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Whenever I do a pull up I can feel uneven-ness in my form, and upon looking at a recorded video of myself I found that my left shoulder be higher than my right. This has also affected my bicep curl form, where my right shoulder will roll back instead of staying still.

Here is the full video on my pull-up form

Screenshot 1

Is there some muscular imbalances in my body? I would really appreciate any feedback or stretches i can do to fix this. Thanks!

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  • Similar to 'exercise - uneven pull ups'.
    – rrirower
    Feb 7 at 15:27
  • Hey I found myself having this same issue, slightly more unevenness with my shoulders. Did you find any solution to this or did anything work to fix your imbalance? Looking forward to hearing any response
    – Alex
    Apr 21 at 13:19
  • Is your pull-up bar level?
    – C. Lange
    Apr 21 at 15:37
  • Classical issue. If you are interested in discussing it, chat with me here. I don’t think exchanging private coordinates is allowed in the forum May 24 at 20:18
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I mean, having muscle imbalances is completely normal! Those will disappear over time by performing the exercises you do in the correct form.

Regarding imbalances on pull ups, I suggest you to perform a Scapula Pull up (those really helped my out) if your imbalances begin to occur mainly in the first part of the movement and/or some simple pull ups holds(I wuold suggest the hold with chin over the bar) if your imbalances comes from the last part of the movement.

Combining those two exercise will get your pull ups increasingly balanced

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  • I would tend to say this is wrong. If you continuously do an exercise without understanding the core issue, you might actually reinforce the imbalances. If one the muscle is too weak to perform the required work, you can’t expect it to magically grow by performing the same work again and again. You need to understand why it’s not firing and how to go at it May 24 at 20:17
  • @FenryrMKIII I am not saying anywhere to continue doing exercises in the wrong way! I recommend doing scapula pullups(check them out before you write please), which help you better perceive the movement activations, which I think is the key for a perfect pullups. Also the pull ups hold let you understand how you should activate all your muscles in that specific part of the movement.
    – Liiuc
    May 25 at 6:15
  • I know scapula pullups. What makes you think I don't ? You really believe that stating "having muscle imbalances is completely normal!" is a fine advice ? Plus, you are indeed not saying to continue performing exercises in the wrong way. But you are not providing strong alternative either I think. What you propose is "try to correct your form" while I am saying "try to understand if your muscles are strong enough to perform what you are asking them to perform" May 25 at 9:31
  • "try to understand if your muscles are strong enough to perform what you are asking them to perform " is actually wrong, bcs if he can go over the bar obviously his muscles are ready to perform that effort. These imbalances could also be caused by a lack of coordination in that movement and not in the level of muscle strenght. Scapula PU cuold simply fix those by understanding how to pull from the starting point. And by doing some PU hold with chin over the bar will fix the imbalances in the top part. This is what I see here... Maybe not the only solution, but here's mine
    – Liiuc
    May 25 at 15:23
  • I disagree. This is what is wrong with PT/trainer all the time. You can perform the movement so you're good. No ! You can perform the movement because your body is smart enough to perform what you ask him to perform by cleverly compensating i.e. contracting other muscles to help. And this is what leads to injuries, imbalances, ... Why do you think people have back pain deadlifting altough they look perfect ? Because they are using their back instead of their legs ! May 26 at 7:12
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I looked quickly at your video. It’s not possible to give a definite answer based on a single movement but here is what I think.

Your left side (left on video as seen from the back) recruits your upper traps. This is typical of a shrug. Your right side does not or at least not as much.

This probably means your left side lacks some muscles and your trap has to compensate/take over. I would guess left lat given the movement your are performing. You can try to see that for yourself. Do a lats spread pose and observe if you see any difference in your muscles between left and right.

Now... why that is and how to fix it. Hard to say without discussion, history, further analysis. If my guess is right that your left lat is not as developed and is causing the issue : do some lats isolation exercises. And make sure you are using your lat and not shrugging. Otherwise you will only feed the issue.

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