Elbow pain is very frustrating as a weightlifter.
I’ve dealt with it at various times in my lifting career, and each time it severely limited my training. My elbows would ache in the front squat position, forcing me to dump anything over 70%.
Not a formula for success.
The first time I ever noticed it was after an impromptu pushup fest. So if you have the sudden urge to do a lot of pushups with no build-up, beware. But there are lots of ways elbow pain can creep up, so we need to be ready and know how to combat them.
First, let’s understand the different types of elbow pain you might encounter.
Types of elbow pain
Tendonitis vs. Tendonosis:
- “inflammation of tendons”
- Healing time: “Several days to 6 weeks”
- less severe
- will likely heal on its own (and with the help of the below exercises)
- “degeneration of tendons”
- Healing time: “6-10 weeks. Treatment once the tendinosis has become chronic can take 3–6 months”
- Anti-inflammatories won’t help
- more severe
- consider seeing a physician
Which do you have?
- Tendonitis – If the pain started within the last 4 weeks.
- Tendonosis – The pain has been going on for months.
The following exercises focus on eliminating tendonitis (might still help tendonosis as well).
Exercises to eliminate pain
- Slow bicep curls (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down)
Pendlay Forum Responses:
- Paulie says: “I was told to take a large container ( I used a protein shake container) fill it with sand to about 3-5lbs, then you put your hand inside spread it out and hold the container up like that for a min working you way up to 3 min at a thime. In about 3 weeks it was gone.”
- Fossil says: “I would wrap rubber bands around a tennis ball, put my fingers under the bands and splay my fingers (the tennis ball was to increase the tension on the rubber bands and to secure them so they wouldn’t slide down my fingers.) Eccentric reverse curls are good, too.”
- Babsie says: “If you do have tendonitis start wrapping the forearm below the elbow or get an adjustable sleeve. “
- 0:33 – Wrap the arm with Voodoo floss (or other substitute wrap) as tightly as possible.
- Then bend the elbow back and forth with as large a range of motion as possible.
- It will be painful, so don’ think you are doing something wrong.
- After a minute of motion, take the wrap off.
Elbow Rotation in Horizontal Plane:
- Hold small medicine ball
- Arm at 90 degree angle, with hand pointing up
- Rotate hand in small circles
- Switch directions
How to Deal With Elbow Pain
- Loop band from something at waist high to hand
- Rotate arm outward, sometimes palm up and sometimes palm up
- Sets of 20, 3-4 sets
- Weave rubber band through fingers (attach to pinkie)
- Hold arm at 90 degree angle
- Splay fingers outward
- Twist palm up, and then down
Fix Elbow Pain with Tricep Work?
- 4:04 – Put exercise band around hand, and place arm in tricep stretch for 10-30 seconds
- Try different angles and see which one warms up your tricep/elbow the most
- 4:52 – Wrap the band around your lower tricep
Prevent Elbow Pain with 5 Minute Warm-up
- 3:50 – Speed bag punching – punch a speed bag for a few minutes, alternating punches from the front and back
- 5:00 – With an exercise band wrapped around an anchor point, grip one end with each hand and roll your hands in the same motion that you would with the speed bag
How to Prevent Elbow Pain From Weightlifting! (language)
- 0:40 – Rest – He recommends resting for a week or more. It will depend on how severe your tendonitis is
- 1:11 – Ice your elbow for 20-30 minutes after your workout
- 1:21 – Wear a protective sleeve
- 1:37 – Anti-inflammatories
- 1:49 – Decrease the weight
Define your injury. Short term is tendonitis, and long term is tendonosis. For tendonitis, try the above exercises and tips. For tendonosis, see a physician.
What other tips have you seen success with?