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Old 05-24-2012, 12:21 PM   #1
Ross Hunt
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Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Hi,

I have significantly increased the frequency with which I train on rings over the course of the past month and a half. Results have been great, but my elbows have started to hurt, especially when I do ring work.

Right now I do one of the following 3 workouts each time I train:

A
Ring routine 3-4 times, including some or all of the following for about 60-150 seconds on the rings:
Muscle-Up
L-Sit
Tucked Ice Cream Makers
Tucked or advance tuck lever pulls an

B
Progressions to press to handstand (mostly straddle presses with back pressed against a wall)
Big pull-ups, low rep for maximum ROM

C
Handstand push-ups, facing wall


A and B are usually followed by olympic lifting

Follow-up edit:

The pain first manifested itself when I did back lever variations with palms up. As I read around, it seems like that is a bad idea and I should stick to palms down. Could all the back lever position work I was doing with elbows up be party of the original cause of my elbow pain? Thanks
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Last edited by Ross Hunt; 05-24-2012 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #2
Tom Burns
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Inside or outside elbow?

If it's golfers or tennis elbow, consider taking some time off. The more you push through it, the better chance you have of it becoming chronic. It's not a fun injury.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
Aushion Chatman
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Hunt View Post
Hi,

I have significantly increased the frequency with which I train on rings over the course of the past month and a half. Results have been great, but my elbows have started to hurt, especially when I do ring work.

Right now I do one of the following 3 workouts each time I train:

A
Ring routine 3-4 times, including some or all of the following for about 60-150 seconds on the rings:
Muscle-Up
L-Sit
Tucked Ice Cream Makers
Tucked or advance tuck lever pulls an

B
Progressions to press to handstand (mostly straddle presses with back pressed against a wall)
Big pull-ups, low rep for maximum ROM

C
Handstand push-ups, facing wall


A and B are usually followed by olympic lifting

Follow-up edit:

The pain first manifested itself when I did back lever variations with palms up. As I read around, it seems like that is a bad idea and I should stick to palms down. Could all the back lever position work I was doing with elbows up be party of the original cause of my elbow pain? Thanks
I had a similar issue when I started working gymnastics more and asked Coach Sommer (gymnasticbodies.com WFS) about the issue.

From what I remember (that was a few years ago), his answer was simple. Not saying this is the answer for you but it was for me:

I had neglected to go through the proper progressions and needed to concentrate on the fundamentals again.

My Ring Support wasn't up to par, he instructed me that I needed a solid RTO Support for 3x30secs with minimal rest between statics before moving on to other skills. Also the support should be felt in the biceps tendon not the back of the elbow or tricep tendons.

Then I had to work on RTO L-sits on rings...

The emphasis was on proper progressing and keeping the elbows 100% locked out so that the pressure was on the bicep in most of the statics, including the press to handstand work.

So how is your RTO Support? Can you hold it solid no elbow bend for 30 secs at a time? Can you do that in an L? After that you start to work on Ring Handstands (RTO eventually)...All of these prepare your elbows in the right progression for more volume in your training. Also don't forget to deload like you would with any other strength training program. You want periods of perceived under-stress for about a week or so, then move on to the next progressions.

Another great exercise for elbow joint prep was ring flys...You can do them from knees if you need to in the beginning, then go to full body, you can also do one arm at a time, and play with two at a time to teh side, to the front, etc...

Felt like I was rambling there..
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Last edited by Aushion Chatman; 05-24-2012 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
Donald Lee
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

It's probably not golfer's or tennis elbow, as that's caused from the forearm. It's probably a biceps tendinopathy. It is more common when you do underhand grip on the back lever, but I believe that's ultimately the correct hand position. It happened to me back when I used to train for it.

Read this (WFS):

http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/on-tendonitis/

When you get back to training the back lever, you should probably spend more time on the easier progressions.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
Ross Hunt
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Thanks for the replies.

How far do rings have to be turned out? I routinely hold a support with rings pointing slightly out, but it is hard for me to do a wide 30 degree turn-out.

About L-Sits-- I have been doing a lot of L-sits on the floor; I do these on off-days, and I spend about 4-6 minutes accumulating 1-2 minutes of sit (so much harder than even a slight elevation!).

Is there some way to do L-sits that aggravates my elbow less but preserves this level of difficulty? When I do them on the floor my shoulders are internally rotated and my elbows point straight out. Do I need to just minimize volume on these until I can do them on rings, RTO?
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Hunt View Post
Thanks for the replies.

How far do rings have to be turned out? I routinely hold a support with rings pointing slightly out, but it is hard for me to do a wide 30 degree turn-out.

About L-Sits-- I have been doing a lot of L-sits on the floor; I do these on off-days, and I spend about 4-6 minutes accumulating 1-2 minutes of sit (so much harder than even a slight elevation!).

Is there some way to do L-sits that aggravates my elbow less but preserves this level of difficulty? When I do them on the floor my shoulders are internally rotated and my elbows point straight out. Do I need to just minimize volume on these until I can do them on rings, RTO?
Like Donald said it could be the biceps tendon...which is what it was for me, it wasn't properly prepared.

If you are getting 15-45 degrees of turn-out you should be okay, eventually I would personally work on getting to 30 degrees though.

L-sits on the floor are a different animal, they are the hardest variation of L-sit, but don't offer what you need for your bicep tendon work. I would take it to the rings and work on RTO L-sits. Then start working handstands on rings (if your handstand on floor is solid).

If the tendon is fired up you probably just need to rest, and do some deep tissue work on your forearms, bi's and tri's.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:03 AM   #7
Ross Hunt
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Ok, thanks.

What exercises can I work on while I am using RTO supports and skin-the-cats to bring my biceps tendon strength up to an acceptable level?

Do the following exercises fit the bill (less biceps tendon loading)?

Front lever progression on bar
Press to Handstand Progression on floor (straddle press negs with back pressed against wall)
L-sit on floor
Big pull-ups on bar
Headstand Push-ups

I would alternate workouts involving these exercises with workouts that include the following exercises that do load and develop the biceps tendon:

RTO support
German hang
Muscle-ups (low volume)
Handstand on rings (eventually, if I can)

How does that sound?
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
Ross Hunt
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Another, simpler way to ask this is:


What strength work can I do without putting undue strain on my biceps tendon while I am developing the biceps tendon conditioning to allow me to do the cool stuff?

Can I do front lever and planche progressions?
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross Hunt View Post
Another, simpler way to ask this is:


What strength work can I do without putting undue strain on my biceps tendon while I am developing the biceps tendon conditioning to allow me to do the cool stuff?

Can I do front lever and planche progressions?
Rule of thumb is going to be whatever causes pain, stay away from it...sometimes different angles of certain movements are okay while others aren't.

Front lever is probably okay, I'd stay away from planche.

You could work bent arm strength...
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
Ross Hunt
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Re: Programming Ring Work to avoid elbow pain

Cool.

I will probably just lay off back levers and tucked 360 pulls while I am developing my RTO support, RTO L-Sit and German Hang, and focus on L-Sit, Handstand Press, HSPU, and Lever progression.

Thanks
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