T Nation

Elbow Pain With Heavy Pressing

So I had this issue last year and it reared its ugly head again on week 1 of getting back into heavy overhead work.

Lateral elbow pain but fairly certain it’s not tennis elbow. Last year when I had it my elbow would give out in the bottom of the bench press, just a sudden loss of all strength. I remember hearing Dave Tate say that can be a sign of bicep tendonitis but I have no shoulder pain.

Pressing volume and frequency has been low so kinda annoyed this is happening again. Any ideas?

Wrist wraps, finger extensions (bands or in a bucket of sand/rice), hammer curls with slow eccentric all help with my elbow issues. Massage can help pain before pressing.

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Warm up with some tricep pushdowns first and gradually work your way up to pressing higher weight. For example if you max out at 100kg on benchpress for 10 reps…
Do a set with 60kg x 15 reps just to warm up,
Then 70kg x 5 reps,
Then 80kg x 4 reps,
Then 90kg x 3 reps. (You dont want to tire yourself out.)
Have a few mins rest and stretch then finally go for your 100kg x 10 reps.

Do this and you will already have nice warm loose muscles for your big working set so you wont pull them, but also your tendons will be ready to handle the heavy weight and it wont be such a shock for them. If I just do one set to warm up and go straight into my max I get problems.

Failing that give BPC157 a try it worked great for my tendonitis I can’t reccomend it enough

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I’m fairly certain it’s not lack of warm up but maybe I’m just getting old, couldn’t hurt to make it longer.

Based on the link from @strongmangoals it could be a number of things. I’m narrowing it down to lack of forearm extensor strength/overuse due to the heavy farmer walks and high-ish pulling volume. Either that or unstable shoulders are putting excessive stress on bicep tendon. My shoulders are pretty clunky but I think it’s a congenital thing and a PT I talked to during my last clinical rotation said that will probably not see much improvement regardless of the work I put in. I do a lot of work with my rotator cuff when warming up but I may be using the wrong muscles if that’s the issue.

There’s bits and pieces that fit different diagnoses but, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like a textbook case of the common stuff

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My masseuse cleared this up for me overnight. She grinded the hell out out of my biceps and forearms, did a lot of active release, 10/10 on pain, and also did my left triceps. I pressed again 2 days later, zero pain, and none since.

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Update: cut out farmer walks and would do some self MFR 3-4 times a week by rolling a 15 or 20lb dbell on my wrist extensors (ouch!). Did this about 3 weeks.

Stopped the dbell massage and started warming up my extensors at the beginning of every upper body workout. Now I’m pressing fairly heavy weights with decent volume and no pain.

I think it was a combo of overwork from farmers walks and additional stress from a lot of squatting. Going to start programming direct forearm work after my current program to see if that takes care of the issue permanently.

You can do Gua Sha on your forearms and triceps every time after lifting upper body, too. Easy and cheap.