Whenever I do a pull up or a chin up my palms hurt, like where your knuckles are but on the palm side. I feel like it's being squished and stretched. After I perform a few, say 3, it's difficult to move my fingers at all for a bit, like it's very stiff in that position.

Is this normal for someone just starting out? (both exercise and these particular exercises)

I've recently lost a considerable amount of weight (~20kg) could this be a reason as to why my palm is hurting? I'm thinking of this because maybe the skin is looser.

Is there any way I can avoid this? I've tried wearing (gardening) gloves but it didn't help, it was the same.

Should I continue doing these exercises? Will it eventually become less painful?

2 Answers 2


Years ago, I had a similar experience that actually led to trigger finger. I have only anecdotal evidence, but, I am convinced that doing chin ups was, in some way, related to the cause of my problem. Once my problem was resolved, I still wanted to perform chin ups, so, I invested in a good pair of padded weight lifting gloves, and, more importantly, a set of wrist straps(*). Wrist straps allowed me to continue doing the exercise without having to concentrate (fully) on my grip. I also switched to a fingers and thumb grip over the bar rather than a thumb under the bar. This seemed to alleviate some hand discomfort. While this approach may not resolve your problem, it’s worth looking into.

(*) I don’t agree with all of the claims made for wrist straps, but, the video does show their many uses.


I honestly don't have enough data to give you a proper answer, but I've been there before. My hands got really sore, almost swollen, and I developed calluses along there. Some of it is just unaccustomed strain, having to squeeze more tightly with your hands than your used to to hold yourself up. Some of it is the skin getting abraded, particularly if you have knurled grips (small thing that really helps on that is to take off any rings you have). In the end, it's generally something that you just have to work through, and is not, at leas tin my experience, something indicating actual permanent damage happening.

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