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Old 05-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #1
Daniel Lyell
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Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Over the past two weeks, squats have been causing severe elbow/upper arm pain, to the point where I will be in pain for many hours afterwards.

I checked this thread here: http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...ht=elbow+squat (wfs) as it seemed similar to my issue, however, most of the advice revolved around keeping the elbows higher. I'm not sure that is my problem, however here is a link so others can confirm/deny. Pain has become so bad that even 135 lbs caused a bit of ache.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXwpt8zCur8 (wfs)

I do have a copy of starting strength, and from what I can see, my elbow height doesn't vary too much from what they prescribe.

I took a week off, squatted one day, felt decent, but not great, and then tried it again two days later - back where I started, immense aching pain for hours afterwards.

This article appears to also discuss the issue - with the advice that one should stop squatting, raise elbows, and do.....dumbell curls.
http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength...c/powerdoc.htm (wfs)


Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm in the middle of a Starting Strength cycle, and not being able to squat effectively kills that.

Last edited by Daniel Lyell; 05-20-2010 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
Justin Shipley
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Brother, I hear you...

I'm in the same boat as you; mid-SS cycle, things have been going well up to about two weeks ago, when the pain you describe set in after workout A.
Identical to what I went through when learning to squat with straight wrists and high elbows 3 yrs ago, but have never felt since getting the required shoulder flexibility.
My form is good, I started out squatting at 50kg, taking 2.5kg jumps, Mon-Wed-Fri, feeling good and strong, got to 102.5kg squat workout, then 'the pain' crept up and continued, as you know, for hours. Other things that have set it off are "hugging" type moves; I live on a farm, and things like lifting bags of fertilizer, armfuls of hay and similar motions all trigger off an hours-long weakness-attack! Not good...

This is my 3rd crack at exhausting linear gains on SS; first two tries were halted by illness, and injury, respectively, only 3-4 weeks in, each time. I also was guilty of starting too high both times, and taking 5-10kg jumps in everything (I know, I know...) so while improvement was there, strength wasn't, and the heavier weight felt scary.
This time round, with a more humble approach, and double the food, I'm getting stronger by far, so these weakness-attacks are frustrating.

I look forward to hearing any advice, also, preferably first-hand experiences of relief, or ways to work around it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:06 PM   #3
Justin Shipley
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Just read the Deepsquatter interview, and I'm off to do me some curls for the first time since 2006...!
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

If you're low bar squatting you may need to increase your shoulder mobility for this....

You also may want to switch to high bar in the mean time.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:22 PM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Shoulder/pec mobility work and SMR...lay on your stomach with your right arm out at 90 degrees to your side, then roll toward your right side til it starts to get tight. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on your left side. You can also put your hand against a wall, fingers pointing down, and rotate your body against it. And foam rolling/lacrosse ball rolling across your pecs can loosen them up too.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:47 AM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Yeah. all the stuff I just continually post... here is another shoulder/thoracic mobility one again.

1. Posterior capsule stretch, sleeper stretch, external rotation stretch

2. Lats stretch, pec stretch, pec minor massage. Can use basketball or other ball and lie on top of it for pec rolling.

3. Deep tissue massage all around the scapula; anterior, lateral and posterior shoulder; coracobrachialis, biceps brachii, and brachialis.

4. Nerve glides (google first link)

5. Band dislocates and wall slides

6. Foam roll thoracic spine (put 45s on your chest for deeper stretch). Also, roll side to side as you are rolling and try to arch your back
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-t...pine-mobility/

Here's a good set of vids on scapular mobility and stability: wfs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4Wo095zPnc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YHIV4a81Os
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:30 AM   #7
Justin Shipley
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
Yeah. all the stuff I just continually post... here is another shoulder/thoracic mobility one again.
Thankyou muchly Steven
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #8
Daniel Lyell
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

The thing that I find so odd about this, is that a bunch of people over at the SS forums have the same issue....and it has happened to each of us at almost the exact same weight. I couldn't believe it when I first read it, but in a lot of the cases mentioned the issue occurs at right around 240 3x5. I don't understand what it is about that weight which is causing the issues. Here's the link: http://www.****************.com/reso...ami+elbow+pain (wfs), but since it will probably be deleted just do a search for "Battered Left Elbow after Squats."

Anyone know what is magical about that weight, or is that simply the point for many of us at which our shoulder mobility (or lack thereof) starts to be a huge issue?
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
Steven Low
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Lyell View Post
The thing that I find so odd about this, is that a bunch of people over at the SS forums have the same issue....and it has happened to each of us at almost the exact same weight. I couldn't believe it when I first read it, but in a lot of the cases mentioned the issue occurs at right around 240 3x5. I don't understand what it is about that weight which is causing the issues. Here's the link: http://www.****************.com/reso...ami+elbow+pain (wfs), but since it will probably be deleted just do a search for "Battered Left Elbow after Squats."

Anyone know what is magical about that weight, or is that simply the point for many of us at which our shoulder mobility (or lack thereof) starts to be a huge issue?
Likely the point where your mobility is a huge issue...

There's nothing magical about a certain weight
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:09 PM   #10
Daniel Lyell
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Re: Squats Causing Elbow/Upper Arm pain

Yeah, I just found it interesting that several people reported the same issues at almost exactly the same weight. I'm really hoping this foam rolling/stretching does the job.
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