November 20, 2019
Elbow Pain with Pullups (QUICK FIX!)

Elbow Pain with Pullups (QUICK FIX!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Does your elbow hurt right on the inside here
every single time you step up to a bar to do a Pull Up? I think I might know what’s going on, and
as a matter of fact, I can help you determine not only how to get through a session so you
can get back to doing Pull Ups the right way without pain, but also to maybe have a little bit more awareness
of what might be causing it in the first place. And we can actually try to fix that now, once
and for all. Elbow pain is one of the most common sources
of discomfort when we lift. The problem is that the elbow, and I’ve talked about it before,
is what we call a consequential joint. So, it’s sort of at the mercy of what happens
above and below. So what happens at our shoulder, what happens here at our wrist, the elbow
just kind of goes along for the ride. Unfortunately, not having much of a say in
what we do, we’ve got to be aware of what’s going on at the wrist and what’s going on
at the shoulder if we want to try to protect the elbow. When we do Pull Ups, it’s sort of the same
thing that happens with any exercise we do, we want to get the damned thing done. So what we do is, we cheat our way through
reps even if we have to, and you’ve seen guys do it all the time. They start getting up,
the first they’ll do is what? They’ll try to pull a little bit more this
way, and they’ll try to reach their chin up, anything they can to get themselves to appear
as if they’re getting their body up closer to the bar. And yes, doing this, will help us to get a
little bit higher because we’re going to use the strength of our forearm flexors to add
to the contribution of the lats so we can get there. And even more than that, we’ll even use our
finger flexors and our pronators. Do you ever see guys kind of look like they’re screwing
themselves up into the bar this way? So, they’re kind of like this, and they’re
trying to pull their hands down even though they’re on a fixed bar. They’re twisting and
pulling to see if they can get themselves up a little bit more. The problem with all three of those moves,
the flexion of the fingers, the pronation of the wrist into the bar, the flexion of
the wrist itself for the forearm flexors is all these muscles attach right here to this
little tiny bump on the inside of your elbow, this little bony bump on the inside of your
elbow. That’s a lot of tension and force that gets
generated and passed onto this little tiny bump that has to absorb all that and guess
what? It can’t, and it starts to break down. So, when you’re starting to do your Pull Ups,
if you first get an awareness of ‘I can’t cheat. I have to let myself use my shoulders
first.’ Let the shoulders initiate the move. Pack
those shoulder blades down and in. Remember, I talked about the shoulder contributing. Once those are down and in, now you’re going
to let yourself pull the rest of the way, but don’t continue to try to cheat your reps
forward by allowing all these muscles to contribute because over time it’s just not something
those muscles are built for. The lats, sure. They can handle the job. Your little tiny
forearms? They can’t,. And it doesn’t matter if you have huge forearms,
they still can’t maintain and withstand all that tension. Now, if you already have this
problem, what you need to do is try this little fix that I’m going to show you right here.
Let’s head up to the bar. Ok, so if you’re already suffering from this
elbow pain, what you do is, you come up to a bar. This is one of our ATHLEAN XTREME Bands,
and you wrap it around the bar. You put one end through itself, this way so
now the bar, it’s wrapped around the bar. Now, you take the two parts of the band and
you overlap them. So we’re creating a thickness. We’re creating a little bit of thickness on
top of the bar. That’s important because one of those muscles I talked about that had a
role in actually flexing the fingers, and all the way from the very end and then
crossing the wrist and doing this too, which is going to be one of the primary offenders
when we’re trying to cheat our way through a rep and primary causes of aggravation to that
medial elbow is something called the FDP and flexor digitorum profundus, it’s just one
of the flexors of the fingers that goes all the way deep, attaches to that inside of that elbow right
there, and can cause some problems. If we put this band, and then rest our last 3 fingers
here, so our little finger, ring finger and middle
finger, on top of here, and just sort of rest them and get them out of the way, then we grip the bar with the last 2 fingers
here, our forefinger and thumb. The forefinger also is controlled by that same muscle, but
it has a separate muscle belly. So, it tends to sort of avoid some of the
aggravation that happens from the last 3. So, you get those last 3 out of the equation,
you put just those other 2 fingers on the bar, and then you do your Pull Up. And what happens
is, these other ones are now going for the ride. They’re not necessarily contributing
to all that force that gets directed into the inside of your elbow. So now, when I come up, if I have elbow pain
I find that I have far less because I’m not really at all contributing with those 3 fingers. They’re just going along for the ride resting
on top of that little lip that we created. These 2 fingers are doing most of the work
almost as a hook. So, give this one a try if you’re already
dealing with some of that inside elbow pain, and I’m telling you, you’re going to feel
a difference. And guys, the thing about joint pain is, you
don’t have to train with it. You see, if you train smart, you can get around some of the
issues that might be causing you to feel as if it’s something you’re going to have
to deal with all the time. Joint pain is something that debilitates every recreational lifter
at some point in their lives whether it be their shoulder, whether it be
their knees, whether it be their elbows, And as a matter of fact, it’s very, very common
obviously in my realm with professional athletes. We’ve created ATHLEAN-RX MECHAN-X, which is
our Joint Recovery Formula for that one very reason. Right now it’s being used by some
of the best teams in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, the Saint Louis Cardinals,
both first place teams, guys, it’s used to help these guys make sure they can stay on
the field and do the things they need to to cause a winning
season. Well, you guys may not be trying shoot for a winning season, but you’re trying to be healthy so you can
set new records in the gym, feel healthy, get bigger, be stronger, you can’t do that
if pain getting in the way. No pain equals more gains, guys. If you can
keep yourself pain-free, you’re way ahead of the game. ATHLEAN-RX MECHAN-X, we have that ATHLEANX,COM,
and in the meantime, if you like these joint mechanic videos and ways around common joint
injuries, just let me know. As a Physical Therapist, guys, this is my
job. I’m happy to put these videos up here and help you to work around some of the things
you might be dealing with. Let me know in the comments below, and in
the meantime, I’ll be back here again in just a couple days with another new video. See ya.

