Elbow injuries are common for people who do weightlifting. At times you can immediately figure out that something may be wrong, but in most cases, symptoms appear after many days or months. Getting injured is not something that anyone can afford. It is bad news for your career. All injuries can be offsetting and can even cause permanent damage. Some methods will help you avoid injuries to the elbow while weightlifting.
There are different injuries which can lead to elbow injury. The two most common problem which affects most of the weightlifters are Medial Epicondylitis & Lateral Epicondylitis. There are other injuries as well which can have similar symptoms. They can affect the same area and have similar types of pain. The only way to know for sure is by consulting the doctor. These two are the most common and it is advisable to find ways to prevent it at all cost. Let us look at some of the ways to prevent these injuries from happening.
- Don’t Do a Biceps curl
There are many exercises which can affect the elbow. Certain exercises can cause epicondylitis/golfer’s elbow, which is the pain on the inner side of the elbow. Using a straight bar for biceps curls can cause this problem. The whole position is not correct for this exercise and it leads to problems for many people. The elbow is not directly involved, however, the whole exercise causes slight misalignment of the wrist and doing it repeatedly causes the elbow to give way.
- Underhand pulldowns and chin ups
This is similar to biceps curl and causes similar problems with similar consequences. The weight is more compared to the curls. Due to more weight, the chances of elbow problems increases manifold. It is recommended that you pull-ups with an overhand grip, neutral grip pull-ups and using rings which allow the wrist to rotate naturally along with each rep. You can also use an angled bar to prevent the wrist from getting injured.
- Underhand grip rows
It is advised that while doing rows, you should prevent vertical pulling movements with an underhand grip. It can cause problems. It is better to do the rows using an overhand or neutral grip. Again if you are using an underhand grip then you should use an angled bar.
- Avoid skull crusher
It is a common triceps exercise. In this exercise, you have to lift the weight by lying down in the position of bench press. It is lowered down to your face by bending the elbow. It is very good for your triceps, however, it is known to cause elbow pain on the lateral side. The best thing to do is to avoid it completely. Although, there are ways to do it correctly. You should not use a straight bar for these, not even once. Use EZ curl bar as it provides comfort to your wrist and creates a much natural position. The safest way to do this exercise is by doing dumbbell skull crushers.
Doing pull-ups for too long can cause elbow problems. Adding additional weight can also cause more problems. It is advisable not to do them too often. Doing it twice a week should be more than enough. Also, do not do many sets of this exercise. Do less volume of this exercise and use rest between sets. Don’t use additional weights while doing this exercise.
- Use Straps
The exercise routine always puts a lot of pressure on your hands, wrists, fingers and forearms tendon which in turn affect your elbow. You can lower the pressure by using straps. They also help prevent elbow injuries. There are many such available in the market. The bursitis elbow brace is something which one can use.
- Lessen Biceps and triceps work
Most of these exercises can cause a lot of stress on your elbow. Although these exercises are fun the chances of elbow injury are higher as they place excessive stress on your elbow. The biceps and triceps get a lot of exercises while doing the upper body training. These exercises can very much maximize the growth. If you want to further improve the biceps and triceps, then you should go for 4-6 sets of direct training.
- Avoid Dead Hang
While doing the pull-ups and downs you should avoid the dead hang position. These exercises provide a better stretch to your lats. The dead hang gives a lot of stress to your elbow which is not good. Also, stay away from half reps as it does not help much. Do not do these exercises if you have inner elbow pain.
- Excessive pressing
Excessive pressing exercises are not good for your elbow. This is not good for your shoulder and elbow. Make sure that you do not do an excess of pressing exercises. It can lead to lateral or outer side pain in the elbow.
You should be aware of the exercises that you are doing. If you are not sure then consult an expert to make sure you are doing the exercises the right way. Use straps and don’t put too much pressure on your elbow while doing the exercises.