Ouch! Are your elbows making you gloomy? Well, you are not alone. Every day, millions of repetitive task hand workers suffer from elbow pain. Lateral epicondylitis (the medical term for elbow pain) affects men more than women. It mostly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, although people of any age can be affected.
This pain is often referred to as tennis or golfer's elbow. You guessed it...this is a common injury for golf and tennis players. According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 50 percent of tennis players suffer from elbow tendonitis. This condition is caused by pain in the elbow due to overuse of the arm, forearm, wrist and hand muscles.
Tennis/golfer's elbow can be caused by:
This injury isn't limited to the likes of Serena Williams and Tiger Woods.
Elbow pain is also common for those who work in jobs that require repetitive arm or grip movements, such as woodworking and desk work. The other is weightlifting.
If every time you raise your hand, your elbow feels like someone is lighting a match, it's probably because of these eight weightlifting mistakes.
Mistake #1: Bad Technique or Form
If you cringe at the thought of shaking hands or turning a doorknob, this is probably why. Most elbow pain is caused by incorrect technique or form when lifting weights.
The bench press is the primary exercise for most of them to develop the tennis/golfer's elbow. For example, too many people treat the bench press as a 400-meter relay. They drop the weight too quickly, causing the weight to bounce off the chest. Lifting weights this way puts undue stress on the wrists, forearms, and of course, the elbows.
The main reason they lift weights so fast is that they want to get as many reps as possible or lift as much weight as possible (this is discussed in the next weightlifting mistake). While there's nothing wrong with a quick lift, pushing it to the point of ignoring proper form can cause problems...elbow problems.
Eventually, your elbow (and shoulder and forearm joints) can become weak and inflamed. This is why proper technique must always be practiced when lifting weights.
Mistake 2: Lifting too hard
How can you lift a whale when your joints only have the strength to lift a dolphin?
This is a problem that many people show at the gym. Whenever one makes mistake #1, it is likely that the weight is too heavy. Even if you use the right technique, excess weight can put a lot of stress on your elbow joints. However, elbow problems occur primarily because loads exceed their current strength levels.
A lot of people do this when doing bench presses or bicep curls. They will arch their backs to help lift heavy objects. This is wrong, wrong, wrong! Not only can this hurt your elbows, it can also strain your lower back. Unless you want to walk like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I suggest you stop doing it. Better yet, lighten the weight to avoid this mistake as well as mistake #1.
Mistake #3: Going too fast
When it comes to exercise, progress is the name of the game. No man (or woman) wants to lift a 3-pound pink dumbbell forever, right? Sometimes, not progress is progress. What? ! ? Here's why it works: Your joints take longer to gain strength than your muscles. That being said, if you try to add weight (progress) too quickly, your joints will suffer, especially the elbows.
This mistake usually happens to people who have been lifting weights for at least 3 years. Even if they avoid mistakes #2 and #3, the elasticity of their elbow joints will eventually diminish when the weight becomes unbearable. That's why it's best to progress slowly by using weights until your joints are strong enough to handle it. In some cases, you may need to lower the weight until your joints have fully recovered.
Mistake #4: Bench Pressing Too Much
You may have noticed that the main focus of this article is on one exercise: the bench press. It seems like every man and his dad compliments the bench press every time they hit the gym. The bench press is a great compound exercise because it works and strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps so well. However, some people do too much action. Let me put it another way, most people do this move too much. The result is pain in the upper body joints, especially the elbows.
Answer: If he wears elbow pads or shoulder straps. Go figure it out! Prolonged bench presses can eventually lead to chronic inflammation of the elbow joint, leading men to use the elbow belt to relieve pain when lifting weights. That's fine, but guess what? Once those elbow wraps fell off, it was back in the city of pain. If the bench press is giving you problems with your elbows, use the dumbbell chest press instead. You can work the same muscles while reducing the pressure on your elbows.
Mistake #5: Doing Arm Isolation Exercises Too Often
It seems that people who are equally obsessed with the bench press also enjoy doing arm isolation exercises (eg, bicep curls, tricep stretches, etc.). Most arm isolation exercises put a lot of pressure on the elbows. Too many men overdo these types of exercises, leading to tennis elbow. For some exercise classes, it's best to skip arm isolation exercises for the elbows.
Mistake #6: Neither stretching nor warming up the elbows and wrists
Not stretching or heating your joints is asking for an injury. Like the socks and shorts preached by your former elementary gym teacher, stretching is basic. Warming up before exercise relaxes the joints, which reduces the chance of elbow problems.
If you've developed tennis elbow, the first thing you need to do is stretch your wrist flexion-extension joint 4-5 times a day; it should stay at the stretch point and not the pain point.
Mistake #7: Not getting enough OMEGA-3 fatty acids
This entire article focuses on exercise, but nutrition also plays a role in joint health. Eating moderate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can reduce muscle and joint inflammation. You can get this important nutrient by taking fish oil supplements or by actually eating fish. Aim to eat fish rich in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids about 2 to 3 times a week.
Here are some fish that meet these requirements:
- wild salmon
- lake trout
Mistake #8: Not listening to your body
This last error is probably the main reason for your "Ouch!" Bend your elbows each time. While most women deal with the injury right away, most men tend to ignore it, like an expired credit card bill. These people are bench press addicts. The men arched their backs higher than the McDonald's logo in order to lift something too heavy for them. These "elbow-wrapped" men are destined to make their tennis elbow worse.
When lifting weights, not listening to your body is probably the worst thing you can do. If you don't know, here are a few things: Not every exercise is right for everyone. While an exercise is good for one person, it can cause joint pain in another. When it comes to exercising, there's nothing more important than feeling your muscles work. If you feel like your muscles aren't working, here's what happens:
you did the wrong exercise (i.e. incorrect form) or Your anatomy is not suitable for that kind of exercise
While exercise techniques can be repaired, you cannot repair the structure of your body. Some people just don't feel the effect of the bench press on the chest, but experience shoulder pain. Conversely, others felt their chests were stimulated without any shoulder discomfort. If you experience pain in your elbow or any other joint, it is best to stop the exercise.
Hopefully, if you have elbow pain, you've stopped making some or all of these eight mistakes. Just because you have elbow pain doesn't mean you were born with "bad" elbows. Rather, it's about taking the necessary steps to make sure you're fit enough to lift weights. If your elbow pain is so severe that you can barely lift your arm, seek medical help as soon as possible. There is no elbow wrap in the world that solves this problem.