100 thoughts on “Elbow Pain with Pullups (QUICK FIX!)

  1. Or simply use a neutral grip, or even better, do them with TRX straps or Olympic rings to allow your wrists to move freely 🙂

  2. I was reading other guys and girls talking about how great Jeff is all the time as I got going watching his videos. I was like, really, this guy can't be that good… Well, I was wrong. Overall, I think Jeff might provide the very best of Fitness available on YouTube or just about anywhere. Those of you new to the sport should sit up and take notice. I am an intermediate to Advanced lifter and this guy is absolutely brilliant. Everything you need to have an incredibly strong on the lean, and healthy body is shared by this guy. Great job dude!

  3. I am suffering from medial epicondylitis and your explanation of the cause is spot-on, in my case. In a week or two, I will try the technique with the band to see if I can start doing pull-ups again. Thanks for this very informative video.

  4. woooowww, that was just great, i had this pain for a long time, and this video gave me such a fanstastic information. thank you. and please share more like this video

  5. I have pain exactly there…watching this video it all make sense to me now, but the reason I flex my wrist is because the false grip I use while trying muscle ups on the rings…for what I know I need the false grip, so, any recommendation?

  6. When I press on my biceps to see my bicep it hurts at the inner elbow and when I try to lift something it hurts , help me please, rly I want it to go

  7. You have done it again sir. Exactly the problem I have been having with my new wide chin up bar installed at home. I'll try your tips. Thank you so much. I always look for your videos as they are super useful. I'll buy the pills too as ibeprofen isn't doing the job

  8. #jeff Cavaliere can you do something on the use of voodoo floss or compression straps please.
    I follow your channel for a wealth of good useful info.

  9. I'm impressed by you knowing my problems without me telling you about them. I'll follow both advices. Very glad I've seen this video.

  10. Hi Jeff not quite what I’m experiencing I’m getting the pain in my forearm I’m not sure how to explain it’s the muscle that stretches when I bend my wrist down

  11. I developed this type of pain trying to do muscle ups. It took forever to heal and threw my routine off. I never did get those muscle ups.

