3 ways to improve beat up elbows

The amount of abuse Crossfitter’s put their elbows through is often incredibly underrated. Picking up heavy objects, pressing overhead, pull ups all cumulatively add to the stress on the elbow joint.

Using a lacrosse ball or a golf ball to perform self-myofascial on the flexors or extensors of your wrist will help with golfer’s (the flexors of the wrist) or tennis (the extensors) elbow.  This is a simple mobilisation that you can do pretty much anywhere. One of my favourites is using it as procrastination tool at my desk.

After a heavy pressing session I like to use a bit of passive hanging to help decompress my spine, shoulders and elbows. Two to four sets of 30-60 seconds works the best for me, play around with timings for yourself; start conservatively then build up over time

If you find your biceps are feeling pretty beat up from pull ups, deadlifts or cleans then spending some time in the German hang will help to stretch them out. The German hang is one of the best stretches for the biceps. Our biceps cross has an action at three joints, the flexion at shoulder (lifting your arm in front of you), elbow flexion and is involved in the supination of the forearm (turn your palm to the roof). In the German hang we see shoulder extension, elbow extension and forearm pronation, meaning the biceps are being stretch across all three joints. You can limit the amount of stretch by decreasing the amount of shoulder extension you go into or the amount of pronation of your forearm.

Hopefully these couple of tricks will help with general maintenance of your elbow. If it feels serious however, consult with a physiotherapist, osteopath or other musculoskeletal practitioner of your forearm.

Coach Hamish – CrossFit Hawthorn East

CrossFit Hawthorn East is a physical fitness gym close to both Camberwell and Hawthorn.  We offer group fitness classes, personal training and regular workshops.  Email info@crossfithawthorneast.com.au to book your free intro class.


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