T Nation

Olympic Weightlifting Dislocated Elbows


Why are there so many elbow injuries in weightlifting? My old coach said that he haD personally witnessed over 40 elbow dislocations in competition. Is it simply a matter of holding on too long when you should have bailed? Is it a matter of weaker triceps/biceps to support the joint?


I don't know if there are.....I went to comp last weekend and there was a shoulder dislocation injury and one of the guys I train with, who's been training approximately 30-years, said it's the first he has ever seen. Even in the olympic games and world championships, when athletes are pushing themselves to the absolute max they seem to be a rareity.

Maybe your coach is jinxed?


i think people try and save things for comp they wouldn't try and save in training.

that does sound like a lot. an anomaly. like how occasionally a person gets hit by lightening... twice.


it is often, I've only seen it on the snatch and from what I've seen, usually in the smaller categories...


Yes, it is way more frequent in the snatch but it does happen in the jerk too. Usually when they really widen their grip in the rack, right before the jerk.


Elbow dislocations are far more common in people with hyper mobility in their elbows. You will notice that some people (especially women) can bend their elbows backwards slightly when they straighten their arm.
Almost all of the Chinese female weightlifters have this and it is a huge advantage for solidly locking out a jerk, but unfortunately you have a far greater chance of dislocating the elbow.
People who don't have this (Andrei Rybakou comes to mind) usually have trouble locking out their jerks, however it is unlikely that they will suffer a dislocation.


Not seen it in 50competitions over the past 12yrs.

I've seen about 4 black outs though. No one was injured.