  12. This is great. I'm going to try this. Would straps during pull ups also help? Would the same thing work for outside elbow pain? Thanks!

  13. Thank you, thank you. I never would've known that flipping my wrists around like that could cause stress to the elbow. What I like about the thumb and forefinger lift is that I don't feel any pain and I get the forearm strength that I want (along with everything else). A great relief to have something corrective that also adds strength.

  14. Hi Sir this is Rajib from India… Suffering from chronic elbow pain…. I do strength training but with static exercises like biceps curl..gives pain please guide me with Ur exercises

  15. Thanks Jeff! I was just about to give up on my pull ups. Do you think that this might be why I get pains in my erector spinae?

  16. Whenever I have an issue like this, I love it that I can always rely on athelean X to help me gain an understanding and rectify my form.

  17. This feels a bit controversial to your other video, (most common gym injury fixed) where you tell us to wrap your whole hand over the bar.

  18. That was more info in 6 minutes than I got from 2 separate drs visits. I’ve been avoiding all upper body workouts to try and recover. Can you give more advice on recommended workouts and recovery methods. Thanks for all you videos!

  19. Weighted pull ups were my favourite exercise in the gym. Eventually I got this exact same inside elbow pain. Now I haven’t done a pull up in 2 months just because it’s been too painful. Hoping I can ease my way back into things with this strategy. Thanks Jeff

  20. I have pain in my elbow. Doctors say it’s because the ulnar nerve but the pain doesn’t stop can someone please help me…

  21. My left arm hurts right below the elbow on the outside of the forearm. It’s been three months and it still hurts. Getting old sucks.

  22. I can't fold my elbow neither up nor down from last three month.
    I slipped on the floor and my right hand elbow get hair crack.
    I got plaster in suggestion of a doctor.
    Pls help to cure my elbow.

  23. Jeff, I have elbow pain, center of where the bicept connects to elbow, extends a lil to the lower arm. Maybe tendonitis? I'll search you videos for that, if not maybe new topic? Thanks your program is the bees knees! ( Dad joke)

  24. try eccentric-only loading of wrist flexors/finger flexors/pronators… can help too for chronic climber's/golfer's elbow

  25. 5 Local orthopedics self proclaimed specialists in the field acupuncture general practitioner , you name it plus 100 different youtube clips on knee pain and THIS is the only guy who got it right.Just took 1 to 3 days for the clicking and popping in my knee to stop ( tinyurl.com/y2udbwz7 ) 6 months of pain I'm finally on the mend…Thanks Erick Berg!!

  26. Will this exercise help with throwing a ball? I can have absolutely no pain at all until I throw a football ten or so times, then my elbow really starts to hurt medially. I struggled with this during my softball days as well. Any other advice?

  27. I am an arm wresler. I use forearms and pronation in my pullups on purpose because forearms and pronation is more important than lats in arm wrestling. I spend hours a day isolating forearm and pronation. Inner elbow pain is just part of life for an arm wrestler.

  28. Thanks for the video Jeff great info and extremely helpful… What would be the best supplements ( are there any ) to take to help heal the tendinitis??? Im trying to recover but it seems the tendon inst healing very well
    Ive dealt with medial tendinitis many times over the years, now i can get it to go away .. Sore, sore sore

  29. Jeff i train for armwrestling and i need to traumatise a little joints and legaments, so after they rest should get stronger, ca we get a video how to make joints and legaments more stronger?

  30. Does this help popping elbows too? I feel a popping sensation on the inside of my elbow during pullups and bicep curls.

  31. more of that ellbow pain info…injured mine by thai boxin with my elbow (turn around ellbow punch)

  32. How is it you always have a video for the exact pain I’m having this week every single time lol this guys a genius

  33. I'm a climber, started getting pain with chin ups. It's less noticeable when climbing but I don't want it to get worse. I can't really avoid weird pulling positions or pulling from finger tips. Any thoughts. I always see ecentric curls but there's lots of conflicting info. In golfers elbow vids they use super light weights shod I go heavier? And what about reps. Thanks for the vids

  34. Basically grip with your thumb and forefinger making the ok sign on he bar. Let your other three fingers relax. Elbow pain gone. I didn’t event try with a band. Works.

