The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Pullups are ruining my back workout!!!! How do I fix it?

    I've been able to do pullups for a couple of years now. They have always been a favorite exercise of mine. I'm able to add weight, too. I can do bw +30lbs for 10 reps (+35lbs for 6-8).

    This is all with a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width-grip with palms facing forward, by the way.

    Over the last month or so, I'm having a problem. The problem is that for some reason, I am now using my biceps WAYYY too much when performing pullups. My lats feel as though they are being used secondarily if anything. This just started happening out of no where. I've been doing them weighted for almost 2 years without ever having this problem.

    This is in turn ruining my back workout because, besides taking my lats out of pullups, by the time I'm ready for barbell rows or seated cable rows, my biceps are barely usable and it makes stabilizing the weight borderline impossible.

    A few months ago I switched from pullups to the lat pulldown (to change things up) and when I switched back to pullups again a few months later, this problem seemed to start.

    Like I mentioned, my grip is already ideal for taking biceps out of the exercise as much as possible, so I know it's not that. Everything is being done the same way I always did it, it's just that now, for some odd reason, my body thinks it's a bicep exercise.

    So what I'm wondering is, how do I get pullups back to normal? And by normal I mean getting my lats to do just about all of the work while my biceps just kind of assist rather than what it is now, which is the opposite of that.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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  3. #2
    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    learn to retract the shoulders,


    heres a sample trick to show you how, sit in your chair and reach your amr up in the air, now release and push your shoulder and let your arm go up as far as possible.

    now from that position, keep your arm straight and drive/pull your shoulder down as far as you can, that range is where your lats kick in


    ill bet that you let your arms initiate the movement first. if you learn to retract the lats first, not only will you get more lat work, but you will get alot more power otu of the hole


    when you leanr to make the lats the first and primary mover it will save the biceps for the rest of the work out
    Why live if one can not Deadlift?- John Paul Sigmasson

    Accept that which is useful and reject what is not- Bruce Lee

    Reason and Logic trump religion- Me

    Restriction of education, Censorship of knowledge, and Proliferation of religion helps keep the masses tamed- Me

    "Money does not fix everything, Smart fixes everything"

  4. #3
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Learn how to pull your elbows down and backwards to put more stress on your back muscles.

    Rotate the exercise order.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  5. #4
    Senior Member djreef's Avatar
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    Also try using a grip where the palms face each other, like the close grip on seated rows. Concentrate on scissoring your triceps and lats during the positive, like you're trying to cut a sheet of paper with them (I'm thinking the same as Sensei is saying). Draw your chest up to the bar, as opposed to your chin. It's just a mechanical thing you have to work thru.

    DJ

  6. #5
    Iron4Life
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    unstop.. no more to add to what Big Corey, Sensei and Dj said..
    But you should stop by the Max Pullup Challenge Thread
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=81803
    With your pullup strength, you should have a good placing..

  7. #6
    A.K.A Goodwinner Goodwinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearwolf
    unstop.. no more to add to what Big Corey, Sensei and Dj said..
    But you should stop by the Max Pullup Challenge Thread
    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=81803
    With your pullup strength, you should have a good placing..
    indeed he shud! hehe

    Giveit a shot man!
    My Journal

    Squat: 150kg (330lbs) Raw- 31.01.14
    Deadlift: 180kg x 3 (396lbs) Raw - 14.12.13
    Bench: 110kg (242lbs) Raw - 29.01.14
    Barbell Military Press: 85kg (187lbs) Raw- 31.01.14
    Barbell Push Press: 100kg (220lbs) Raw- 31.01.14

  8. #7
    Senior Member
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    Forget the extra weight for awhile and go back to basics. Do slow controlled body-weight only pullups and CONCENTRATE on form (ie...retracting elbows, as someone above suggested). Then after a few workouts slowly begin adding weight again.

    My guess is that you you've added weight at the cost of form and/or focus. Clearly, 6-8 reps w/ 35lbs is great, but what good is it if it's hitting your bi's instead of lats?

    Alternatively you could try doing a set or two with just body-weight as suggested above and then add 20-25lbs and go for 6-8 reps, just enough to feel like you're hitting the lats good but not quite enough to have you struggling to complete reps.

  9. #8
    Gonadius Maximus
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    Great lat exercize IRON CROSS

  10. #9
    A.K.A Goodwinner Goodwinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twisteddendrite


    Great lat exercize IRON CROSS
    yep and 80%of the worlds population cant do that lol.
    It is a super exercise though if u can do it for reps, or even just holding that position.
    Last edited by Goodwinm; 07-05-2006 at 12:20 PM.
    My Journal

    Squat: 150kg (330lbs) Raw- 31.01.14
    Deadlift: 180kg x 3 (396lbs) Raw - 14.12.13
    Bench: 110kg (242lbs) Raw - 29.01.14
    Barbell Military Press: 85kg (187lbs) Raw- 31.01.14
    Barbell Push Press: 100kg (220lbs) Raw- 31.01.14

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