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What Is Lifter’s Elbow?

What Is Lifter’s Elbow?


It is no secret that if you are lifting weights of any sort, you will deal with some aches and pains. They key is to recognize those aches and pains as they occur and deal with them accordingly, so they do not get worse as time goes on. Many times, people will just “push through”, resulting in an even more severe situation than originally thought.


When it comes to the elbows, many weightlifters experience so discomfort, especially over time. If your elbow is not really functional and it pops and cracks more than anything else, you got some issues going on. Many have heard the term “tennis elbow”, well there is also a thing called “lifter’s elbow”.


Lifter’s elbow occurs from some unlikely culprits. Many assume that if the elbow is involved, it has to do just simply do with the bending of an elbow over time. This is true to an extent, but other facets come into play.


Grip, believe it or not, can cause an elbow to go haywire. If you have a weak grip this can cause pain in the elbow, especially during press or pull movements. A good test would be trying to carry half your body weight in each hand 15 meters. If you cannot accomplish this, your grip needs work. Also, false gripping the bar can also wreak havoc on an elbow. False gripping is when the lifter does not wrap their thumb(s) around the bar and pinches the weight between their 4 fingers and palms. The issue with false gripping is it restricts the amount of muscle fibers that are engaged in the arms, thus causing a lot of unneeded stress on the wrists and elbows.


Another culprit to having lifter’s elbow is doing too many lifts with a pronated (overhand) or supinated (underhand) grip. Many folks use these grips when doing bicep curls, pull-ups, and even deadlifts. Resorting to what is called a neutral grip (where palms are facing each other or inward) can help with this issue. So instead of doing regular bicep curls with a supinated grip, or pulls ups and deadlifts with a pronated grip, find some way of switching it up and going neutral on your gripping.


The elbows are very important to any weightlifter. Taking care of them if crucial to continued progress in virtually any lift done in our outside the gym.


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