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I am starting to build my muscles again after a long time, but the problem I always encountered was that my lats start to hurt when trying to do a pull up.

What I do is to hang completely while not resisting to get to my starting position. Then i'll pull my shoulder blades together and try to have almost no bicep strength as much as possible as I try to pull myself up as to engage the correct muscle groups. But what happens here is that I feel my lats feel very stretched and I could attempt to force myself but I have a feeling my lats will rip. So I never push through with a single pull up. Am I doing the pull up wrong? Or does pull ups need some level of bicep engagement so it will not be redirected to the lats?

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Just try hanging for 30-60 seconds. Once you are able to do that then try negative pulls ups. Descend at a pace of 4-10 seconds till you are able to do three sets of eight repetitions. Then finally move on to pull ups.

If at any of the exercises you still feel pain, then it's best to see a doctor.

Nevertheless, you also need to make sure you are warming up properly before every workout.

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