Pain in forearm with Australian pull ups

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    Hi I’ve recently started Australian pull ups as part of my workout routine and unfortunately I get quite strong pain in my inner forearm for days afterwards, particularly in my left arm. I think the pain might be in the tendon – it runs from about midway down my forearm through the inner elbow and up to the bicep. It has hurt to straighten my arm the week following the pull ups and last time I had to ice it for a couple of days. I had been concentrating on form and on pulling my shoulders together rather than working the forearms, but that’s where most of the exercise seems to take place. Do you have any advice? Perhaps I should start from a more vertical position and ease myself into a more horizontal position over time? Or perhaps I need to work on grip strength or or mobilizing the shoulder? I would really like to keep pull up variations as part of my routine but I really don’t want to damage my tendons. Thanks!

    Al Kavadlo

    Hey Simon – Sorry to hear of your ailment!

    I think you are right that you should regress the move to a higher incline. Additional grip work may also be useful. In the meantime, if you are in pain, the best thing to do is give yourself a day or two to rest (or longer if necessary).


    What kind of volume were you doing? also how far apart are your hands during the exercise? For a while the only place I could do it was a kind of narrow position for my hands (like wrists at nipples) and that position got awfully uncomfortable as the reps got higher. I eventually quit using that bar because it was just not doing me good. I actually do them using towels now.

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