Elbow tendonitis is a condition where the tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. The tendons connect the muscle to the bone and when these thick fibrous cords become irritated, it usually results in pain and tenderness around the elbow joint that can last for a very long time. The best thing to do is to avoid elbow tendonitis altogether, but when you do have it and you need to keep working or want to keep working out then you need to work around the issue, that’s where I come in with a workaround.
The three exercises I will cover are:
1) Hammer Curl
The Hammer Curl is best performed with a dumbbell but it’s also possible with a light kettlebell. The Hammer Curl is good to remove work by the Brachioradialis and Supinator for forearm supination, both have tendons connected around the elbow area. If you feel pain when performing the action of forearm supination and pronation, you know that you need to remove that action from your work. If it’s not the case, but you feel problems in the elbow area when curling weight, then it could be related to wrist flexion. The muscles involved in wrist flexion are the flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus, and flexor digitorum superficialis.
The row can be a Bent-over Row or any other variation with one or two dumbbells, kettlebells, or with a barbell. The key is to take out any elbow flexion with the movement and let the forearm be as relaxed as possible. This is actually a requirement for any row as the target muscles are in the back and not the arm, so, realistically, you are discovering that you might not be doing the exercise in the most efficient way. Elbow flexion involves the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis, if you’re having issues with the first two, you’ll feel it more on the bottom part of your arm near the elbow, if the latter, then it’s the upper part of the arm toward the back. The intention of a row is to tax the posterior head of the deltoid, latissimus dorsi, teres major, the long head of the triceps brachii, and pectoralis major.
The row can also be performed with a Rowing Machine as covered in this article.
The pull-up is a wide overhand grip, but not too wide as that would transfer the work more toward the middle back and also isn’t very effective with taking out the muscles that we want to. This one is all about MMC (mind-muscle connection) and your objective is to focus on the lats and remove the work from the elbow flexors. I’ve covered the muscles responsible for elbow flexion, it’s the same here, and the same reason you want to remove them from the exercise and focus on the following muscles. For scapula depression, trapezius, serratus anterior, and pectoralis minor. For shoulder adduction, latissimus dorsi, teres major, pectoralis major, coracobrachialis, and the long head of the triceps brachii.
These are just a few things you can use for a workaround, and as explained, what you use will depend on where the problem lies. If you’ve not seen the video at the top of the page make sure to check that out before you go, and if you want to prevent kettlebell training injuries, then make sure to spend a few dollars and buy the book below to save thousands.