T Nation

Elbow Pain from Squats


#1

Hey all, first post in this section. I've been lifting for about a year (SL5x5), I think that still makes me a beginner.

In the last 3 months or so I've been getting fairly serious elbow pain, both during and after workouts, and at other times as well. I have a physically intensive job and that seems to aggravate them as well.

I do low-bar and I have long arms and somewhat inflexible shoulders...I can just barely force my wrists straight while in a low-bar and I always feel the strain on my elbows. I've tried a few position tweaks but none solve the issue. A couple of nights I've woken up at 3AM and had to pop a motrin to get back to sleep, so I'm not willing to ignore this anymore. I feel that damage is being done.

My question is, what would be the consequences of switching to high-bar squats? Am I just moving strain to a different bodypart? Is it really that inferior of an exercise? Is there anything wrong with trying it out and seeing how I feel? It just seems like everything I read insists on doing low-bar, but I'm starting to conclude that it's just not an option for me with my joints and body type.


#2

You likely have tendonitis in your elbows. I had the same thing which made squats a painful bitch to do for several months.

You are going to need to change things up for a bit until your elbows get sorted out. If high bar is the answer then do that. If you need to switch to front squats then do that. Do a Google search for treating golfer's elbow for some rehab ideas.


#3

Move your hands out, thumbs over not under the bar, rotate your hand counterclockwise to keep your wrists straight, and most importantly, stop squatting low bar 3x a week. But keep low bar as your main form if that's what's most advantageous.


#4

Thanks for the tips, all of you. I have actually done all those things you mentioned; my hands are about 2" from the pins and I force my wrists straight. It seems to help, a bit, but I still couldn't manage my 3rd set today even after popping some motrin (I know, why haven't I stopped doing them already if they hurt so much.)

I may also omit squats on my mid-week workout as you suggest.

I'm gonna try front squats next workout, we'll see how that goes. I'll obviously have to start with not much weight but it's worth a shot. Thanks again guys.


#5

....go to a doctor?


#6

I gave my elbows a break from all squats for this week (just leg press), elbow stuff cleared up and now benching of any kind isn't a pain anymore either.

Idk if high bar would fix the issue for me, probably make the weight drop way too low due to a bunch of weak knee issues.

Front squats are the SHIT. Do them "arnold" style if you don't have the power clean flexibility.


#7

Your elbow pain was caused from squats, or it only hurts when you squat? Any other exercises that hurt?

Ever try elbow sleeves?