T Nation

Horrible Elbow/Forearm Pain


Hey guys,

I've been following a 5x5 routine for a while now with great results. I mainly focus on squats, deads, bench, BB rows, pulups, dips, cleans and snatches. I also throw in some kettle bell and plyo work here and there. I have stayed away from direct arm, work for years but added it in a few months back. I was fine for a while but soon developed horrible pain in my elbows and forearms. It feel like it is at the insertion points of my biceps and triceps as well as the forearm muscles meet the elbow joint. There is also a deep pain in the belly of the biceps muscle. It's gotten to where even when I squat now it starts hurting pretty bad just from gripping the bar. I've been training for 20 years, I take a ton of fish oil and I don't do anything fancy in my training. Has anyone else had this problem and found any relief without injections or medical attention? I would say it's just tendonitis , but it feels like it's deeper in the muscle. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.


While I definitely haven't been training 20 years, I've recently been trying to build up my forearms. I was doing a lot of forearm work and grip training and I definitely started seeing results, so I stopped "overdoing it" because I don't see them as one of my weak points now.

However, I do experience a similar forearm pain that you describe, but on and off. I'm a software developer, and I've been on a computer for ages without any wrist/arm etc pain. Recently, while I'm at work typing away, I've started to notice my upper/outer fore arm towards my elbow start to hurt. It's a strange uncomfortable feeling... not like sore from training it or something. My wrists have also started doing the same thing. My work environment is no different and I wouldn't expect my arms or wrists or anything to magically start hurting overnight from nothing.

This is all occurring after I've added size to my forearms and strength to my grip. As I stated, I no longer train them like a weak point, so it's only ever touched on while doing bicep workouts 1-2 times a week, or when my grip is being tested by dead lifting once a week. I didn't experience any issues with this when I was hitting my forearms and grip hard, which is strange if I am now.

I'm curious to see if its a similar problem and if anyone else has any ideas. Fingers crossed!


Sounds like you have lateral epicondylitis.

 As for the OP, you are having pain in all of those areas?


Yep, unfortunately I am.


Thanks for the input, I had never considered that. I've never really had this before which is the confusing part because, as I stated, my forearms are now larger and stronger than they've been previously. I wonder if it's the excessive forearm training that finally caught up. Oh well, thanks for the suggestion.


Stretch the arms a lot immediately after training (including forearms). Also look into getting some ART treatment.


I often get this during periods of intense training, and from what I've read on teh internetz can be caused by something as simple as an increase in training volume. I used to get it really bad if I did squats one day and bench the next, so I changed my routine slightly to include dumbell bench on those days instead which wasn't ideal, but was easier on my elbow.

Does it feel like your strength drains out of your biceps and grip? I find in many cases the only thing you can do is rest until it goes away - friends who have the same problem sometimes try to alleviate the pain by doing some bicep curls, which they say works somewhat.

In terms of preventative measures, I've found that my problem was greatly reduced after regularly performing reverse curls.

Hope you have some luck getting the pain to go away.


Hey MAte....

I have got a background in Boxing and also Heavy wieght training,and have seen ALOT of guys with Elbow/wrist Pain including myself!
And i have found that it is not always the Joint "elbow/Wrist" that is actually injured but the actual forearm/bicep/tricep are that is SUPER tight! my reccomendation is tennis ball the shit out of your whole arm region just keep working it it will hurt but just keep melting it away.....
Also if posible take time off from training or just go for mega reps with light wieght get blood flooding through there and then stretch/tennis ball your arems.....really stretch/loosen the ligaments and tendons...



Thanks guys.

Yeah , I definitely don't think it's a joint issue. It's at all the insertion points of the muscles meeting at the elbow joint. It's definitely muscular or tendon related. I will definitely try the tennis ball.