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Elbow Pain from Working Out

Pain is your body’s first warning sign that something is wrong and you should always address the problem before it gets worse. Even if you are able to train around joint pains, it still doesn’t mean you can ignore them.

Why does my elbow hurt when I’m working out?

The most common condition that affects the elbow is lateral epicondylitis, or more commonly known as tennis elbow. This degeneration of the tissue is caused by repetitive stress on the tendons, and with new collagen formed irregularly, your muscle’s strength is reduced. This simply leads to constant injury and eventually tearing. Every time the collagen is torn, scar tissue forms in the tendon, further weakening it.

Elbow pain is most likely caused by overuse, repetitive motions or tendon sprains. When you lift excessively heavy weights, perform the same routine in the gym and neglect to train every muscle group, you are eventually creating muscular imbalances and increasing the strain on your joints.

How do I prevent this condition?

The key is to limit arm isolation exercises and opt for full body exercises. Ditch single joint workouts like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks and shoulder flies. Instead, work on your push-ups, pull-ups and bodyweight rows once your elbows are feeling slightly better.

How can I train around it?

The first thing to avoid would be exercises that cause pain and extreme elbow extension when locking. reduce the weight you’re lifting and perform slower “negative” reps.

For pain relief, make use of a massage ball to roll over the forearm and surrounding tissues. It also aids in releasing tension in the triceps tendon which connects to the elbow.

Elbow pain doesn’t necessarily mean weak elbows, your best bet is to identify the underlying cause and practice several of these strategies to keep you training longer and harder. If your elbow pain is severe or worsening, it is always worth to consult a physical therapist first.

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