T Nation

Elbow/Forearm Problems When Back Squatting

I tried searching a bit for a previous thread about this but wasn’t having much luck. Lately when I’ve been back squatting, I get pain on the inside part of my left forearm, near the elbow. I feel it most right when I set the bar back on the hooks when finishing a set. One thing I notice about my form is that I always feel like more weight is on my left side, even though I’m setting up right in the middle of the bar, with both hands in the same position (right in middle of the knurling of the bar). Another thing I notice is that while I try my best to keep my elbows pointed down, my left one starts going back while my right stays still.

I’m currently seeing an ART guy once a month who’s an avid lifter and I’ll get him to check my form on my next visit. In the meantime, has anyone else had this kind of problem and if so, have any coaching queues, supplemental exercises, or recovery methods been helpful?

-Edit

Forgot to mention this: the pain happens whenever I add weight to the bar, even 95#

How close are your hands? If you aren’t keeping the upper back tight and the bar isn’t staying put, you are gonna be putting pressure on the biceps and elbows. I have that problem sometimes. Moving your arms wider may help if you aren’t aready.

Maybe try some elbow sleeves?

Sounds like tight subscap/lats/pec major.

Try stretching those out

[quote]Carnak wrote:
How close are your hands? If you aren’t keeping the upper back tight and the bar isn’t staying put, you are gonna be putting pressure on the biceps and elbows. I have that problem sometimes. Moving your arms wider may help if you aren’t aready.

Maybe try some elbow sleeves?

[/quote]

I keep my hands really close (close grip bench close) to help keep my back tight. I’ll widen it out a bit next time and see if it helps any.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Carnak wrote:
How close are your hands? If you aren’t keeping the upper back tight and the bar isn’t staying put, you are gonna be putting pressure on the biceps and elbows. I have that problem sometimes. Moving your arms wider may help if you aren’t aready.

Maybe try some elbow sleeves?

I keep my hands really close (close grip bench close) to help keep my back tight. I’ll widen it out a bit next time and see if it helps any.
[/quote]

Yeah tbh that’s probably the problem. I do all my heavy work with my hands as close as possible to tighten up, but it kills my elbows. I take my hands out wider on box squats and my warmups to help prevent it.

I had severe, severe elbow pain from supporting the majority of the weight of the bar for back squatting with my arms.

Yours sounds like a little more specific of a problem than mine, but it might be something worth checking.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
I tried searching a bit for a previous thread about this but wasn’t having much luck. Lately when I’ve been back squatting, I get pain on the inside part of my left forearm, near the elbow. I feel it most right when I set the bar back on the hooks when finishing a set. One thing I notice about my form is that I always feel like more weight is on my left side, even though I’m setting up right in the middle of the bar, with both hands in the same position (right in middle of the knurling of the bar). Another thing I notice is that while I try my best to keep my elbows pointed down, my left one starts going back while my right stays still.

I’m currently seeing an ART guy once a month who’s an avid lifter and I’ll get him to check my form on my next visit. In the meantime, has anyone else had this kind of problem and if so, have any coaching queues, supplemental exercises, or recovery methods been helpful?

-Edit

Forgot to mention this: the pain happens whenever I add weight to the bar, even 95#[/quote]

Try moving your grip out a little and taking a quasi false grip , meaning grab the bar with your thumb and first three fingers, but letting the pinky go under the bar. i mean don’t use the pinky finger to grip the bar.

This allows you to get your elbows down easier with less strain on your shoulder area and elbows.

[quote]Carnak wrote:
How close are your hands? If you aren’t keeping the upper back tight and the bar isn’t staying put, you are gonna be putting pressure on the biceps and elbows. I have that problem sometimes. Moving your arms wider may help if you aren’t aready.

Maybe try some elbow sleeves?

[/quote]

x2

Have you read Rippetoe’s book where he describes how to position the bar on your back?
His description made me get this simple concept for the first time in MANY years of trying to get this right. Has made a world of difference for my squat.

Wrist wraps may help a bit. For me they seem to help keep everthing “aligned” and tight.

A Manta Ray helps a lot. It changes the movement a bit, but it also takes a lot of the strain off the elbows.

Other options are the giant cambered bar, the safety squat bar, and the buffalo bar. Using any of these bars will take most or all of the stress off of the elbows.

[quote]ptpoul wrote:
Have you read Rippetoe’s book where he describes how to position the bar on your back?
His description made me get this simple concept for the first time in MANY years of trying to get this right. Has made a world of difference for my squat.[/quote]

Is that the “Starting Strength” book?

Thanks for the thoughtful advice guys. I really appreciate it.

The thing that fixed it for me was not wrapping my little fingers around the bar, but leaving them under the bar. Sounds painful, isn’t and did end my elbow pain issues.