T Nation

Lifting with Elbow Problems

Hey guys,

I have a left elbow deformity that at some point will need to be replaced.

I am wondering if anyone here has elbow issues and how they work their upper body without putting too much stress on the elbow?

At this point, I have pretty much stopped doing upper body lifts but would like to maintain if at all possible.

Any tips/thoughts/ suggestions would be very appreciated!



hmm… i dunno, maybe you could just try whatever feels ok… ive been having some elbow pain recenlty and i just do whatever exercises dont hurt, if it hurts i dont do them… can u do any upper body work without it hurting your elbow?

Wearing neoprene or plied sleeves might help. They keep the elbow warm and have helped relieve some pain I had from elbow tendonitis.

Thanks guys!

I wear the sleeve and it does help somewhat.

has anyone on the forum had elbow replacement surgery?

Had elbow tendonitis as well. First, the sleeve advice in my opinion is worth its weight in gold. Also applying something like Biofreeze keeps the muscles warmer.

Beyond that, be smart. If an exercise hurts (in a way that you know is bad for you, not just some soreness), don’t do it. I cannot do tricep extensions without extreme pain, so instead I switched to close grip presses and reverse grip bench with great results. Also, dropping the weight a little and increasing the rep range helps quite a bit.

However, if you need surgery this advice may not be that useful if the injury is that bad.

Had a dodgy elbow for about half a year. Certainly didn’t need a replacement. What I did was

  • stop doing dynamic upper body work
  • brought my squat grip inwards
  • kept arm work in the high rep zone
  • don’t lock out any weight
  • don’t jerk in pulling movements
  • self ART