Home » How To Prevent & Fix Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling?

How To Prevent & Fix Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling?

Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling

Dealing with injuries is a big part of the sport of arm wrestling. Elbow pain is one of the major repeat offenders that and is the most common type of pain arm wrestlers go through.

Elbow pain in arm wrestling is largely unavoidable but can be significantly reduced by incorporating specific low weight, high repetition rehab exercises into your arm wrestling workouts.

In this article we’ll take a look at why arm wrestlers are so prone to elbow pain as well as some of the best methods for preventing and reducing this pain.


Why Does Elbow Pain Occur After Arm Wrestling?

Elbow pain occurs after arm wrestling as a result of tiny micro tears in the muscle and/or tendon and can lead to excruciating pain sometimes days later.

This is extremely common with beginners who haven’t been pulling for a very long time. Simply put, their muscles and tendons aren’t used to such extreme levels of exertion and the pain is your body’s way of telling you its in distress.

As you become more experienced in the sport of arm wrestling, elbow pain will become less frequent and less severe as your body learns to deal with these huge amounts of force output.

Elbow Pain After Arm Wrestling Is Completely Normal

Oftentimes beginners get worried when elbow pain sets in because it is unlike anything they’ve experienced before. It doesn’t always manifest as your typical muscle soreness…

Arm wrestling elbow pain will often be the result of sore tendons and inflamed connective tissue and may feel like your bones are aching.

Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling

If you’re new to arm wrestling, just understand that it is completely normal to go through severe elbow pain. All arm wrestlers deal with it, even seasoned veterans at the highest level of the sport.


Can I Arm Wrestle With Elbow Pain?

You should avoid both arm wrestling as well as heavy weight training if you’re experiencing elbow pain.

You should always avoid any exercises that make the pain worse which will usually include table time and gym work.

If the pain is extreme, it’s best to do absolutely nothing and allow your body to heal.

But as soon as the pain starts subsiding, it’s wise to begin doing some light exercise to promote blood flow to the elbow joint.


Prevent Arm Wrestling Elbow Pain With Rehab Exercises

Unless you’ve sustained a serious acute injury such as a tear or break, and you’ll almost certainly know about it if you have, elbow pain will usually manifest in response to stress and inflammation.

When this is the case, it’s actually better to do some light exercise as opposed to doing nothing in the hopes the elbow will repair itself.

The Key Is Blood Flow

By doing some really light rehabilitation focused exercises, we’re able to promote healing by driving blood flow to the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue.

This increases the supply of nutrients to the tissue which allows the healing process to work more efficiently. If we simply rest and do nothing, the body will have a harder time healing.

My number one recommendation is to spend 20-30 minutes at the end of each intense arm wrestling workout performing ‘blood flow sets’ which are sets of basic arm wrestling movements for 20-50 reps using extremely light weight.

In the above video Devon Larratt demonstrates how he goes through a similar rehab routine. He explains that he’s going for a decent pump, but not pushing too hard or trying to get too deep of a burn.

It’s wise to go through all of the primary movements during an elbow rehab routine so all bases are covered.

Focus On Cup, Pronation, Supination, & Post

As mentioned, it’s important to get blood flowing to all of the major arm wrestling muscles, but focus primarily on cup, pronation and supination to really blow up the entire forearm and fill it with blood.

The brachialis muscle located at the bottom of your upper arm is one in particular that is prone to inflammation and will often lead to elbow pain. By focusing on doing lots of really light ‘posting‘ repetitions (essentially a hammer curl), you’ll be able to drive plenty of blood to this muscle, so it’s important not ignore it!

By doing these rehab workouts regularly, you’ll have the best possible chance of preventing the onset of elbow pain.

JM Presses For Reducing Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling

The JM press is Todd Hutchings’ favorite arm wrestling exercise – I know because he told me!

These are great for reducing elbow pain because it loads both sides of the elbow at the same time which stretches the tendon.

Because of his style of arm wrestling, Todd Hutchings’ elbows, tendons, and connective tissue probably take more of a beating than any other professional arm wrestler.

So if there’s someone who knows about keeping elbow issues at bay, Todd’s probably been more successful at it than most!

Lateral Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Lastly, if your elbow pain is located on the outside (lateral side) of your elbow, you might have a case of tennis elbow.

Luckily, us arm wrestlers have world champion Janis Amolins, who also happens to be a physiotherapist, in our corner.

Janis has some brilliant exercise recommendations for dealing specifically with this lateral elbow pain for arm wrestlers, so if that’s you, be sure to check out the below video.


Elbow Surgery Is A Last Resort

Unfortunately, the reality is that for most elite level arm wrestlers, the road to the top will usually come with at least one surgery.

Surgery is oftentimes the best solution for chronic overuse injuries in arm wrestling. Typically they occur in the wrist, elbow, or shoulder.

By far the most common surgery will be for the elbow in arm wrestling.

For those who have been pulling a long time, once elbow issues become so debilitating that performance starts to drop off significantly, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor regarding elbow surgery.


Parting Thoughts Regarding Elbow Pain In Arm Wrestling

At the end of the day, prevention is the best cure. Ask any top level arm wrestler what their advice for rapid progression in the sport is and they’ll all say, “don’t get injured!”

Once you start taking arm wrestling seriously, the single best thing you can do to ward off elbow pain is to be disciplined and consistent with your blood flow/rehab sessions, especially if you’re doing lots of table time.

Of course you should also be getting plenty of sleep and proper nutrition so your body is able to heal more quickly, that’s not rocket science.

Do all the small things right and be diligent about taking care of your joints and tendons, and you’ll enjoy a long and healthy arm wrestling career largely void of elbow pain!