over the bar doesn’t allow for us to create proper torque through the hands due to the fact that the thumb is on top instead of under.

If you are sitting there wondering where things went wrong, stop it!  The fact of the matter is that most people feel more comfortable with their thumb over the top because its an extra digit to hold onto the top of the bar!  But, with knowledge comes change!  Not only do we need to focus on creating torque through the bar by placing the thumb underneath the bar, we must also focus on a stable and neutral mid line (AKA The Bracing sequence!).

If this is all sounding to foreign its probably because it is!  If you think that the way you do your pull up is just fine and you don’t suffer from shoulder pain, take a moment and watch the video below from Dr. Kelly Starrett.  This is one of his older video’s but is still one of my favorites.  So if you are ready to get your mind blown and to forever fix your shoulder/elbow pain then proceed to the link below.  If your not ready then keep enjoying the pain and i will see you tomorrow when you want me to fix it.  Remember technique sessions are only $40 dollars for an hour ; )




Warm Up:

1 min plank

3 Rounds

7 burpees, 10 PVC good mornings, 7 pushups, 10 V-ups



6×2 Push Press (80%)

Every 1:15




14 Min AMRAP

50 Calorie Machine

40 Wall Balls 20/14

30 HSPU/Vertical Box PU

20 DL 205/140* or 185/125

Max Muscle Ups/C2B/Pull Ups

*Weighting class or coaches permission required.



14 Min AMRAP

40 Calorie Machine

35 Wall Balls Thrusters

25 Pushups

15 KB Deadlifts

Max Banded Pullups/Ringrows


Pre – First Rib Mobilization (pg. 247)

Post – Calf Smash With Partner or Foam Roller





Warm Up:

1 min plank

3 Rounds

7 burpees, 10 PVC good mornings, 7 pushups, 10 V-ups



6×3 Power Cleans

Touch and Go @ 80-85%



20 Min AMRAP of:

50 WB

50 DU

40 BJ

40 T2B

30 Burpees

30 C2B

20 Cleans @ 145/100

20 Jerks @ 145/100

10 Snatches @ 145/100

10 MU



Partner Calf Smash