Today’s guest post comes from grip specialist Jedd Johnson. I went to a seminar with Jedd back in 2006 and when he asked me if he could write an article for my site I was really pumped. Doing a ton of grip intensive work can really beat up your elbows. Jedd’s got some great expertise in this area. Give it a read.
Let’s cut to the chase, right now: Elbow Pain, can be a straight-up PAIN IN THE ASS.
Whether you’re dealing with tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, or any of the other names for this general condition, having sore elbows and high forearm pain can interfere in a LOT of your training.
After all, the elbows are involved in many lifts, and when every single repetition triggers a pain response in your elbow or high forearm, it can get pretty disheartening.
Try as you might, elbow pain can be very hard to get rid of too.
Believe me, I know. With all of the grip training, steel bending, and tearing I’ve done over the years, I’ve had serious flare-ups on multiple occasions.
After, weeks, months, and sometimes even YEARS of failed rehab attempts, many lifters have come to me asking for suggestions on how to finally get rid of their elbow pain.
Naturally, each case of elbow/forearm pain is different and needs to be addressed on an individual basis, but there has been one technique in particular that has been very successful in easing and controlling pain in the lower arms, recently.
As is often the case, the solution to a big problem can be right before your eyes, you just haven’t thought to try it yet, or you’ve just simply overlooked it.
Believe it or not, I’ve helped more people get rid of elbow / forearm pain recently by having them stretch their triceps more than any of my other go-to techniques.
As it turns out, even though more and more people are training these days, most people do not take the time to stretch or do any form of recovery work to help maintain their mobility and range of motion. With this tightness and loss of mobility, come problems.
When muscles get too tight, they can cause pain. Sometimes this pain shows up in that specific muscle itself. Other times, it can cause pain on the opposite side of the body or in the opposing, or antagonist, muscle group.
And other times, the pain shows up downstream from the muscle, as is the case sometimes with elbow and high forearm pain.
In this case, the triceps become very tight and begin to pull excessively on the lower arm bone. As a result, the elbow and high forearm area can become very sore.
The natural reaction, since the back of the forearm hurts, is to start addressing the back of the forearm. Common approaches are to stretch out those muscles, begin rehabilitating them with exercises that target them specifically, or even using forearm supports, wraps, and other bandages to reduce pain in that given area.
Unfortunately, these approaches are only attempting to address the symptoms of the injury, not the cause. And because of this fact, the results you get from these measures will probably be limited in how beneficial they are.
Plus, once you stop doing the rehab exercises and remove the supports, the pain comes right back.
If this is what you’ve seen in your experience, I hope you check out this video, that walks you through a series of great triceps stretches that you can do on a regular basis. They’ll only take you a few minutes to do, and they just might take care of that annoying, nagging elbow and forearm pain you’ve had to deal with for so long.
These are the guidelines I’d suggest for implementing these stretches. Feel free to go longer or do more sets if you’d like. I’ve personally seen good results doing pretty much exactly what’s listed below.
Triceps Overhead Static Stretch: 3 sets of 30 seconds
Biceps Activation Triceps Stretch: 2 sets of 60 seconds
Band Intensified Triceps Stretch: 2 to 3 sets of 30 seconds
Naturally, this is just one out of dozens, if not hundreds, of things you can do to address all the different forms of elbow pain.
I know in my training career, I’ve successfully corrected my elbow/forearm pain in many different ways, and I’d love to share them with you.
If elbow pain is being a pain in your ass, I encourage you to get my full-length guide to eliminating elbow pain.
It’s called “Fixing Elbow Pain,” and it’s done just that for hundreds of people since 2012.
All the best in your training,
“Napalm” Jedd Johnson
Jedd loves all forms of strength training, but his passion is Grip Strength. A 2-time North American Grip Champion, he has held multiple world records in various Grip Sport events and has produced dozens of training manuals and DVD’s devoted to strength development. If you need stronger hands, check out Jedd’s website, DieselCrew.com.
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Understanding The Shoulder Pain Epidemic in CrossFit Athletes (Part 4: Programming and Periodization)
7 Reasons Why Your Shoulders Get Hurt in the Gym: Part 1
How to Modify Overhead Pressing for Shoulder Pain
How to Modify the Squat to Eliminate Painful Pinching Hips
How to Modify Squats for Painful Knees and Lower Backs
The Coaches Guide to Modifying Workouts for Athletes in Pain