Elbow/Forearm Pain Slowing You Down?
- Written by Dave Gluhareff
Are Elbow and Forearm Pain slowing You down?!
I see Elbow & Forearm pain all the time athletes I begin working with such as OCR Racers, Golfers, Tennis Players, Baseball Players, Gymnists, and even regular Non-Athletes such as stay at home Moms, brick layers, gardeners, and librarians!
What is it? Well most commonly it's a form of Tendonitis such as Tennis Elbow (pain top/outside of the forearm/elbow) and or Golfers Elbow (pain on the inside/lower of the elbow). Without getting too technical with descriptions and anatomy just know you probably have it if you have pain inside or atop your elbow and many times the pain moves into the forearm and wrist. If you are an OCR Athlete you would really notice this pain Racing when climbing over walls, monkey bars, rope climbs, pulls, and more. The pain can get very severe and radiate from our elbows to our forearms to our wrists and hands. In training you would notice in pullups, climbs, grabbing barbells, gripping, etc.
Why does it happen? Well most of the medical community will say these pains stem from "over-use" and I do not agree. I believe the pain stems from you or I not being conditioned enough period. We as a human race have become lazy and when most of the medical community says overuse from Tennis or Golf playing well I think that's absurd. If our bodies can't take a few hours of Tennis, Golf, Gardening, doing dishes, one pullup, etc then the real issue is we are De-Conditioned (Not Conditioned).
How do we fix and prevent Elbow and Forearm pain? The absolute best prevention and fix in my opinion and it's worked with myself and my Athletes and clients for almost 18 years is to begin strengthening the top, inside, and bottom of our forearms to be ready for what we are going to put them through. ** I like to use dumbbells the best and I incorporate these exercises into my warmup 2-3 times weekly with at least a day or two off like I give each of my muscles anyways to rest/recover/heal and grow stronger and get more conditioned. You need to start lite with maybe 5lb-10lb weights and do 2-3 sets of palms-down (works top/middle & top/right of forearms), palms-facing each other (works top/left of forearms), and palms-up (works inside of forearm). You want to keep the bottom of your forearms and elbows lying flat on your thighs with your wrists/hands hanging over the knees. You either reverse wrist curl, curl thumbs facing up, or palms-up wrist curls. All the work happens as the wrists bend the direction you want and the dumbbells provide the resistance. Each week slowly progress to more weight to strengthen. Then some weeks keep the weight the same and build on your reps and muslce endurance.
* Clothing provided by Bodybuilding.com! Pictures taken at Dave Gluhareff's Danville, Virginia training facility! Photo credits to the infamous and patient Mary-Whitt Jones!