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Reverse Grip Pull-Ups

Reverse Grip Pull-Ups

Find out more about Reverse Grip Pull-Ups. Reverse Grip Pull-Ups are a great exercise to stimulate the back and arm muscles.

The reverse grip pull-ups are a popular variation of pull-ups in which the muscles involved are the biceps brachialis muscle.

Let’s find out how to do them and what are the possible risks!

What Are Reverse Grip Pull-Ups?

What Are Reverse Grip Pull-Ups?

The reverse grip pull-ups are a popular variation of pull-ups in which the muscles involved are the biceps brachialis muscle. In particular, the latter is enormously more active in this variant of traction.

In fact, the tractions with a supine grip are performed with the forearm in the supinated position with a reverse grip on the bar.

The palm of the hand is turned towards us and with this type of grip, the body is lifted towards the bar by means of an extension movement of the shoulder against the dorsal muscle, the teres major, and the lower fibers of the pectoral Grandis.

The supine grip favors a better positioning of the biceps which given its insertion on the radius in the anterior aspect of the forearm is found favored in flexing the elbow and actively contributing to the lifting of the body.

In practice, this translates into the possibility of expressing more strength and carrying out more repetitions with the supine grip with the same training.

How To Do The Reverse Grip Pull-Ups?

How To Do The Reverse Grip Pull-Ups?

The reverse grip pull-ups constitute a “simpler” variant of pull-ups that allows you to grind more repetitions.

They can be considered an excellent exercise for both the dorsal and back muscles, and for the biceps brachialis muscle.

Despite this, supine tractions present a greater joint risk, especially for the elbows.

In fact, discomfort and stress on the elbow and forearm perceived during execution are not uncommon.

This happens because the reverse grip on a straight bar requires complete supination of the forearm which is not assisted, however, by adequate rotation of the shoulder, physiologically reduced when we have the arms raised.

This results in an incomplete grip on the bar with the little and ring fingers that do not complete the grip with a possible forcing at the level of the inner part of the elbow.

The stresses generated by the characteristics of this exercise involve the structures of the inner elbow such as the tendons of the wrist flexor muscles, the ulnar collateral ligament, and the ulnar nerve.

These stresses if repeated over time and if not supported by a well-dosed and calibrated training program for the subject can lead to inflammation and pain as in the case of Golfer’s elbow.

There are two tricks to limit these stresses:

  • First is the use of a grip as wide as the shoulders and no more,
  • Second is the implementation of an optimal scapular structure with the chest outwards which favors the rotation of the shoulders, decreasing a little stress on the elbows.
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The reverse grip pull-ups are a potentially more risky exercise for the elbows than the neutral and prone grip variants.

For this reason, especially if you have had elbow pain in the past or feel abnormal pressure or discomfort in the elbow during the execution, avoid performing them in favor of more physiological variants.

If you have never had problems performing them and you are mobile and not predisposed subjects, continue by dosing at best the volume of training and loads aware that the reverse grip pull-ups are a potentially riskier exercise for the elbows.

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