The Elbow Problem The Elbow Problem

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Thread: The Elbow Problem

  1. #1
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    Default The Elbow Problem

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    by Jordan Feigenbaum

    "The Elbow Problem when a lifter raises his elbows up too far during a squat has the potential to produce numerous deleterious effects on the squat, including movement of the barbell on the back, sub-optimal back angle, flexion of the thoracic spine, and elbow/upper limb pain."

    Article

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    This is an excellent clarification. Thanks for writing it, Jordan. I can see why carrying the bar too low with my elbows too high, especially at the bottom of pause squats, has given me a bout of tennis elbow.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2013
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    THANK YOU for this, Jordan! I suspect you just helped me avoid a future injury.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2016
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    Perfectly described all the problems I've been having my squat, I thought it was a combination of the bar being too high on my back and trying to take too narrow a grip.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2012
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    Very timely. Thank for this. Just what I needed to read. A coach had suggested bringing my elbows in ad down a few weeks ago and I was just starting to feel how it should work and now I have a clearer picture of what to try to achieve and why.

  6. #6
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    I modified* a few things according to this article, and while my arm/elbow position improved, they are still in an up position. I *have* developed some upper arm pain in the recent past as a result of carrying the bar incorrectly (with elbows way up for all the reasons listed in the article). This pain is alleviated by taking a wider grip, so it's a downward spiral of sucky form.
    *I brought my grip in narrower (this is a catch22 cuz if you have some arm pain as it hurts it a bit more to try and squeeze the arms inward more; but you gotta do it to get past the injury in the long run), and that helped.
    I think a cue that I'll play with tonight is concentrating on keeping the thoracic section tight (extended in neutral position) and not let it flex during the "look 5 ft in front" cue < THAT is what I think dominoes into the elbows up. I'll focus on this during warmup sets and record it. Another piece of the puzzle might be that I slouch a bit up top (thoracic into cervical) as it is.
    My wrists like to deviate from neutral as well, so I'll keep the thumbs-around cue in mind too, dangerous as it seems.

    I posit that it's easier to hold this all together if you have more muscle on top (traps, delts), so maybe that explains why novices are more prone to get into the habit?

  7. #7
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    May 2016
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    Seattle Washington
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    when I saw a ssc and moved into a low bar position my grip was so wide it was hard to rack. maybe it was just inflexibility and trying to learn a new movement/positon but it was difficult and slightly painful at first. I am feeling much more comfortable with it now, despite having a few reps roll onto the traps( definitely feels like its rolling up!) theough the first set is usually the tightest and more awkward feeling in the shoulders. this article was just what I was thinking about! thanks

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Thanks so much for this Jordan. Having my wrist in contact with the bar instead of my palms has been a recurring problem. Wish you had posted this years ago. Maybe there has been too much emphasis in the Squat chapter of "Jacking your elbows up". I've always had trouble getting my grip narrow and getting under the bar without my palms moving up and my wrists being in contact with the bar instead. Anyway I believe this article will help me a ton.

  9. #9
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    May 2016
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    New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    by Jordan Feigenbaum

    "The Elbow Problem when a lifter raises his elbows up too far during a squat has the potential to produce numerous deleterious effects on the squat, including movement of the barbell on the back, sub-optimal back angle, flexion of the thoracic spine, and elbow/upper limb pain."

    Article
    Hey Jordan thanks for the article it could not come at a better time for me since I was starting to encounter the problems that you have mentioned . Especially pain going down the side of my arms starting at my lateral delt past my triceps and ending at my elbow. Towards the end of the article you mentioned a deload to help correct the problem at a lighter weight do you recommend a 10 % or 20 % reset . I'm currently at 340 lbs pounds and have been making 5 lb jumps your advice will be welcomed. Thanks in advance

  10. #10
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    Dec 2015
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    Thanks for the write up. I've been having an issue with the bar moving up my back and this brought to my attention that my thoracic spine isn't staying in proper position through the lift.

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