Elbow pain when working out is a very common source of joint pain when working out. When you get pain in your elbows it makes almost every upper body movement difficult to complete.
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In this video I show you the two sources of elbow discomfort during weightlifting, what causes them and most importantly…what you can do to fix them. Before you even start watching however, you have to realize that elbow pain is almost never a problem of the elbows! Instead, weakness either in the primary movers of the joint or more distal in the forearm flexors or extensors causes the elbow to feel the brunt of the pain.
Lateral pain is more commonly referred to as tennis elbow. Once flared up, tennis elbow can be very difficult to get rid of since it requires you to usually refrain from all gripping and lifting for at least a few weeks until the inflammation can calm down. When you return to lifting you are better off using dumbbells rather than barbells since you can’t hide the compensations of weakness as easily which could prevent them from laying you up again. Also, you have to use a neutral grip for all of your exercises, at least until you develop the strength and stamina in your wrist extensors needed.
Medial elbow pain is referred to as golfer’s elbow. This comes from an inflammation of the flexor muscles in your forearms. I see this happen most often as a result of doing chin-ups or other upper body pulling exercises where the back, rhomboids or biceps are simply not strong enough to complete the rep. Once they fatigue, the forearms attempt to kick in to help and overuse, overload and an inability to control the eccentric portion of the reps eventually taxes the muscles beyond their limits.
Again, here you want to be sure you lighten the loads if needed to enable your muscles to stay in control of the weight and not shift the forces to the forearms ill equipped to handle them. Likewise, you’ll want to keep your wrists in neutral for all exercises here as well.