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    beachrat's Avatar
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    My elbows hurt

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    I've been doing reverse pull-ups for a couple of months (start from up on the bar, and lower yourself down). Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed my elbows seeming a little sore. About a week ago it got to the point that I thought I shouldn't keep on with the reverse pull-ups.

    When I started feeling it, I thought perhaps I was jumping up too much for the starting position. But I've been trying to start from a really stable position and it doesn't seem to be helping.

    Anyone have some ideas? What else do I need to be thinking about? Thanks in advance.
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    Jamison's Avatar
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    Possible tennis/golfers elbow?

    Maybe try some eccentric arm exercises as opposed to concentric. Helps to strengthen the tendons.

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    Thanks - any examples? I have some 5# dumbbells or can do some bodyweight stuff. Not sure what exercises would fit into which categories, so further specifics very welcome!
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    Jamison's Avatar
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    Very slow reverse curls.

    Yoga helped me a lot.

    Basically anything that strengthens your elbow by extending as opposed to constricting the muscle.

    Also, Elbow Pain Rehab Video - Golfers Elbow - YouTube this video helped quite a bit. It shows a technique called "nerve gliding" that helped relieve the pain very well.

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    Thanks for the video link - I never would have thought to go to YouTube, but there were several useful diagnostic clips there too. I don't think golfer's elbow is my diagnosis, based on any of those descriptions. Perhaps it's just overuse in general.

    The reverse biceps curls are a good idea anyway, and one of my friends is always telling me to try yoga. Appreciate the helpful thoughts!
    Last edited by beachrat; 08-29-2011 at 02:12 AM.
    "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
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  6. #6
    Valarauko's Avatar
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    outside of elbow is tennis elbow, inside is golfers elbow.

    Too many dips gives me inflammation - golfers elbow. A topical anti inflammatory works wonders on it. - Voltaren Gel.
    Fear of the unknown...They are afraid of new ideas. they are loaded with prejudices, not based upon anything in reality, but based onÖ if something is new, I reject it immediately because itís frightening to me. What they do instead is just stay with the familiar.

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    When you do get back into the pull-ups, make sure that you are not going straight down. That is a common mistake and it does put too much strain on your elbows, and eventually your shoulders. Keep you neck straight in line with your body (this is important) and lean back slightly. Your feet should be directly under the bar (not exact, but to give you a rough idea). Most people don't keep their neck straight which weakens the lift (any lift) and they don't have the small lean backwards.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    Whoa, thanks Icarian. From that description, you're right: I've been doing it wrong. It's difficult because I'm not really strong enough to hang up there and correct my form very well, but I guess what this means is that I should do fewer the right way instead of trying to do more with consequently poor & damaging form.

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice on golf/tennis elbow. I have a little trouble believing that's my problem since the repetitive movement is not actually repeated that many times or that often. One game of tennis would probably equal a whole month of reverse pull-ups at the rate I do them! But I'll keep it in mind, work on correcting my form, and look into some other ways to build strength without stressing my apparently wussy joints.

    Are dips better to start? Some kind of modified baby dips. Or maybe just curls. I'm determined but alas, as the saying goes, the flesh is weak.
    "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
    "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
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  9. #9
    Will Turner's Avatar
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    Icarian's comment is very good advice--a similar adjustment helped out my elbows tremendously when they were hurting a few months back.

    Can you progress to regular pullups yet? Negatives are a good step but shouldn't be lingered on for too long, in my opinion. Bodybuilders often use negatives at the end of a workout to add more volume, continuing to work the muscle past the point it can successfully lift the weight. All this is to say, you can do more negative pullups than your body "wants" you to do. Does that make sense?

    Finally, just know that tendons take longer than muscles to adjust. Slow and steady.

  10. #10
    Apex Predator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IcarianVX View Post
    When you do get back into the pull-ups, make sure that you are not going straight down. That is a common mistake and it does put too much strain on your elbows, and eventually your shoulders. Keep you neck straight in line with your body (this is important) and lean back slightly. Your feet should be directly under the bar (not exact, but to give you a rough idea). Most people don't keep their neck straight which weakens the lift (any lift) and they don't have the small lean backwards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Will Turner View Post
    Icarian's comment is very good advice--a similar adjustment helped out my elbows tremendously when they were hurting a few months back.

    Can you progress to regular pullups yet? Negatives are a good step but shouldn't be lingered on for too long, in my opinion. Bodybuilders often use negatives at the end of a workout to add more volume, continuing to work the muscle past the point it can successfully lift the weight. All this is to say, you can do more negative pullups than your body "wants" you to do. Does that make sense?

    Finally, just know that tendons take longer than muscles to adjust. Slow and steady.
    +1

    Are you doing any other exercises? I know some people on here hate any structure to their exercise, but one of the benefits to a good program is working all muscles correctly to avoid imbalances.

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