T Nation

Elbows Flared Cause Injuries?

Is it best to keep ur elbows tucked in during all movements in order to insure proper shoulder health? Examples: bench pressing, squatting, overhead pressing, tricep extensions, etc.

I just realized that this could be achieved in mostly all movements and my question is, if elbows are anytime flared in an exercise, can it lead to shoulder injuries due to the arm angles deviating from the scapular plane?

I know keeping your elbows at your sides during squats improves stability. Keeping your elbows more inward and not flared on tricep extentions will work them harder. Not sure about Bench press or overhead.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
Is it best to keep ur elbows tucked in during all movements in order to insure proper shoulder health? Examples: bench pressing, squatting, overhead pressing, tricep extensions, etc.

I just realized that this could be achieved in mostly all movements and my question is, if elbows are anytime flared in an exercise, can it lead to shoulder injuries due to the arm angles deviating from the scapular plane?[/quote]

Really whether or not you get an injury will come down to what your body is ‘use to’. If you started out years back on bench with flared elbows, then your tendons and joints are going to be use to the stress these days when you load up the weight.

But if you’ve always kept them tucked and then one day you load up the bar and flare your elbows, then maybe you’ll strain something. It’s not about what’s right or wrong positioning…the body is far more resilient than that. It’s about gradual build up.

For my own personal goals, I’m training a couple gymnastics strength skills including the iron cross. This move puts a lot of tension on the elbow joints so the strength build up goes very very slow. But the tendons do get stronger over time.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
Is it best to keep ur elbows tucked in during all movements in order to insure proper shoulder health? Examples: bench pressing, squatting, overhead pressing, tricep extensions, etc.

I just realized that this could be achieved in mostly all movements and my question is, if elbows are anytime flared in an exercise, can it lead to shoulder injuries due to the arm angles deviating from the scapular plane?[/quote]

the answer is… yes.

meat

I agree with meat but I can flare my elbows with D-bells. For a bench or dip I keep’em tucked.

meat,

thats just what i was thinking. i mean, think about: i have never read an article where mike and eric advocated an elbows flared movement. I see them ordering their readers to tuck the elbows in during bench presses, squats, rows, side laterals, military presses (45 degrees at the most) and if one really thinks about it, it can be done in mostly all exercises.

i just wanted to clarify though. thx man

there was an article about this. forgot who wrote it but he said not to flare out.

Usually flaring elbows during an exercise is done to get better leverage, it makes tricep extensions and a good deal of exercises feel easier, but all it really does is ask more of the deltoids most of the time, the deltoids usually get into most exercices enough keeping your elbows somewhat in, probably better to keep them that way for shoulder health.