The cause of pain inside and outside the elbow comes normally from a too strong or wrong mechanical strain caused by strength training or other sports that require repetitive patterns of movement.
These are classical physical problems in relation with tennis or golf, however, they are also present whenever you have a continual strain on your sinews and muscles of your elbow joint.
According to the respective sports certain patterns of activity are necessary and consequently cause different signs of wear and tear on the joints.
In this article you will receive information on what causes a tennis and golfer’s elbow (elbow problems or lifter’s elbow) and in what way they may result from strength training.
You will also obtain information on how to prevent these problems/complaints and how to „eliminate“ them.
A german version of this article can be found here.
The tennis elbow
According to the respective literature a tennis elbow is an epicondylitis humeri radialis. It is a painful irritation oft the tendon attachments of the muscles of the forearm. A tennis elbow generally generates the following problems:
- The outer side oft he elbow hurts; frequently in direction towards the wrist;
- The pain can also be felt when there is pressure on it;
- When clenching the fist pain may occur;
- When grasping physical objects you feel pain;
- There may be pain when the wrist is extended;
The „the golfer’s elbow“
Depending on the respective literature a „golf arm“ is an Epicondylitis humeri ulnaris. The main difference between a tennis arm and a golfer’s arm consist in the fact that the pains are felt on the inside of the elbow.
Both inflammations actually have almost the same name. Only the last word differs. Epicondylitis humeri RADIALIS („tennis arm“) vs. epicondylitis humeri ULNARIS (golfer’s elbow).
A complicated topic explained in a simple way
In the anatomy radialis means „in relation to the spoke“. Your forearm consists of two bones, ulna and radius (spoke bone and ell bone). Therefore ulnaris means = „with regard to the ell“.
It is easy to distinguish a tennis elbow from a golfer’s elbow from where the pain is: on the inside or on the outside oft he elbow. Comparing both we must say that the tennis elbow is much more frequent that a golfer’s elbow.
Why round is better than straight
Strength training can produce pain on the elbow as well as on the wrist due to the use of barbells as their grips are supinated. And this effect is often intensified by an additional increase in weight.
If you want to refresh your knowledge as far as the position (grip) at he handle is concerned then you may read my article: Gym-Deutsch; Deutsch-Gym Teil I.
You may also reduce the strength of your neuromuscular system by bending your wrists. If you are not in a position to grasp the barbell with one fist, the result is that there is more mechanical weight on your joints.
As far as your arms are concerned this would be the elbows and your shoulder joint. Generally the bar grips are straight and you don’t have the possibility to grasp them with your fist. However, there is a simple but ingenious solution: the GLOBE GRIPZ.
GLOBE GRIPZ – the ultimate workout tool?
If you happen to read my blog regularly, then you will certainly know what FAT GRIPZ and FAT GRIPZ EXTREME are.
Both are grip attachments for barbells made of rubber which considerably increase the diameter oft he bar. This results in an increased recruitment of muscle fibres.
If you are not familiar with the FAT GRIPZ you may inform yourself about it and other useful training tools in my article Wie du – im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes – Schwäche einfach „in den Griff“ bekommst. (How to overcome weakness).
There is a problem with Fat Grips. They are not round. For fist grip, however, you need round grips. The GLOBE GRIPS provide you with an ingenious solution as you can use them with any normal bar or rope. With a diameter of 73 mm the blue GG have the size of a tennis ball. The smaller pink ones have a diameter of 63 mm and fit especially for smaller hands.
Training with the Globe Gripz provide the following advantages:
- They reduce mechanical weights when lifting
- Provide variation when training and result in constant progress
- A better distribution of the load in your hand
- Improvement of your grip strength
- They are a specific training (e.g.: „pitching-grip“) at sports
- There is an extra size for ladies
Get yours under: www.globegripz.com
The inventor oft he Globe Gripz is Matt „Gym Professor“ Bembridge from England. Matt also invented the Deadlift Deadener. The Deadlift Deadener is an ingenious training tool which you may use when deadlifting.
You may get more information on the Deadlift Deadener in my article: DEADLIFT DEADENER – Die clevere Art des Kreuzhebens or in our shop: http://www.bernd-stoesslein.de/shop/
An advice which you may put into practice at once
If you suffer from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow you may do something to improve your situation by changing your grip positions from pronated and supinated to neutral. Instructions as far as all angular positions are concerned can be found here (german).
So you may change from a classical barbell bench pressing to a bench pressing with a camber- or football bar. If your studio is not equipped with such bars, then choose a neutral short bar bench pressing with an angle of 42° (torso – elbow).
This also applies to behind the neck pressing in a standing / sitting position. If you have, however, a Power Rack then you could – for a change – use a hex bar when neck pressing.
The most important thing when training is that one does not get hurt; that means training according to the motto: “I will kill myself“ is definitely the wrong attitude. So it is always important to keep in mind that one should be training to become better and improve.
This, however, can’t be at the expenses of health. One should also always remember not to wear and tear your muscles, sinews and bones. Tennis elbows and golfer’s elbows are frequent with people who „take to the iron“.
As to stop training is no option I do recommend to integrate Globe Gripz into your training as they solve various problems at the same time. They may relieve problems with your wrist/elbow joint with the help of an ergonomic (round grip) and with the help of an enlarged cross section you may recruit more muscle fibers and increase your grip strength.
What is your favorite grip position?
Do you change you grip position and exercises regularly?
Leave us a comment.