Whether you are a competitive athlete or just want to stay in shape, arm resistance training should be a key component to your workout .
Muscle growth isn’t achieved overnight. Muscle growth requires a repeating process of micro trauma and then a healing phase to gain strength and mass (if that is your goal). Minor micro trauma is a part of the training process, however during this time you may be at risk for greater injury.
Weightlifting, specifically for the arms, can stress tendons and joints connecting the upper arm and forearm. When that happens, you may experience elbow pain.
Severe elbow pain not only hampers your weightlifting routine, it may force you to stop due to lingering discomfort or even intense pain. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid getting elbow pain from weightlifting.
Here are a few tips that can help you avoid elbow pain during your lifting routine:
- Try a lower number of sets and repetitions when starting an arm workout
Your arm workouts do not require a lot of sets and repetitions, especially when just starting out. When scheduled to do arm workouts, minimize the number of sets and repetitions to prevent excessive stress on your elbow. As you gain more strength over time, you can add in more sets and heavier resistance.
- Mix in lighter weights
You don’t need to use extremely heavy weights each workout. Even 15-20 lb. dumbbells can provide the desired fit and flex with additional sets and repetitions. Switch back and forth between heavier resistance workouts with less reps and sets to lighter resistance workouts with more reps and sets.
- Try to avoid doing the “Dead Hang Position” for Pull-ups and Lateral Pull-downs
Those who perform pull-ups/lateral pull-downs often extend their arms straight and let it stay for a few seconds before doing another repetition. While this allows for a better stretch, it puts a lot of stress on the elbows. Avoid doing this and, instead, focus on executing a better form.
- Go to the gym three to four times a week
You don’t need to hit the gym every day in order for you to achieve your fitness goals. Give your body time to heal. Studies have shown going to the gym three times a week is more than enough for your muscles to grow and stay fit. Your elbows will benefit from getting breaks in between, as there is less chance for stress to build up.
Don’t let pain stop you from achieving your fitness goals. However, if you follow these tips, you can avoid elbow pain altogether. If you are experiencing lingering elbow pain, you may require additional treatment to encourage proper repair of tears or tendon issues. Give us a call to book a no obligation appointment. We’re here to help.