CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Exercises (
-   -   Problems with Pullups (

John Rivera 10-25-2005 05:06 PM

Well, I used to never be able to get a single pullup. But over the past two-and-a-half weeks on the beginners' routine, I can now do 2-3 pullups... with a condition.

That is ONLY if my elbows are SLIGHTLY bent. Even a BAREST bent is fine. But if I hang in a complete deadhang, with my elbows locked out above me, I can't move up even a inch. My elbows just couldn't bend.

Is this normal? Are my elbow flexor muscles or whatever they are, pathetically weak? If I AM supposed to be able to pullup from a complete deadhang, what exercises can I use to strength this particular part? Remember that if it's ever the barest bent, I can pull off 3 pullups, so it's pretty insolated to the elbows. Any thoughts?

Keith Wittenstein 10-25-2005 06:45 PM


Neal Winkler 10-25-2005 08:02 PM

Try and do jumping pull-ups and control yourself all the way back down to a dead hang. Perhaps this will help strengthen your arms when in full extension.

I'm sure someone else will know better.

Asaf Gil 10-26-2005 02:46 AM


I have the same problem when I do L Pullups on rings - the combination
of the shoulder position and the bending just kills my pull.

I don't think it's a matter of the elbow flexors (Biceps, Brachialis?) , after all, you
ARE able to do those pullups - to me it feels like going to full extension at the bottom somehow disengages the back muscles making it much more difficult to start the movement.

Other than to kip, one way I find useful is to lean back slightly as to create an angle between
your body and the bar when starting to pull.

I would also love to hear some insights about this.


Roger Harrell 10-26-2005 09:03 AM

The initiation of the pullup is one of the most difficult parts. You are engaging everything from a very disadvantaged position. Your muscles have little leverage at this point. Just keep working on it, do the negatives and you'll get it.

James Falkner 10-26-2005 04:42 PM

I have the same problem - trying to kip helps me get past that point, though I am trying to minimize the kip at the bottom (plus I can't kip worth sh**) in order to crank out dead hang PUs. I found over the last week that I am needing less and less kip to get past the initial sticking point. I think this is because the small amount of kip allows me to stay hanging on the bar between reps, thus increasing my strength needed to get past that stick point. Before, I would drop off the bar after a few reps 'cause I couldn't do any more (since I wasn't kipping).

So the point is kipping helps me stay on the bar more, thus motivating me to do more reps when I'm already fatigued, rather than just drop off.

John Rivera 10-26-2005 06:27 PM

Thanks guys for the tips! Today, I experimented with Asaf's tip, and you're right... Leaning back slightly and bam, I'm able to pull up from a deadhang. Interesting!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:12 PM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.