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Elbow Pain with Squats

Since going over 400lbx5 on deadstop squats I’ve suffered pain in my right elbow immediately after training. I have a fairly low bar position, so I’m guessing the problem is the heavier weight causing the bar to slip down my back a bit, taking my arms/elbows to an extreme position. Anyone had anything similar?

[quote]wsk wrote:
Since going over 400lbx5 on deadstop squats I’ve suffered pain in my right elbow immediately after training. I have a fairly low bar position, so I’m guessing the problem is the heavier weight causing the bar to slip down my back a bit, taking my arms/elbows to an extreme position. Anyone had anything similar?[/quote]

welcome to the world of low bar squatting. if you are getting your elbows under the bar (as you should), you will inevitably get some arm pain. the only suggestion i have for you is to get a good set of elbow sleeves to use when you train and to rotate back squatting in and out of your routine. I only squat heavy every few weeks to allow my arms to heal up. Instead i do a lot of front squat, paused squats off pins with lighter weight, zercher squats and leg press.

i get that too. ive never done this but i have seen some powerlifters with elbow wraps (not sleeves) while squatting. i may have to do that.

I had incredible amounts of elbow pain with high bar squatting, but I’ve yet to have it with low bar.

Learning how to make a wedge and not entirely support the weight of the bar with your arms is important.

Get some rehband elbow sleeves, that should help alot.

I’ve found wrist wraps help a bit too. They seem to keep my whole arm aligned a little better and take some of the stresses off the elbow.

Ok despite my best efforts to keep the bar properly supported on my back whilst not letting my arms intercept any of the weight, my right arm is suffering terribly.

I’m doing a low bar squat as per the advice of Mr. Rippetoe and despite re-reading the section in the book that talks about this problem( accurately described as ‘‘a horrible, headache like pain on the inside of the elbow’’) and from my view my my wrists are staying perfectly aligned with my forearms. After doing a search on his Strengthmill forum I’ve come away with very little helpful advice.
It’s difficult to practice positioning the bar because it doesn’t become a problem until the weight becomes heavy(heavy is relative, remember :wink: ) so practicing it at home is out of the question.

I’ve also seen advice offered in this site which suggests keeping the elbows below the bar. This makes no sense to me because surely even more weight would sift to the elbows, with the wrists in a very unnatural position and no support for the bar at all.

The pain was so bad today that I couldn’t even complete my third set of work-set squats and I had to cut the workout short there because the pain nearly had me crying(seriously, it was agony).
Ideally I’d have a coach that would spot where I’m going wrong and rectilfy the problem but people who even support below parallel squatting out here are few and far between so they’d probably ‘fix’ that first.

Has anyone any useful suggestions…? I really was in agony today.

When I went from low-bar to a high position I took a lot of stress of my shoulders and elbows.

That was after experimenting with different grip widths and arm positioning (wrapping my arms around the bar).

If you’re set on low-bar, obviously my advice will not be of much use.

I had elbow pain squatting with a false grip. When I wrapped my thumbs around, the pain went away.

[quote]danjo228 wrote:
I had elbow pain squatting with a false grip. When I wrapped my thumbs around, the pain went away.[/quote]

I am doing thumbs around. I’m quite baffled as to why it’s happening. As I said, ideally I’d have an experianced coach or lifter to help me but it just isn’t likely.

[quote]Rape Weight wrote:
When I went from low-bar to a high position I took a lot of stress of my shoulders and elbows.

That was after experimenting with different grip widths and arm positioning (wrapping my arms around the bar).

If you’re set on low-bar, obviously my advice will not be of much use.[/quote]

I’d rather stick to low bar for the better leverage and potential to shift more weight. I gained quite a bit of fat on a bulk so my current plan is to trim some of this fat whilst moving onto an intermediate strength programme(currently thinking Texas method) and concentrating on strength for a long time.

I’d still recommend seeing how it feels. If you want the leverage advantage but you can’t finish your sets due to pain, what’s the use?

First post so might as well make it useful.

I began to get elbow pain in my right arm when making the switch from high bar to low bar. I did the usual with ice and ibuprofen which helped short term but didn’t solve the problem. There was a post by modi on the same issue where he suggested lack of shoulder flexibility as the cause, so i started doing shoulder dislocations 3-4 times a week for 3 sets of 10-12 reps, gradually moving my grip in. After a couple of weeks the elbow pain disappeared.

Here’s the thread for reference

Agreed Rape Weight. High bar squats would certainly better than no squats at all.

rob0210, thanks very much for the advice and link. What are shoulder disclocations…? First I heard of them…

Although I don’t go anywhere near that fast, I prefer to go slower as it gives me more control, plus i can focus on keeping tighter when i do it. Squeeze the glutes and try to avoid the hips moving forward to finish the movement. Might feel hard at first but this movement has helped me quite a bit.
I do it before each squat, military and bench session and so far no elbow pain on any of these sessions for the last few months

I got the pain last wednesday after squats and I just endured and it didn’t really affect my pressing tbh. Today it was so unbearable though I had to cut the workout and I headed straight to the chagning room where I sat down and nursed the damned thing for about 15 mins. I’ve had far too many missed workouts lately and when heading to the gym today I really, really felt like giving everything 110% so I was furious that it got cut short.

Squats are hard enough without worrying about this sort of thing. My grip is usually the first thing that will be affercted when my squats become very difficult so many thanks for that link and the suggestion.
Assuming it heals well enough over the weekend and I can start lifting with it again on monday you have probably just saved me a world of trouble

More than likely it is due to a stiff musculature. Stretch your pecs which will allow you to retract your arms more. Stretch your shoulders as well. Shoulder dislocations (as noted before) do a great job for both of these tasks. Doorway stretches work well for the pecs. I used to have this pain as well a lot and when I started getting more flexible in the chest and shoulders, the pain started dissipating.

Another thing you can try temporarily is setting your grip out wider. Be careful your chest doesn’t cave over on the squat though.

[quote]Jereth127 wrote:
danjo228 wrote:
I had elbow pain squatting with a false grip. When I wrapped my thumbs around, the pain went away.

I am doing thumbs around. I’m quite baffled as to why it’s happening. As I said, ideally I’d have an experianced coach or lifter to help me but it just isn’t likely.

[/quote]

I would have to then say, make sure your elbows are pointed down. If there is a lot of extension in your wrists, it places a strain on the origin of the wrist flexors, similar to the elbow pain one gets from tricep push-downs with too much wrist extension.

Is the pain close to the “funny bone”? Perhaps it is medial epicondylitis or “golfer’s elbow”?

Beef

Use a safety bar if you have access to one.

SO, I’ve been struggling with this too as I got heavier. I’ve seen a variety of recommendations but have a slightly different experience, maybe due to my build and development. I’m low bar squatting about 400x5x5 right now, and I’ve gotten the habit of really jamming my hands close together to ‘get tight’ under the bar. One recommendation I read said to spread the hands out. In agony, I tried that. What I noticed immediately was the bar was sliding down my back. THis pointed out something, that I did not have a well developed groove for the bar to set in between delts and triceps. However, by really tensing up across my upper back, I found that the shelf would form and I could support the bar there with only a little pushing into my back. Maybe this is what is meant by ‘getting tight’? This meant pulling my elbows further back than I had, and sort of pushing the bar forward. I’ve squatted now for 3 weeks without that elbow agony, and weights are still increasing. Moreover, even tho the hands are further out, the bar feels more secure and placed, while I don’t feel any of the weight on my arms and elbows, even my wrists feel better.