Pain after Pull ups

October 7, 2017

For the past week whenever I do pullups (and occasionally press ups) i get a really bad pain at the base of my skull and neck on my right side. The pain usually starts on my 5th pullup.

I also work at a fast food joint and most of the time I am looking down and not standing up staright due to the work needed to be done. Could this be a contributing factor.

Any help you could rovide would be much appreciated.


October 7, 2017

Hi Tom
Yes, perhaps working in a fast food place will be a contributing factor, but it certainly won’t be the be all and end all.

Essentially you do not have enough control or enough strength to do any more than 5 pull ups.

The first few you do with good form, with your head and neck held in a good position. As you progress and get tired, getting your chin over the bar is trickier and  you start to cheat – you poke your chin out, stretching and compressing the joints right at the top of your neck…..and causing pain.

So the really easy solution is to initially only aim for 6 with great form, and then 7 and 8 with minimal symptoms over the next few weeks. You can really speed this along by doing some thoracic mobility exercises before hand (arm openers, bow & arrows, thread the needles, foam roller etc etc) and you’ll be able to do more, because you’ve given yourself the ability to move better, and call up more control.

Posture at work will help, but it’s pretty tricky doing what you do – so do a little more before you hit the gym and really work on form.

Good Luck

Guru Responded

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