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Ian Hogg

Chin ups causing wrist pain?

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Ian Hogg

Hi all,

I wasn't sure where to put this should maybe have an injury forum.

I've been doing chin up holds and have noticed my right wrist has developed a lump on the top near the joint. I'm pretty sure having read up on here that it's a ganglion cyst (a leakage of synovial fluid from the joint). However any other post I've read about ganglion cysts seems to link them to pain during handstand/load-bearing work which don't cause me any pain at all.

I have pretty flexible wrists about 30 degrees past vertical with palm down and about 10 degrees past vertical palm up.

When holding chin ups I feel as if my right arm is opening up at the wrist joint. I also notice that my right hand grip tends to be more in the fingers than my left as if the hand is slipping off the bar particularly on the pinkie side which is odd as my right hand is my stronger hand. I have had tennis elbow (inner elbow) in this arm before from trying to increase pull up numbers I think probably from this gripping in the fingers.

My question is probably what is the best way to build up my grip to get it more in the palms rather than in the fingers? Even if I start off in the palm it seems to slip down to a finger grip very quickly. Is my pinky side not doing it's share of the work if so how do I improve it?

Hope that makes sense was typing up on tiny phone screen :)

Many thanks for any advice!

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Ian Hogg

Should have added I have been doing F1/2 and H work in case anyone recommends getting it.

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GoldenEagle

First off you need to understand the following about your grip strength.

 

Grip strength comes from two areas: 1) The muscles in the fingers and 2) The muscles that make up the forearm.

 

To gain additional strength we need to work the muscles in our hands and forearms.

 

To work the fingers grab a tennis or racket ball and squeeze it. Older tennis or racket balls have less air in them and are easier to start out with. Stretching your fingers helps also. Put your fingertips together and press your fingers against each other but not your palms.

 

To work your forearms wrist curls and wrist extensions while holding a book in your hand will do.

 

Pertaining to the cyst. Get that looked at you don't want a minor injury to become more complicated because of your own neglect.

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Ian Hogg

Thanks GoldenEagle, my issue is really that my right hand seems to be weaker when trying to remain in a fully closed position than my left despite being right-handed. If I had to hang one-handed I could definitely do it longer with my right than left but I'm concerned that the fact I'm basically hanging from my fingers is risking tendonitis.

Does this mean I'm lacking in forearm strength in this arm and could this lack be related to my previous tendonitis?

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Connor Davies

Personally, I hang from my fingers anyway.  It prevents callouses.  Your tendons should strengthen over time, and in theory it will leave you with a stronger grip.  Think of it as disadvantaged leverage training for your hang grip.  This is probably why you do it with your right hand and not your left, because your right hand is stronger.

 

Can't help you with the cyst, but it's definitely not caused by weird finger gripping techniques....

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Ian Hogg

Cheers Bipocni, I've got plenty of callouses anyway but you might be on to something.

If I can't grip bar properly in both hands I maybe would be better gripping both in fingers on both hands. I think problem comes at top of hold as right hand is having to pull harder right at the end of ROM to level me up as it is effectively longer than my left due to my semi-open right hand. It may be loading my arms unevenly by doing this that's causing me problems.

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Lokomotivo

Well, to be frank. This is an issue you should adress. If your hand collapse into open hand (hanging in the fingers) then your wrist is most likely not contracted but loose. This will cause you great problems down the road. If your wrist is tight and engaged then disregard, you should still get that wrist looked at. If the wrist isn't engaged then I would stop doing chins, but I'm no doctor.

Try doing chins/pull-ups using a rotating bar. That will force the hand to stay closed. And for calluses, use "fat grips” (google fat gripz) on the bar.

Regards

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GoldenEagle

Thanks GoldenEagle, my issue is really that my right hand seems to be weaker when trying to remain in a fully closed position than my left despite being right-handed. If I had to hang one-handed I could definitely do it longer with my right than left but I'm concerned that the fact I'm basically hanging from my fingers is risking tendonitis.

Does this mean I'm lacking in forearm strength in this arm and could this lack be related to my previous tendonitis?

Going off of some quick research, symptoms of tendinitis (Inflammation of a tendon) include weakness, swelling, and pain. I would be willing to say that the cyst has some part in the weakness of your grip.

 

I don't know if you are lacking strength in your forearm or your individual fingers. I don't have enough knowledge to do a diagnosis. I would suggest, to anyone, working on the grip strength of your individual fingers in addition to the grip strength gained from developing the muscles of your forearms.

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Ian Hogg

Thank you for all the replies guys they've given me food for thought. Having thought some more about it, I think my problem is lack of strength in the pinky side of my right hand.

Before I started GST I played a LOT of golf for over 20 years using the Vardon grip where you grip the club with all fingers except for....the pinky on your right hand. This would explain why I think my overall grip is pretty good but lacking in just this one area.

I think it's probably a combination of lack of strength and a bad habit from my golfing days. Now I know what it is I'll give it extra work to balance it out.

Thanks again!

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Connor Davies

If you really want to balance your grip out, try doing pullups from a hanging towel...

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Jono

I don't think this is a grip/finger/hand strength issue. It sounds more like you lack external rotation of the arms in the dead hang position - your arm wants to rotate inwards (to neutral hand position) which causes a twisting effect on your wrist joint.

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Ian Hogg

It could be that Jono but in my case I don't think it is as my shoulder/wrist flexibility is pretty good. I can externally rotate both arms out so that my hands are beyond perpendicular to a straight bar in front of me. I can dead hang between parallel bars gripping the inside of the bars in overgrip no problem with shoulders covering ears and hands only head width apart. Hope that makes sense.

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