I recently came off a shoulder injury so I'm a little paranoid about using proper and perfect form for any exercise that involves my shoulders.

I've started the SL program and incorporated dips to workout A and chinups/pullups to workout B (alternating) to my plans.

Bench presses or dips I definitely have no issues with, although they both have a bad rep regarding shoulders and I was worried about both (especially since I think I got injured last time doing them with improper form). Making sure to pull my shoulders back in both exercises, I have experienced no pain whatsoever.

However, after workout B I am feeling some discomfort on my shoulder. I don't think they were caused by OH presses, since I made really sure to follow Mehdi's advice and shrug at the top and I feel no pain or ache when I practice form weightless. But my shoulder does feel a little discomfort when I raise my arm in the front, which I assume is probably rotator-related.

The only thing I can think of is that doing chinups was what caused it, since my power rack (which I just bought) has a really wide chinup/pullup bar and I had my arms positioned wider than usual while doing the chinups, which I also probably didn't do with proper form. Does it make sense and should I go back to using a door chinup bar, or wide grip chinups should have no effect on the shoulders and I'm being paranoid?

  • 1
    Can you define "pain" ? There's the general "good pain" that comes from working something that's weak but getting stronger, and there's the "bad pain" where it's sharp and sudden. Anecdotally, I thrashed my shoulder years ago and the db front raise (what you're talking about that hurts) was a no-no for me as well. Not that there's really a terrific reason to do this anyway.
    – Eric
    Feb 2, 2016 at 15:05
  • @EricKaufman Yeah, it's not DOMS. It only bothers me in a very specific movement (rising my arm forward, just like for DB front raises). It's not that painful but it is a discomfort, and it scares me a bit since when I got injured a couple of months ago it was localized in the same place and was way worse, so I'm afraid to aggravate it and get injured again. "Good pain" I have all over my body after starting SL and squatting regularly for the first time ever :)
    – erictrigo
    Feb 2, 2016 at 15:10
  • I'll add that doing the bench and OH press movements does NOT create a discomfort, I can do them both and not notice anything.
    – erictrigo
    Feb 2, 2016 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


How have you done the chin-ups? Take care that you keep tension all the way during the repetition especially at the bottom of the exercise. Also if you go to wide you can injure your rotator cuff.

Here is some good advice on chin/pull-ups: http://jasonferruggia.com/the-shocking-truth-about-chin-ups/

it simply says that the best way to do those exercises is to use rings, as they allow for a natural movement, Otherwise to alternate the grips and not go wider than shoulder width apart.

... good luck with your shoulder

  • I think I used a considerably wider grip than usual, because of doing them in the power rack. I did not keep tension all the way, relaxed at the bottom, and I'm afraid that I may not have engaged my back enough by retracting my scapulas and thus brought my shoulders forward, which is causing the pain. Does this make sense?
    – erictrigo
    Feb 2, 2016 at 16:08
  • Yup, actually you answered your question yourself. Keep tension all the way through dont relax at bottom. Shoulder wide gripp or little closer if you can and see how that goes. Take some time off of this exercise for some days to see how your shoulders feel.
    – mitro
    Feb 2, 2016 at 16:12
  • Just read that article. Funny thing is that my power rack's pullup/chinup bar has a neutral grip position, which is pretty narrow so from what is said there should be much safer than anything I've been trying to do. I will try doing them that way, but are they considered chinups anymore if you have a neutral grip? I'd think you use your biceps less, and I wonder if they can also succesfully substitute pullups from my routine.
    – erictrigo
    Feb 2, 2016 at 16:39
  • I think that you should think of it as working the lats in a safe way rather then thinking about the actual gripping name. The different gripp might involve a little variety but the essence in pulling yourself up somewhere is to work your back and lats. ;-) - also on this program you are doing rows too if I recall correctly. . that is an awesome back builder too (you can widen the grip here to tax the lats even more)
    – mitro
    Feb 2, 2016 at 17:03

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