Q and A Oct 12, 2012

pull up workouts

Question: What can I do to help my shoulder pain and still do pull ups?

Answer: I went to my ‘go to’ exercise for injury guy, Rick Kaselj to answer this question for me. He made a video for starters:

Basically, Rick suggests doing a vertical hanging exercise to create more space within the shoulder joint. This exercise will help ‘reshape’ the shoulder joint. It can alleviate shoulder pain and actually prevent pain in a healthy shoulder. Gravity continually pulls down on the shoulder joint which can lead to impingement, rotator cuff issues and frozen shoulder. This one exercise will help counter act the effects of gravity on the shoulder. Changing the grip on this exercise is also helpful.


Question: I find when I do pull-ups, it is easier when I do them early in my workout compared to later, do you know why?

Answer (Again, I went to Rick for the answer here):

One of the reasons why is just fatigue. As you perform more reps and your load increases this make it difficult for your upper body to do pull-ups.

What I also see is other exercises can affect your pull-up.  For example, the inverted row. It is a back exercise but if at the bottom position, you relax the tension in your shoulders (pec, lats, rotator cuff and scapular muscles), this leads to unnecessary stress on the shoulder joint. The unnecessary stress can irritate the shoulder joint and this irritation affects how the muscles in the shoulder joint will perform and this will affect the pull-up.
When performing the inverted row, your shoulders are active at the end or bottom part of the movement. Your muscles need to active enough to keep protecting your shoulder joint and creating stability so you can generate force.



Question: Hey Shawna, on the pull up workout where you say do 7 pushups and then plank for 30 seconds 10 times three sets am I misreading that? It was in the first workout. Thanks for your help. BJ

Answer:  BJ, Here you go….

7-Push ups to 30 sec plank hold
•    10 reps

•    Rest 30 seconds

•    Repeat 2 more times (3 sets total)

This is #7 exercise circuit in the workout.

  • do 10 push ups then hold a plank for 30 seconds
  • rest 30 seconds
  • rep this whole circuit for a total of 3 sets

Does that make more sense?

Good luck, keep me posted,