elbow pain weight lifting


As a 14 year certified personal fitness, I’ve seen it all in the weight room.

From people who have just stepped inside a gym for the first time in their life to gym rats who basically live there 7 days a week.

It’s no surprise to me when I hear people complaining about elbow pain when lifting weights.

The first thing to take into consideration is, are you lifting too much weight?

People who just start out in the gym are famous for lifting too much weight.

As a result, your form becomes very bad you put too much pressure on your joints, especially the elbow joint.

The second thing to look at is, do you experience elbow pain when performing certain exercises.

Is your elbow pain immediate when performing the exercise or is it the day after?

You really need to figure out the exact source of your elbow pain if you want any chance of getting rid of it.

It’s been my experience that the majority of elbow pain related problems from lifting weights occurs when people are doing bicep or tricep exercises.

To be more specific, do you experience pain on the inside or outside of your elbow when performing bicep curls using dumbbells?

How about when you perform single overheard tricep presses with a dumbbell?

Bicep and tricep exercises that incorporate dumbbells are notorious for causing elbow problems simply because you have a larger range of motion using dumbbells as opposed to using barbells.

If you hold a dumbbell in your hand and curl it, your elbow is able to rotate freely which puts you at risk of injury.

Now if your form is terrible and have to swing the dumbbell to curl it and get it up, then this again puts you at risk because your elbow is loaded – then you swing the dumbbell which unloads the elbow and  – then you take the slack again at the top of the curl which loads the elbow.

Anywhere along this swing path, your elbow is susceptible to injury as the tendons and ligaments experience extreme stress and strain.

When it comes to performing overhead tricep presses with a dumbbell, if you are using bad form or too much weight, your elbow can become injured.

I see this a lot in the gym where people are using way too much weight when they should really be focusing on their form and not the amount of weight they are using.

Again, your elbow is able to rotate and when it gets pushed to the rotation limit, something gives and it’s usually a tendon that starts to tear.

This brings me to my last point.  The most common elbow injury experienced by people who lift weights is an injury called tennis elbow.

I know what you are thinking…but I don’t play tennis.

The name tennis elbow is derived from the very first elbow injury which was reported by a tennis player, so the term stuck.

Tennis elbow is an overuse and repetitive strain injury that affects millions of people every year all around the world.

95% of all reported cases of tennis elbow come from non-tennis players.

It affects everyone from manual laborers, to cooks, painters, construction workers, plumbers, business people and yes people who lift weights!

So now you know what to look out for when you are in the gym lifting weights.

Avoid dumbbells as much as possible and stick to barbells.

Barbells will actually help minimize your range of motion and not put you at risk of developing elbow pain.

If you’re like me, you love hitting the gym.  But there is nothing worse than when your elbow hurts doing bicep curls and you can’t get that pump that you’ve been looking forward too!

So what’s the deal?  Why is it that your elbow aches and pains when you do bicep curls, especially with dumbbells?

For many guys, it’s a matter of using too much weight.

You need to gradually work your way up to heavier weight.

You can’t just walk into a gym for the first time and start doing bicep curls with 50lb dumbbells.

If you are an experienced “gym rat”, then you may have noticed that your elbow discomfort started out as a dull aching pain but has now developed into a stage that just gripping the dumbbells to do bicep curls, even with 20lbs, is terribly painful.

The best explanation as to why your elbow hurts doing bicep curls and your elbow sore to touch is that you’ve suffered a small tear in your extensor tendon which attaches at your elbow.

The small dull pain that you experienced maybe months ago was a small tear that was developing.

Overtime, the tear gets larger as you continue working out especially with dumbbells.

The reason that doing bicep curls with dumbbells can actually make your elbow hurt even more is because when you use them you have a greater range of motion, not to mention you need to very strong grip.

When you get to the 7th, 8th or 9th rep, you bicep starts to fatigue and your form is compromised.

This puts your elbow at risk of further injury as you grip harder on the dumbbell plus you will most likely start to swing and heave the weight.

The actual name of the injury where you have elbow pain on the outside of your elbow from bicep curls is tennis elbow.

Despite the fact that you suffered your injury in the gym, it is called tennis elbow for the simple fact that the first ever reported case was by a tennis player.

So what to do?  You still want to hit the gym but without elbow pain, right?

Luckily you can IF you start an easy, in home tennis elbow treatment program that has been proven over and over again to help people recover from tennis elbow fast.

If you want to continue weight lifting while at the same time treating your elbow pain, watch this short video tutorial that will do the trick for you.


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