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Old 06-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Default Elbow pain

A couple months back, my bench went to hell. It started with my left elbow giving out even at 185 pounds and dropping down. I worked and worked with my technique, but it wasn't being fixed. Then somewhere around that time I believe I messed it up more by doing skullcrushers. Felt some pain, and still moved up the weight because I'm young and dumb. It hurt even more so I stopped the exercise...

Then I got to where even 135 pounds on the bench would hurt my left elbow. I talked to a physical therapist and he thought I might have tendonitis so he gave me some stretches to do that he believed would help. Maybe the have a little bit. I can bench 135 pain free. I even got to where my benching is easier(improved technique thanks to EliteFTS videos), yet my elbow was still giving way. I can military press pain free. I can clean pain free. Shoot, I can do anything pain free except any type of horizontal pressing. Dips, bench press, and any single joint tricep movement still hurts even after taking three weeks off of horizontal pressing.

Sometimes, like right now, my elbow hurts. I know, it sounds like I'm being a bitch about it. Maybe I am. I just don't want to mess up my elbow even worse. I'm a pianist- I kind of need healthy elbows. Any help? I'd like to be able to bench press more than 135 again.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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you have to let tendonitis heal and it can take a long time i would stop using it for training stick to fly's and pushups for a while to maintain chest while your elbow heals up, I hurt mine bad doing dips once took over a month to heal
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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Get to a physio (Physical Therapist)

Avoid extending elbow excessively (I.E. Don't do 100s of push ups or presses)

Ice..Ice..Ibuprofen...Baby!

Good Luck! Elbow injuries are no fun, but need to heal before you return to heavy benching.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
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I once had very bad tendinitis in both elbows. I believe mine could be contributed to a lot of over-focus on chest and too much direct arm work.

Mine went away when I dropped my direct arm work substantially and really focused on bringing my back strength up. Not saying this is going to be the same case for you, but my point is that you should try to balance your training as much as possible if not already doing so. This will only help in the long run.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, guys. Here's what my training has been for upper body these past few weeks of omitting the bench press:

Military press, behind the neck push press, curl to press, curls, hang cleans, dumbbell rows, and face pulls. I don't think I've done any other upper body exercises than that. None of them bother me one bit. What do you all think?

The only time my elbow pain flares up is if I accidentally just fling it excessively hard during any activity- like sitting down or walking or if I lay on it too long at night. That's about it. I just pressed weight over my head approximately 60 reps today pretty heavy through means of barbells and dumbbells and my elbow feels great if that gives any more perspective.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
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I think it's the piano. Knock that stuff off...lol.J/k If military press is O.K. on the elbow, but bench is not, I would assume that your elbow position is not the same during the press. During bench, are you flaring at the bottom of the lift or tucking? You should tuck your elbow at about a 45 degree angle from your body at the bottom of the lift. If you haven't been doing this, try it. Hope it helps. If not, I would say stop doing any lifting that aggravates the elbow until it's healed.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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I tuck, maybe not enough, maybe too much. I'm going to try to bench sometime soon. Probably next Wednesday. I won't go over 155 and see how it goes. If I recall, that's where it started to hurt last time I benched. (Well, 135 started to, but 155 really hurt) On a positive note if I didn't already post this above, about 8 reps on cable pushdowns set on 4 at my gym used to hurt. After my pressing today, I did 25 reps nonstop at the same level and it felt great. I think that's a good sign.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:42 AM   #8
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For me whenever my elbows flare up it's indicative of too much or poor Squat form.

Often times the bar will roll a little on the way back up, or out of the rack for a Squat. Even if the bar rolls a little, you're looking at quite a lot of weight rolling back and being supported by your elbows. It almost always contributes to elbow pain for me.

I would reduce your pressing and squatting volume considerably for a couple of weeks and during that period concentrate your efforts on gaining flexibility in your shoulders and upper back/thoracic region.

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Old 06-26-2012, 06:28 PM   #9
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I once had tendonitis of the elbow. It was no fun. Pain was awful. Rest helped me get it healed. I feel for you man, hope you get better soon.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #10
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Benched some weight for the first time in a few weeks today. Went up to 165 for 3x3. My elbow feels fine, the weight went up easily, and I have no complaints. My chest seems a bit weaker, and I could certainly feel it burning because I haven't even hit my chest in around a month.
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