Why Are My Pull Ups Uneven? Everything You Need To Know For Rapid Progress
One of the most common questions I get asked is “Why are my pull ups uneven”.
There are a few different factors that can contribute to this issue, but the most common one is simply that your body isn’t evenly strong all-around enough for you to be able to do the movement correctly.
However, it could be due to any number of things…
Why are my pull ups uneven?
There are a few potential reasons why your pull ups may be uneven. One possibility is that you have different levels of strength in each arm, which can lead to one arm doing more work than the other during the exercise. Additionally, your form may be slightly different on each side, which can also impact the evenness of your pull ups. Finally, it’s also possible that you simply have a natural imbalance in your muscles that results in one side being stronger than the other. If you’re concerned about your uneven pull ups, if you want to improve your form, focus on evening out your strength on both sides of your body. With time and practice, you should be able to even out your pull ups and make them more symmetrical.
One of the main reasons why your pull ups may be uneven is because of muscle imbalances.
This means that the muscles on one side of your body are stronger than the muscles on the other side.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, including genetics, injury, and overuse. If you have a muscle imbalance, it’s important to focus on evenness in your form and working to build up the weaker side of your body.
Over time some of us develop imbalances, which leads the body to compensate by shifting your weight to the stronger side when doing exercises like pull ups.
This can cause your form to suffer and make the exercise less effective overall. It can also lead to further imbalances and injuries down the road.
Unilateral and bilateral training
Another potential cause of uneven pull ups is that you’re not doing both unilateral and bilateral training.
Unilateral training is when you train one side at a time, such as with a one-arm row. Bilateral training is when you train both sides at the same time, such as with a two-arm row.
Doing both types of training is important for preventing imbalances. If you only do bilateral training, it’s easy to develop imbalances since one side can compensate for the other.
Doing unilateral training will help to even out these imbalances and make your pull ups more even.
Try incorporating exercises such as one-arm rows and single-leg deadlifts into your workout routine.
Different levels of strength
Another potential reason why your pull ups are uneven is because you have different levels of strength in each arm.
This is a common issue, especially if you’ve injured one of your arms in the past or if you have a history of overusing one arm more than the other.
If this is the case, it’s important to focus on building up your strength evenly on both sides. This can be done by doing exercises that work both arms at the same time, such as dumbbell curls.
It may also be helpful to focus on using a lighter weight on the weaker side and gradually increasing the weight as your strength improves.
Keep a log of your progress to see how the inferior side is catching up to the other. Over time, you should see the weaker side start to match the strength of the other.
Another potential reason for uneven pull ups is bad form.
If your form is different on each side, it can lead to one arm doing more work than the other, which can lead to imbalances.
Additionally, if your form is poor overall, it can make the exercise less effective and put you at risk for injuries.
To fix this issue, focus on improving your form overall.
Make sure that you’re using the same form on each side and that you’re not cheating by swinging your body or using momentum (kipping) to get your chin over the bar.
It may also be helpful to practice in front of a mirror or ask a friend or trainer to watch you and give you feedback on your form.
With practice, you should be able to improve your form and make your pull ups more consistent.
If you have poor posture, it can lead to one side of your body being weaker than the other.
This can then lead to imbalances and uneven pull ups. To correct this issue, focus on improving your posture overall.
Poor postures have become common over the last few years with us all being sat at desks for the majority of the day.
Make sure that you’re sitting up tall with your shoulders back and down and your chin tucked. Avoid rounding your back or hunching over.
The same goes for your posture when doing a pull up. If you tend to arch your back or hunch your shoulders, it can lead to one side being weaker than the other.
Make sure that you’re standing tall and keeping your shoulders down and back when you’re doing pull ups.
With proper form and practice, you can improve your posture and make your pull ups even.
Restricted range of motion
If you have a restricted range of motion, it can make pull ups more difficult and can lead to unevenness.
This is often due to tightness in the muscles and connective tissues, such as the lats, pecs, and shoulders.
To fix this issue, focus on stretching and foam rolling these areas regularly. This will help to improve your range of motion and make pull ups easier.
Additionally, make sure that you’re warm before doing pull ups. A good warm up should include some light cardio and dynamic stretching.
Warming up will help to loosen up your muscles and make it easier to do pull ups with good form.
If you still have trouble with a restricted range of motion, you may need to modify the exercise.
