How To Relieve Elbow Pain – Detailed Examination

December 10, 2021 0 Comments


Pretty much anyone who lifts weights for a long period of time will experience elbow pain at some stage. This comes in the form of elbow tendonitis. It can be tennis elbow which causes pain around the outside of the elbow, or it can be golfer’s elbow. Golfer’s elbow is where you will experience the pain around the inside of the elbow. Both forms of tendonitis are painful and can interfere with your weight training workouts as well as everyday life. I experienced elbow pain myself recently and it is has been fixed in the space of a week. This article will explore how to relieve elbow pain so that you can enjoy bodybuilding without it being a hindrance.

elbow pain

Warming Up Properly

To start with I am going to talk about the importance of warming up thoroughly during your workouts. When performing bench presses for example, make sure you perform lots of warm up sets with lighter weights before getting to your top set. This serves to get the blood flowing to your muscles and acclimate your elbows ready for the top heavy set.

By warming up thoroughly it reduces your chances of developing elbow tendonitis. In my case for example, when I was doing shoulder presses recently I didn’t warm up enough and had some elbow pain after the last heavy set. It really is paramount to ensure you do adequate warm ups on all exercises.

Working Triceps From Different Angles

Doing a high volume of tricep work every week can increase the risk of developing tendonitis through overuse. To minimise the chances of getting elbow pain the best way is to cycle the tricep accessory exercises that you perform every week or two. This reduces the risk of overuse injuries. For instance, if you perform heavy dumbbell Tate presses every week, consider doing Tate presses every other week. Incorporate a different tricep exercise in the spaces between like a rolling extension or overhead cable pushdown. Working the triceps regularly from different angles helps to keep your elbows healthy and more pain free over the long term.

This is the reason why I regularly switch the accessory movements I do. Some weeks I do rolling dumbbell extensions, other weeks I do rope overhead extensions from a kneeling position. I also utilise cable pushdowns with different attachments to keep things fresh in my training and my elbows healthy.

kneeling tricep extensions

Resistance Band Tricep Work On Off Days

A great way to prevent the risk of elbow tendonitis is to do tricep work with resistance bands once or twice a week on days off from the gym. This also helps to speed up recovery if you are already suffering from elbow pain. I have mentioned in many previous posts how great resistance bands are. They really are a necessary tool to supplement your workouts and take your training to higher levels. They will also relieve your elbow pain.

From home on my off days I attach a light resistance band to a door anchor and do multiple sets of high rep pushdowns with a fast tempo on every rep. I then do high rep kneeling overhead pushdowns to really get an insane pump. After this I stand on the band and do a high rep set of hammer curls. Doing this once or twice a week on rest days is very therapeutic for the elbows and helps to keep them healthy.

If you don’t have any resistance bands at the moment and want to find a good set to use then check out my post on resistance bands HERE

band extensions

Elbow Sleeves

Another great way to relieve elbow pain and to prevent tendonitis in the first place is to wear elbow sleeves when performing pressing movements. This makes a massive difference and is something that I have done recently. On movements like bench presses, shoulder presses and tricep work I wear the sleeves.

I have also found that wearing elbow sleeves makes you slightly stronger on your benching and improves the mechanics slightly. You have added support and it helps to keep your elbows as healthy as possible. This is definitely something that I would recommend. If you perform regular close grip bench pressing and go heavy then the sleeves would be even more useful. Close grip benching is far more tricep dominant and can place greater stress on the elbows as a result.

elbow sleeves

Open Hand Training

Open hand training can relieve elbow pain very well. A good tool for this are ripper bands, these are rubber bands of varying tensions that you put between your fingers and thumb. You then just open your hands against the resistance of the bands, perform this for high reps for a great pump. This will develop the forearm extensors at the same time. Very often in weight training the forearms extensors are heavily overused and you need to balance this out with open hand training.

Not only can this relieve tendonitis in the elbows but it also prevents tendonitis when done regularly. Weak forearm extensors can result in an increased likelihood of elbow pain.

ripper bands


To conclude, in this article I have discussed how to relieve elbow pain and also ways to prevent elbow tendonitis in the first place. Warming up thoroughly is the most obvious thing that you should do on all your exercises. Rotating tricep accessory movements regularly is also crucial in working your triceps from lots of different angles and preventing overuse injuries. Tricep training using resistance bands on your off days is a fantastic way to relieve elbow pain and it is also thereapeutic for the elbows. In addition, it keeps your elbows healthy long term. Elbow sleeves are something that you should consider if you perform pressing movements fairly heavy on a consistent basis. Not only can they improve the mechanics of these movements, they allow you to feel stronger and reduces the risk of suffering from elbow pain. Lastly, open hand training is important for strengthening the forearm extensors and reducing the likelihood of elbow pain.

If you have any questions on anything I have touched on in this article, please leave me a comment below. I would love to answer your questions and engage in meaningful discussions with you. As always stay safe and enjoy your training!

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