Episode 325: Stop the Pull Up Chicken Necking People

Hey Mobies,

Today’s mission is all about Motor Control. When we develop our list of athlete problems, we alway prioritize motor control above all else. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t have internal shoulder rotation if you keep throwing you chin over the bar (what? I’ve always done it that way.) Your spine experiences incredible loads during movement and was designed to be able to become stiff during those periods of peak force production. Our problem is that your cervical really doesn’t care if you “get” your chin over the bar for the rep. All your spine (and central nervous system) knows is that by chicken necking your head over the bar, you’ve made your self less effective and exposed your cervical structures to an enormous amount of shear. Discs don’t dig on no shear.

Mission: Pull up normally. What does your head do? Can you cue yourself to stop throwing your chin? Is there a relationship between your shoulder internal rotation range and what happens to you neck? When you throw the head, does your shoulder translate forward through your biceps tendon? (what? my slap tear came from throwing my head?)

Dont’ be that guy. Respect!


3 thoughts on “Episode 325: Stop the Pull Up Chicken Necking People

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    Jon Whitehead says:

    Good article! I’m just coming back from two injuries which both required surgery. I pulled the biceps tendon from my left arm near the forearm and a SLAP tear as well. Needless to say it was like a kick in the teeth on getting recovered from this and getting my mobility back. I will ensure proper form and also that I have the strength to do strict pull ups and toes to bar prior to kipping.

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    Manny says:

    Hey I believe my son who wrestles has a slap tear. After waiting and resting about six months, the pain is still there that is why we think it is a slap tear instead of a a.c.joint prob. Can anyone help me out on what tho do to get through the wrestling season as far as pain. Also any good tips for after the season is over he its going to get a surgery.(recovery). Any info would be highly appreciated .

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