Since taking on this job as a fitness blog writer, people are constantly referring me to articles, books, and ideas about health and fitness that they feel would be a good topic for me to write about. A recent suggestion was “13,064 Pull-ups in 5 Months by Chad Waterbury.”
In this article, Chad talks about his self-inflicted personal challenge of doing as many pull-ups as he could, on a daily basis for a period of 5 months. What intrigued me about the article was when he got into elbow and shoulder, injury and pain from doing high-frequency pull-ups on a fixed bar. What he says is, that doing pull-ups and chin-ups on a fixed bar doesn’t allow your wrists to move in their natural rotation. Your body makes up for not being able to rotate the wrists by putting the extra stress on your elbows and shoulders, which leads to pain and inflammation.
“I’ve recommended the fixed bar chin-up for years, but things change. It’s completely out of all my current training programs because it locks the wrists in the most stressful position to the elbows. Your body is just as valuable as any million-dollar athlete’s. I won’t let any athlete do pull-ups from a fixed bar, and I wouldn’t advise you to do it, either.” Chad Waterbury.
Now I have to admit, I ain’t no Pull-Up Queen, but I have watched and learned from many a fitness buff and/or trainer, and in reference to the above quote, I thought it was really sad to completely eliminate such a valuable upper body/core exercise from a workout. Chad mentions using a TRX, fat neutral grip, or rings in order to help with the problem, but this got me thinking: “Chad must not know about The Human Trainer yet.”
Sure rings and grips help, but your still using a straight, hard handle, which doesn’t allow for the wrists to have a lot of leeway. The TRX (a suspension gym) helps with this because you’re working with flexible nylon straps that are suspended from the ceiling; but the TRX is a single anchor system: meaning the straps are attached together and hook onto one ceiling mount. The moment your feet leave the ground to do your pull-up, your hands automatically get pulled toward the center. This causes your hands to be uncomfortably pushed together, and of course, doesn’t allow for proper form and technique.
The Human Trainer is two COMPLETELY SEPARATE nylon straps, hooked onto two separate ceiling anchors. This allows for full up-and-down motion that is absolutely needed for a proper pull up. The TRX has adjustable straps, but they can’t be adjusted to a short enough length to be able to get you far enough off the ground. The Human Trainer has adjustable straps AND 5 D-rings along each strap with detachable handles, this allows you to shorten the straps AND hook the handles onto the highest D-ring. You can also fold the strap over itself, hooking the lowest hook into the highest (this also helps to get the excess strap out of your way).
CONCLUSION: The Human Trainer is a more advanced system, and in my opinion, the only way to do high frequency pull-ups that allow for full wrist rotation: therefore no elbow pain.
Bonus Tip: For a Chin Up workout that’s a lot more versatile, try “The Complete Chin Up”
- Multiple comfortable grips allow you to perform a variety of chin up positions
- All-rubber handles for maximum durability. Won’t break down like spongy sweat-absorbing handles
- Fits standard doors with no need for drilling, screwing, hammering or messing around
- Strong enough to hold anybody up to 300 pounds
Click to see Chad Waterbury’s full article.