  35. This works!!! I overdid the pullups, a lot of false-grip work on rings, and have been suffering from it. Wrapping the band on the bar let me keep working out this morning. Thanks !!!

  36. Hey Jeff, thanx again for all ur free advice, i know its legit cuz my brother is a radiologist ( not only the looker of family, but the one with all the brains! 😆) and he asks me how i know so much bout injuries and muscle problems, of course i throw ur name at him, now he follows you, even bought me one of ur programs! He cant talk any better of you cuz there just arent words, anyhow, again thanx from bottom of heart all you do for us!

  37. Ok. I'm already dealing w/ this. Right arm is jacked up; labrum tear (no surgery yet) limits vertical and lateral mobility, then ganglion cysts in wrist limiting wrist flex and load bearing for push ups and finally that inner elbow pain from over training pull ups resulting in 6 month lay off from pulls. I can't just do nothing. Nothing crazy, mostly calisthenics & yoga keep / improve the mobility, flexibility, & strength that I have left in that order.

  38. Love pulls but stopped because of the elbow pain he described- can’t wait to try this to see if it works cause I want to add pull ups back to my routine

  39. One contributor to joint pain is inflammation. Cutting out meat, dairy and eggs as well as added oils helped me eliminate my joint pain.

  40. It started hurting after I tried some dips and when Inwas resting and talking to some people I put arms back behind my body against a wall.

  41. When I do pull ups I get a discomforting feeling in my left arm bicep area. It feels like a tendon is rubbing against something every time at the start of a pull up and also When I come back down and finish the pull up. No matter how much I try to engage my shoulders that discomforting feeling is always there.. I’ve tried stretches and so far nothing works. I take turmeric curcumin which is supposed to help with body discomfort and I believe that it has taken away the pain, but I still feel the tendon rubbing against something and it’s still just not comfortable and makes me question on whether I’m causing long term damage.. i can do about 15 pull ups and at the end I won’t feel pain or discomfort. It’s only when I do the pull up that my arm doesn’t feel right.
    No other work out causes this.
    I’d be grateful for literally any type of advice. I’m going into the Marine Corps and don’t want to injure myself

  42. Wondering if the band wrapping 3finger technique works on chin ups as well. That’s where my injury came from

  43. I have golfers elbow it’s been chronic and I am looking for some exercises or treatments to get rid of the pain. I quit lifting due to the pain and it is bothersome during my day to day activities

  44. Hey Jeff, I've been watching a lot of your videos and more recently pertaining to elbow pain and want to get your knowledge and expertise on what I've been experiencing because I'm now facing some difficult choices. If I do close hand pull ups I'm relatively fine, it's when I go into a wide grip overhand pull up, my left elbow/bicep/forearm just seems to cut out and I can't get halfway even because of pain/sensation like my elbow is going to blowout. I also experience elbow/bicep/forearm/wrist pain when making a fist and just flexing the bicep. Oddly enough something that seems related but you could tell yes or no or maybe, that I also have been experiencing neck/ shoulder/ upper as well as mid back issues. I had been in a car accident back in Aug. 2018 that resulted in two herniated discs.. specifically (C5-C6 Central herniation with impression on the thecal sac, C6-C7 central herniation effacing ventral CS narrowing within left neural foramina) With straightening of the normal lordosis. When this all happened my neck/back/shoulder/and even the pec minor we're being affected. I would have spasms/numbness/and chronic pain. Having worked with a chiro/physical therapist/massage therapist for the past year while I've made some improvement, I'm able to turn my head a little easier but still have limited range and dealing with pain. I was told my options are surgery, direct injections into my neck for the rest of my life, or pharmaceuticals. I'm not a fan of any of those options and have reached a point where I really don't know what to do. If you could recommend anything that might get me out of this I would be forever in your debt. -Jon

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