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S&C UnderGround >> Pulling exercises w/o forearms?


9/6/12 12:02 AM
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lat125
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i can't think of any, so thought I'd ask the collective wisdom here.

apparently I have "golfer's elbow" and my physical therapist believes it's largely due to tension/knots in my forearm that's straining the tendon. So I'm supposed to stretch and massage it a lot, and stay away from lifts/exercises that require a lot from my forearm muscles. thing is, i normally do push/pull workouts and now i'm at a loss for any exercises i can do for the pull portion. anybody got any ideas?

any help's greatly appreciated, i'm already taking it easy on the pushing part so i don't grip the bar/db real tight and would rather not eliminate all pulling exercises!
9/6/12 12:15 AM
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turducken
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Edited: 09/06/12 12:17 AM
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the best thing is to just focus on physical therapy and get rid of the problem so you can go back to your normal routine. i had severe golfers elbow and tried all sorts of creative shit to get pulling movements in without using my grip, but it was all a waste and just stalled my healing progress. you may think you are preserving your workout quality but that is shortsighted and you will really just end up in a shitty middle ground of not being able to really workout effectively and also not being able to heal your injury.
9/6/12 12:35 AM
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lat125
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yeah, fair point. were you lifting at all when you had it? how long did recovery take?
9/6/12 1:01 AM
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turducken
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it was a chronic problem for well over a year, so i struggled to lift with it for a long time, but like i said above, that really just put me in a sort of grey area where i wasnt making progress with my workouts and i also wasnt healing. once i started physical therapy i didnt lift. i could do pushups on my knuckles since that kept my wrists in a neutral position. other than that, i just did cardio, abs and lower body stuff, plus exercises at physical therapy.

i tried resting completely for 6 weeks but that did absolutely nothing. i then tried graston technique which provided some temporary relief. but nothing really got rid of the problem until i went to a really good physical therapist, and then it took around 8 weeks to get rid of it. physical therapy involved heat, initially really harsh massage, laser, electrostim, ultrasound, stretching, and eventually strengthening exercises(eccentric wrist curls, gripping exercises in rice bucket, etc.).
9/6/12 2:35 AM
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Leigh
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Would using straps help? Phone Post
9/6/12 5:34 AM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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Focus on squeezing your back muscles and not using your forearms at all to help. This should take a lot of pressure off the forearm. See if it's enough to allow the healing to continue. Use light weight at first and go slowly. Use a chin up assist machine to lighten the load and build from there. If you feel any pain abandon ship and let it heal. Phone Post
9/6/12 10:46 AM
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PFC
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Edited: 09/06/12 10:59 AM
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Ok, let me have a go at this one,

I have suffered from golfer's elbow for years.... and yes, my first thought like turducken is to get medical attention and rest. However, I have seen many sports medicine doctors, massage therapists, chiropracters for ART (Active release techinuque and Acupuncture)and with REST by the time I'm done, I feel like a million bucks!!

Until of course I'm back in the gym again for a few weeks my elbow flares up and then all that $$$ spent seems wasted.

So here are a few tips I've used to counter balance it a bit.

1) I take an extra strength Advil 20 minutes before every workout
2)Wear elbow sleeves, Tommy Kono's are great (http://www.tommykono.com/)
3)You still should be able to deadlift, rack pull ( my personal fav) and heavy shrug seeing your arms act as hook and you shouldn't have a bend in the elbow ( where the pain usually shows it self)
4)Everything you every heard from powerlifters and muscle mags goes out the window when it comes to lifting straps, they are now the most essential piece in your gym bag and you will use them for every pulling movement
5)if you want to do bent over rows, lat pull downs, dumbell rows, use straps ( see#4) with a false grip so you can focus on pulling through the blades and less with the elbows
7)lower weights
8)try using more neutral grips for pressing ( less rotation in the forearm) some good bars out there like the T-Grip Barbell
9) wide grip neutral hand postion pull ups, has to be wide grip, your elbows will go past 90 degrees to quickly on a close grip
10) massage heat onitmnet into elbows, or some times I just wear my tommy kono elbow sleeves at night while watching tv and then afterwards my elbows feel lubricated
11)start your workout with a machine preacher curl to get a good isolation on your bicep, one curl and then a static hold for 20-30 seconds for 3-5 sets. this will pump the blood directly into the bicep and take tension off the elbows as you go into your pushing and pulling sets

Lastly, if I didn't workout when my elbows flared I would have to stop working out all together, just toy around for what works for you and keep going, I remember I use to just grab a sledge hameer and set 5 minutes on the timer and swing away. Now the thought of the hammer makes me elbows flare, so I literally have 8-10 exercises in my aresnal right now, but I'm busting away at them and am getting bigger and stronger everyday,

Hope this wasn't too long winded helps a bit,

9/6/12 4:29 PM
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lat125
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great, thanks for all the advice/info guys (PFC - i'll take more info over less so no worries about long-windedness lol).

the PT i'm doing now involves the same heat, e-stim, ultrasound, painful massage, and stretching so hopefully it helps. i suppose i'm gonna resign myself to just that no pulls for awhile and see how it goes, then utilize the info here when i ease back into regular workouts.

again, mahalos for all the help!
9/6/12 7:02 PM
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turducken
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Edited: 09/06/12 7:05 PM
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you should be able to feel a difference in the area right around the bone on the inside of your elbow. this area was knotted up for me for so long that i didnt even realize it was abnormal until everything finally released after a few PT sessions and i could feel a difference. also, i did not start lifting again until i passed this test: put your arm out flat on a table palm down and then press your finger tips down as hard as possible. before treatment this was insanely painful...eventually i got to zero pain.<br /><br />

unlike PFC, i dont have any recurring flareups and do not have to modify my workouts in anyway. the key to keep the pain away is to include prehab/rehab specific exercises in your routine to maintain muscle and tendon strength and flexibility in your forearm. for me, the most important thing is to include a few sets of SLOW negative wrist curls a few times a week.
9/6/12 7:05 PM
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turducken
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Edited: 09/06/12 7:05 PM
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.
9/7/12 2:30 AM
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lat125
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hmm, i just tried that arm-on-the-table test and it's not really painful but i do feel it. for me it's been the little things like washing my face, toweling my hair, and capping things off that create intense and sharp pain from that tendon.
9/7/12 4:08 PM
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turducken
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i guess it depends on exactly which muscle group is causing the pain...they all attach on the medial epicondyle(bony point on inside of elbow), so its hard to tell which is causing the problem. for me, the pronator teres was the biggest problem...this muscle is flexed by pronating your wrist, so when i pushed down with my fingers, especially my pointer and middle fingers, i was flexing that muscle and causing pain
9/7/12 4:08 PM
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turducken
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i guess it depends on exactly which muscle group is causing the pain...they all attach on the medial epicondyle(bony point on inside of elbow), so its hard to tell which is causing the problem. for me, the pronator teres was the biggest problem...this muscle is flexed by pronating your wrist, so when i pushed down with my fingers, especially my pointer and middle fingers, i was flexing that muscle and causing pain

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