Strengthen and stretch to alleviate “clicking elbow”

Strengthen and stretch to alleviate “clicking elbow”


Do you feel your elbow clicking when lifting weights? There are many causes of clicking the elbow. These can include ligamentous sprains and muscular strains. Nerve irritation can cause numbness, weakness, and tingling at the elbow, wrist, and hand. A systemic cause of “clicking elbow” could be hormonal imbalance, antibiotic use, or even hormonal imbalance.

It’s usually a cycle of poor bio mechanics that leads to more muscular strain and ligament sprains. This then causes the poor bio mechanics to continue. This cycle can be stopped by rest, conservative management techniques like medicine and physical therapy. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary. It is important to consider the whole upper body, as many of the elbow muscles originate at the wrist, shoulder, or hand. Physical therapy that emphasizes strengthening the arm and shoulder muscles can prove to be very beneficial. An elbow brace may also be helpful in relieving strain on the corresponding muscles. If clicking and pain persist, consult a qualified medical professional.

It is crucial to determine the root cause of clicking or elbow pain. This usually involves poor technique, decreased strength, and flexibility in the muscles around the elbow and shoulder. As well as treating, strengthening the shoulders is an important aspect of prevention and treatment.

Since all upper-body exercises can build strength and mobility, there is no one specific workout for the elbow. To avoid more strain on the muscles, ligaments, and nerves, it is important to use proper technique and be aware of how your body feels when you move. Keep all movements pain-free. These are some tips:

1. Shoulder alignment

The bio mechanics of the elbow can be affected if the shoulders are too round. The tricep and bicep muscles cross at the elbow as well as at the shoulder. The ideal alignment of the shoulders with the ears, hips and hips is for the shoulders to be parallel. The shoulder blades should glide gently together and down. The chest should be fully open. The collarbones should be visible widening to help align the shoulders.

To help your shoulder blade positioning, increase the strength of your upper back muscles. You can do exercises like a row, chest press and external rotation. However, you should decrease your range of motion so that the shoulder blades stay pulled down. If your shoulder blades begin to move apart, you’ve gone too far. Concentrate on 20-30 reps and stop if your form is compromised.

2. Planks

Higher inclines are more manageable when facing the tower. Prior to decreasing the incline, focus on form and alignment.

If you feel pain when weight bearing through your hands, move onto your forearms. You should press through your entire forearm, not just through your elbows.

Move your body forward and backwards, side-by-side, while you plank. Then let your hips turn. The stability and strength requirements of the upper body can be altered by moving a leg. You can also try bringing your knees in towards the chest and bringing it in toward the side.

3. Pulleys

Make sure you hold the handle straight and not clench. Clenching can cause more pain and stress to the forearm muscles.

Ensure that your wrist alignment is correct when doing pulley exercises. The elbow is where most of the muscles that cross the wrist come from, so it is important to maintain a neutral wrist alignment. Ideally, the elbow and wrist should be in a straight line.

Slow down during your workouts and pay attention to what’s happening in your wrists while you do the following: pullovers, chest press, rowing and pullovers.

4. To stretch the elbow muscles, extend your wrists and shoulders.

Biceps: Make sure your shoulders are not touching the ears. The arm should be in front of your body to ease the stretch. To intensify the effect, you can reach behind your body.

Triceps – Pull the shoulder blades to the back.

Wrist Flexors – Non-weight bearing is more difficult than weight bearing. The kneeling wrist flexor stretch is more difficult if you are able to lean your weight towards your heels.

Wrist Extension: Weight bearing is more difficult than non-weight bearing. The kneeling wrist extension stretch is more difficult if you are able to lean your weight towards your heels.

5. Stabilizing the elbow

Biceps. Ensure that your elbow and shoulder align to begin, and that your shoulders are not pulling away from your ears. Poor form or fatigue can cause the wrists to “kink” and the elbows to move along with each repetition, rather than staying steady.

Triceps: The best positions for activating the triceps are lying on your stomach or back. It will be more difficult to move into a seated position, not only for strength, but also for flexibility. Be aware of compensatory shoulder movements and/or reduced range of motion at your elbow.

Wrist Flexors – This exercise is easy to start. The eccentric phase, or slowing down the return to the starting position, is where you should be focusing. It is believed that eccentric phases promote greater strength gains.

Wrist Extension: This exercise is easy to start. The eccentric phase, or slowing down the return to the starting position, is what you should be focusing on. It is believed that eccentric phases promote greater strength gains.

This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of one-on-one training, small group classes and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training and body goals!