Try doing assisted pull ups or negatives until your range of motion improves.
Weak surrounding muscles
If the muscles surrounding your shoulder, such as the rotator cuff muscles, are weak, it can lead to bad form and uneven pull ups.
This is because these muscles are responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint. If they’re weak, it can cause the shoulder to instability and make it difficult to do pull ups with good form.
To fix this issue, focus on strengthening these muscles with exercises such as external rotations and shoulder elevations.
Additionally, make sure that you’re warming up before doing pull ups. A good warm up will help to loosen up these muscles and make it easier to do the exercise with good form.
If you have scapula mobility issues, it can lead to bad form and uneven pull ups.
This is because the scapula (shoulder blade) needs to be able to move freely in order to do a pull up with good form.
If it’s not moving properly, it can cause the shoulder joint to be unstable and make it difficult to do pull ups.
To fix this issue, focus on improving your scapula mobility with exercises such as scapular push ups and wall slides.
Additionally, make sure that you’re stretching and foam rolling the muscles surrounding the scapula, such as the pecs and lats.
Improving your scapula mobility will help to make your pull ups more even.
Have you had any shoulder injuries in the past?
If you have any past shoulder injuries, it’s important to rehab them before doing pull ups.
This is because the exercise can put a lot of strain on the shoulder joint and muscles. If these areas are still weak or injured, it can lead to further damage.
Make sure to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before doing pull ups if you have any past shoulder injuries. They can help you to rehab the injury and make sure that it’s safe for you to do the exercise.
Additionally, focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder, such as the rotator cuff muscles.
Strengthening these muscles will help to support the shoulder joint and make it less likely to be injured during pull ups.
Use resistance bands
If you’re having trouble with your form, you can use resistance bands to help.
Attach a band to the bar your pulling on and loop it around your foot. Then, as you pull up, the band will provide resistance and help to keep your form in check.
This is a great way to improve your form and make sure that you’re doing pull ups correctly.
Start off with a resistance band which is thicker and allows you to do a pull up with good form. As you get stronger, you can switch to a thinner band.
If you’re having trouble with your form and have uneven pull ups, you can try doing negatives.
To do a negative, jump up to the top position of a pull up and then slowly lower yourself down.
Doing negatives will help to improve your form and make your pull ups more even.
Start off by doing negatives with a slow and controlled tempo. As you get stronger, you can increase the speed at which you lower yourself.
Its all about the grip
There are three different types of grips you can use when doing pull ups: wide (pronated grip), palms facing towards you (supinated grip), and palms facing each other (neutral grip).
The grip you use will affect the muscles that are worked during the exercise.
For example, a wide grip will work the muscles on the outside of your back more, while a narrow neutral grip will work the muscles on the inside of your back more.
A neutral grip is somewhere in between and will work both sets of muscles evenly.
While a supinated grip may feel a little easier to do as you will be working your biceps more and it may feel more comfortable with the range of motion too.
You can experiment with different grips to see which one works the muscles you’re trying to target the most.
Experiment with different grips to see which one works the best for you.
Actual grip on bar
How you actually grip the bar can also affect your pull ups.
If you dont grip the bar with conviction, your hands wont be able to pull the body weight as effectively and this will make the exercise harder, well virtually impossible.
To fix this, make sure you grip the bar with your whole hand and squeeze it as tight as you can. This will help to engage your muscles more and make it easier to keep good form.
Additionally, try using chalk on your hands to help improve your grip.
There are a few things you can do to make your pull ups more even.
Firstly, focus on improving your scapula mobility and flexibility. This will help to ensure that your shoulders are in the correct position when you’re doing pull ups and make it less likely that you’ll injure yourself.
Secondly, focus on strengthening the muscles around your shoulders, such as the rotator cuff muscles. This will help to support your shoulder joint and make it less likely to be injured during pull ups.
Thirdly, use resistance bands or do negatives to help improve your form. Doing negatives will also help to make your pull ups more even.
Finally, experiment with different grips to see which one works best for you. A supinated grip may feel more comfortable, but a neutral grip will work both sets of muscles evenly.
Pull ups are a great exercise to build upper body strength. By following these tips, you can make sure that your pull ups are more even and that you’re using good form.
Are your pull ups uneven and has this article helped? Let me know in the comments below.