T Nation

Elbow Exercises?

Are there any exercises that can improve the health/tendon strength of your elbows? For example full squats are supposed to help your knees so I’m wondering if there are any exercises that can help your elbows.

Elbow soreness seems pretty common. I have some minor soreness in my elbows on some exercises and I’d like to work on it before it becomes serious.

Tendon work, which equates to very high rep sets (100 to 150 reps) to increase blood flow to the tendons.

Depends on why they’re sore…Sore from squatting? Sore from pressing?

[quote]ninearms wrote:
Depends on why they’re sore…Sore from squatting? Sore from pressing?[/quote]

It varies. Most recently I think it was from doing heavy pullups so I’m laying off those for a little while. I’ve also gotten it from pressing exercises. I adjust my routine a little and it goes away but if I can learn some preventative measures that’d be better.

[quote]CBar29 wrote:
Tendon work, which equates to very high rep sets (100 to 150 reps) to increase blood flow to the tendons.
[/quote]

I’ll have to try that. I don’t do much if any high rep work.

Tough question here.

I would say that you need to build up the surronding muscles to take less stress off the elbow.

Then again I don’t see how you are going to be able to do that with out bending your elbow during the lifts (dips, pushdowns, rowing (forearms) and curl motions).

Be sure you are warming up enough. If you aren’t and you are doing heavy pull ups and presses this can be problematic.

Warming up helps get blood to tendons/ligaments as well as lubing joints.

Good luck.

when my tendonitis kicks up i change my 4th day, which is my lighter upper body and dynamic upper back day, to a movement day,…same exercises but much lighter just to move blood

ex:
lighter weight higher rep bench, dynamic upper back pull (hammer strength seated rows), and then just pure movement exercises, preacher curls for 5 sets of 30 strict slower reps with just an ez curl bar, behind neck press for 5 sets of 15 with just a straight bar, rotator cuff work with light bands, and light hanging snatch (5x5x95lbs)

also you might just need to add in some lower weight higher rep bicep work

and end it all with hanging from feet and then from hands…use lifting straps so yoiu can relax your arms a bit and get a good stretch from your hands through your lats

Mens health had some elbow exercises in the magazine this month, I think it was them.(with Tim Tebow) on the cover.

There’s a million things to think about.

Age?
The older you are 30+ you have to watch frequency of exercises.

Weight on your lifts? Once the tendon is hurt then you may have to lighten up, but you would have to go super heavy like power lifting competition heavy during training repeatedly for you tendon to be stressed from just the weight alone.

Do you always lock out?
This can be the biggest factor, People who shadow box throwing punches incorrectly find out about this one. You put a ton of stress on your elbow when you exert a high force all the way through lockout. Try to either not lockout or slow down right before you lockout.

Terrible pain? Minor pain? If it’s real painful your best option will be to lay off for a little while, and just try to rehab your elbow. Your lifts are not going to get stronger while your lifting less and less because of the pain.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Mens health had some elbow exercises in the magazine this month, I think it was them.(with Tim Tebow) on the cover.

There’s a million things to think about.

Age?
The older you are 30+ you have to watch frequency of exercises.

Weight on your lifts? Once the tendon is hurt then you may have to lighten up, but you would have to go super heavy like power lifting competition heavy during training repeatedly for you tendon to be stressed from just the weight alone.

Do you always lock out?
This can be the biggest factor, People who shadow box throwing punches incorrectly find out about this one. You put a ton of stress on your elbow when you exert a high force all the way through lockout. Try to either not lockout or slow down right before you lockout.

Terrible pain? Minor pain? If it’s real painful your best option will be to lay off for a little while, and just try to rehab your elbow. Your lifts are not going to get stronger while your lifting less and less because of the pain.[/quote]

this would be because the lockouts when shadow boxing are jerky, like a whipping throwing motion…lockouts when lifting need to be smooth just like the rest of the lift

I believe EC dedicated an article to this topic but I would also encourage you to look at some soft tissue treatments like AIS.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Do you always lock out?
This can be the biggest factor, People who shadow box throwing punches incorrectly find out about this one. You put a ton of stress on your elbow when you exert a high force all the way through lockout. Try to either not lockout or slow down right before you lockout.

Terrible pain? Minor pain? If it’s real painful your best option will be to lay off for a little while, and just try to rehab your elbow. Your lifts are not going to get stronger while your lifting less and less because of the pain.[/quote]

Yep locking out was my problem on pullups. I didn’t slow down much at the bottom which is what I should be doing. So far for me pain has always been minor so I back off a little and everything is fine, just want to avoid being one of the people who develops debilitating elbow problems.

[quote]LSUPOWERDC:
lighter weight higher rep bench, dynamic upper back pull (hammer strength seated rows), and then just pure movement exercises, preacher curls for 5 sets of 30 strict slower reps with just an ez curl bar, behind neck press for 5 sets of 15 with just a straight bar, rotator cuff work with light bands, and light hanging snatch (5x5x95lbs)

also you might just need to add in some lower weight higher rep bicep work[/quote]

I’ll add a few sets of high rep arm work in towards the end of my workouts and see what happens. I do very little isolation work so adding some more in would probably do me some good.

Thanks for the advice.

Need more info & you should probably see a specialist/GP to get the proper assessment, BUT Are you sure it is just from lifting? Have you ruled out any repetitive motion injuries from work or from sports?

IN my experience I found when I was playing squash like a madman AND still lifted heavy my elbows suffered.

[quote]jaybvee wrote:
Need more info & you should probably see a specialist/GP to get the proper assessment, BUT Are you sure it is just from lifting? Have you ruled out any repetitive motion injuries from work or from sports?

IN my experience I found when I was playing squash like a madman AND still lifted heavy my elbows suffered. [/quote]

I’m a computer programmer. About the only physical activity I get is lifting.