View Full Version : stifness/pain at elbow during bench press

11-14-2006, 07:36 AM
It is hard to describe right where this is, but I can more easily tell you when. It is when I am lowering the weight to within 2 inches of my chest. It is at the bottom of the bench motion, and I often avoid lowering it all the way until I can get it to 'loosen up' more (takes a couple of sets, but even then, there is still pain).

The odd part is 'Where'. It feels like just above the elbow, but not in either the bicep or tricep. It is in between on the inside of the arm. Sometimes, I can almost pin point it so specifically that I am sure it is neither muscle. I have looked at diagrams of the elbow, and neither muscles attache at the elbow along that side (biceps attach accross the top, and triceps on the bottom between the two bones).
What seems more odd is that most of the ligaments in the elbow seem to attach very low to the humerous and deeper onto the radius and ulna, but the stiffness and pain I experience tends to feel like it is located above the elbow low on the humerous.

Does anyone have any experience or insight into this?

11-15-2006, 12:09 PM
well for the past year i had that pain in my left elbow, rested it, id didnt heal, tried to rehibiltate it with weights slowly, it didnt heal. Manned up and just started to take the pain, still didnt heal. about 2-3 months ago i took some nylon belting straps and wrapped it good when i benched and it finally healed as it allowed me to bench without hurting it.

11-15-2006, 08:30 PM
Thanx Hawk.
I found an old ankle wrap I had, and I tried it on my elbow while doing weighted dips today (the only other thing that causes the stifness/tweak besides bench is dips) because I wont be benching a gain for several days. It seemed to help, but it felt like it was nearly cutting off circulation.
What are these nylon belting straps you refer too? I think you might be on to something here.

11-16-2006, 06:08 AM
its the nylon type matiral that is sown to canvus, or some are used for belts.
the material doesnt streach (not nylon pantyhose material, but somewhat of a canvus type material) , so it offers alot of support.
I use one thats two yards long by two inches wide, wrapping it around my left elbow (the one that i hurt) somewhat tight, but not that tight it cuts off the circulation, though sometimes it leaves small red marks there (like a bench shirt does) since i only tuck it into inself to tie it, it losens up a little bit after ive completed my reps.

11-16-2006, 09:40 AM
Sounds like 'tennis elbow'.

I got the same thing a while back from horseback riding, and Ive read it is fairly commen while benching. Go out and buy a tensor (not an ace but a tensor bandage) and wrap your arm... If you keep your elbow heated then it should loosen it up a bit. That being said, what kind of warm up are you doing? Do you notice it in any other lifts? I get sore sometimes in my elbow, but when that happens I just do an extra warmup set or two and it will go away without problems.

Dont really know what else to say, I dont like using ace bandages because it will compromise the gains in strength you will make. You dont need a brace for it because it is more then likely just a bit of a strain, the tensor will offer minimal support but will keep your elbow warm, like i said above, which should help with the loosening up of the joint.

let me know if this helps!

11-16-2006, 11:09 AM
I used to get "tenis elbow" or tendonitis in my right arm from throwing the football (I could go 70+ yrds) but that was at the bottom of the elbow (where the triceps connected). This doesn't seem to be near either the biceps or the triceps tendons, which makes me fear it's a ligament.
Regardless, I thank you, Ruffian, and I am going to try your idea, and find a tensor bandage as well and see how it goes.

11-17-2006, 08:23 AM
1). Maybe go see a sports medicine doctor.
2). Ice your tricep/elbow after every workout.
3). Use horse liniment immediately before & after workout.
4). Use lighter weight.
5). wrist flexion, extension & rotation exercises.
6). Forearm pronation & supination exercises.


12-06-2006, 06:47 AM
just an update (in case anyone ever visits this thread with a similar problem), I think I have solved the problem. Time will tell, but after reading an article about the 'correct' way to bench press that uses your back and arms the right way (puts less unnatural stresses on them), I have been benching for the last few weeks with my elbows tucked down toward my body.
This conscious effort to NOT flare out my elbows takes work, because I have been benching for so long that way, old habits die hard. I have to think about where my elbows on every rep of every set.
By the way, the article also mentioned to consciously pull the shoulder blades together and then down (with the lats), to have your feet planted flat, and that it's okay to arch the small of your back a little.

Well, the first time I benched the new way, I feel a minor tweak or two, but not nearly to the level as before. Since then, it's been much better, and I haven't even felt the elbow during anything, even weighted dips.

So, in conclusion, it would seem that my benching style (elbows flared out) was putting harmful stress on my back and arms.

12-19-2006, 01:40 PM
:"What seems more odd is that most of the ligaments in the elbow seem to attach very low to the humerous and deeper onto the radius and ulna, but the stiffness and pain I experience tends to feel like it is located above the elbow low on the humerous."

Sounds more like bursitis. Do a search on bursae or bursas

12-19-2006, 02:07 PM
sounds like tendonitits to me as well(you can get tendonitis other places then just your elbow)