Weak elbows

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    I’ve been making backward progress with this excercise thing lately due to my elbows – they really hurt after just one or two pull ups. But… if I ignore the pain I can keep going for maybe 10 more…

    I’m wondering if it is better to not do the excercise and let the elbows be themselves for a bit or whether it is better to keep plugging away at it and hope it goes away.

    What do you knowledgeable folks think?


    let them get better, you do not want tendinitis otherwise that will cost 6 weeks of downtime. Ice them 20 min at a time often. Where is your pain?


    It’s inside the ‘groove’ around the outside of the elbow. Seems to be the same spot that gets sore after extended mousing sessions (I work with computers).

    Ice helps – it’s usually feeling ok by the next day as long as I don’t use the mouse allot as well.

    Could you maybe sugest me some other arm excercises that don’t load the elbow?

    My leg work is on hold due to a bad knee (mri results soon) and if I can’t work my arms either I’m fast running out of exercises I can do…


    I would ice 3 times a day every day for 2 weeks then use the arms again. Any pain with push ups?


    when you get better you may want to skip the day 1 pull ups till you are 100 %

    you may even find you progress faster with pulls 2 times a week


    I’ve been fighting the urge to reply to this.

    There could be a bunch of possibilities. Go see a Doctor.

    Carpel Tunnel?

    Pinched nerve in shoulder from bursitis there?

    Pinched nerve or referred pain from disc problems in neck or back?

    Nerve damage in hand causing you to call on the wrong muscles for wrist support?

    Good luck and keep us posted.


    Yeah, VBM is right get it checked by a doc.


    Wow, thanks! That wikipedia link is most interesting.

    It could well be a carpel tunnel like problem – I have real Carpel Tunnel problems in my wrist and other RSI injuries in my hands which of the reasons for beginning an excercise program in the first place – these only appear to recover with strenuous use in a different loading to the movements that caused the problem.

    I’m pretty sure however that this particular issue is actually in the elbow – I can make my self jump through the roof by pressing on one particular spot.

    I like the idea of reducing the pull ups to less frequent work outs – that seems like it may have a reasonable chance of helping.

    Push-ups are not so bad, but they also cause some pain.

    Eventually I will get to a doc, for the moment though it has to get in line – I’m already seeing the doc about 2 other problems and there is only so much time I can take off work to visit doctors/hospitals. I’ll do my best for now.

    V_man: I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out I was calling on the wrong muscles – after all pullups are easier if I do them with my legs out in front of me :/

    Thanks again for the links and ideas!


    This has been my personal experience

    if you take 2 weeks off of arms and ice you will probably be fine, you will not lose muscle or strength may come back even stronger. This is the way to go imho.

    if you keep pushing and get full blown tendinitis you will be out for 6 weeks and will lose considerable strength and muscle. I have done this 2 times and it sucks.

    My 2 cents


    I’ll give it a try… although I know I’m gonna miss the workouts. Maybe I can do some situps and crunches in the mean time to tide me over…


    don’t forget squats and planks ;)



    Just some offline advice from a PA. We are called Physician Associates/Assistants. Tendonitis sounds like a real possibility. Especially what your describing.

    Basically this is an inflammation of a tendon and because of the swelling can cause all the symptoms your having.

    Typically this is caused by repetitive use. Sometimes you can get a bursitis in that area caused by chronic pressure (such as computer work leaning your elbow on the rest). Can’t rule out Carpal Tunnel either.

    If you have pain with pullups and you are new to the game it is recommended you absolutely STOP what you are doing until a physician checks you out. It looks like you have a complex medical history and should be investigated before you take this on. There are other more serious things that should be ruled out too.

    Its very possible you will need to do physical therapy and light/moderate stretching before you move into this program. You may need to begin with stretch band type workouts and progress from there.

    This isn’t a bad thing. Right now your body is telling you it has problems. You must fix them first or risk serious injury. Let your Doctor and a physical therapist evaluate you first.

    These are problems we see in America today with sedentariasm (think i just made that word up) and obesity.

    Another important subject is ergonimics. Depending on how your setup when you work on your computers it can cause you some real problems. If your Company doesn’t evaluate ergonomics it’s recommended you look it up and find out proper positioning when you type. I can’t tell you how much this has helped our people in my organization.

    Anyway. My 2 cents. But the primary thing is GO SEE THE DOC!

    Take care.


    Hey Bri – thanks.

    I went through about 2 years of every test you can imagine for the wrist and finger problems and the end result – we don’t know, do what seems to help. So, yeah my desk is now as good as I can get.

    But yeah, I’ll be going back to get some MRI results from an injured knee next week and I’ll probably try and mention it then.

    FWIW I did stop about a week ago and t is improving with daily icing… it would work better if I could stop using the computer too… but yeah, that’s the money source so heh. ah well.


    Thought you guys might like to know my elbow is improving well, I’ve been picking up a little exercise here and there (a pull up or two every couple of days) and am going to slowly work my way back into it.

    Maybe in a couple of months I’ll be back to doing simplefit :D

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