Squat Grip Check & Throbbing Forearms Squat Grip Check & Throbbing Forearms

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Thread: Squat Grip Check & Throbbing Forearms

  1. #1
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    Default Squat Grip Check & Throbbing Forearms

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    Hey there,

    I could do with some critique on my grip while squatting. A bit of context first...

    I originally squatted with the recommended SS grip. I found that my forearms, biceps and elbows were getting sore / tendinitis. I then switched to a wider grip with thumbs wrapped around the bar with alleviated the pain I was feeling.

    Now, when it came to squatting I had a habit of initiating a rep by hinging at the hip. This can be seen from my video I posted a few weeks ago . I think this hinge to begin with made it harder me for to keep a tight lower back throughout the movement. This is also noted in the video I linked to.

    So I started to make this hinge a little less pronounced and focussed at the beginning of each rep. However, I noticed the tendon area that connects bicep to forearm and the side of my biceps started to become a bit sore again. I don't fully know whether it's because the squat weight started to get heavier or I wasn't hinging as much or a combination of both.

    So today I decided switch back to the recommended SS grip to give it another shot. And holy crap, my forearms hurt and were throbbing after each set. Here the video of my last set 128kg. Unfortunately, failed at the last rep on my final set. Got jelly legs and everything including my core and back felt like they were caving in. My actual set starts in around 45 seconds. And I'm peeling off the bar at the end.

    But back to my forearms, the left side in particular just felt limp and like jelly and I struggled to move my left forearm up after the final set. It was a strange and alarming experience. I did get my second covid shot the day before this squat session, so that experience might be linked. I do have a slightly sore shoulder, but I trained through it when I got my first jab.

    However, both forearms were throbbing in pain. I did test my usual thumbs wrapped over the bar (but not actually squatting) and the stark relief on my forearm was instantly noticeable vs thumbs over the bar.

    Apart from the 4th rep that was a grind, I'd say there's not much too obviously wrong with my grip technique? On a related note, I've booked a SS seminar session this September, so really looking forward to getting some in person coaching and will hopefully cover some of this in the flesh.

  2. #2
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    You're going to love the seminar. It's a great experience.

    When you say "second covid shot" I'm going to assume you mean second vaccination dose. I don't think they're related. From my brief experience with clients, acute and local pain is from the first dose. No acute skin/muscle pain on the second dose, but lots of aching and weakness. Hard to say though.

    What is almost certainly causing your elbow pain is the fact that your grip is too wide (even for you, I can see it), your elbows are cranked up on the ascent, and your wrists are flat (instead of neutral and slightly extended).

    It's not intuitive, but elbow pain will get worse the wider you get, which ironically, will cause most people to widen their grip again.

    In your post from a few weeks ago, your wrists were bent too much and you were still cranking your elbows up.

    So, get your grip narrow, let the wrists be very slightly extended, and don't crank your elbows up on the ascent.
    I answer all my emails: ALewis@StartingStrengthGyms.com
    Until Starting Strength Indianapolis is open, I'll still be coaching out of my Ohio gym: Blackmetal Strength Training
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  3. #3
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    We aren't holding a Starting Strength Seminar in September.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, that brings up some questions. What did you sign up for?
    I answer all my emails: ALewis@StartingStrengthGyms.com
    Until Starting Strength Indianapolis is open, I'll still be coaching out of my Ohio gym: Blackmetal Strength Training
    BlackmetalStrengthTraining.com

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  6. #6
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    Yep, sorry. I meant the training camp in London.

    And my elbows feel fine actually, it's more my forearms.

    I think I'm going to have to hold off on using the preferred SS grip until I can get the in person coaching September. Otherwise, I'm just going to screw up my forearms more.

    I'll try and work on mobility as well, because it felt like I went as narrow as I could.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    and don't crank your elbows up on the ascent.
    I don't mean to hijack this guy's thread, but I'm having a very similar issue with my elbows, except mine are far worse than his. In fact, during my squats on Saturday, I recorded a few warmup sets from behind and noticed that for a split second when I come out of the bottom, my elbows can actually get above the bar.

    ...on fucking warmup sets.

    Is there a good cue for those of us who struggle with this? I (think) I know elbows like this (can) come from a soft upper back, but being a certified dummy, just can't seem to make the necessary adjustments.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by oface View Post
    I don't mean to hijack this guy's thread, but I'm having a very similar issue with my elbows, except mine are far worse than his. In fact, during my squats on Saturday, I recorded a few warmup sets from behind and noticed that for a split second when I come out of the bottom, my elbows can actually get above the bar.

    ...on fucking warmup sets.

    Is there a good cue for those of us who struggle with this? I (think) I know elbows like this (can) come from a soft upper back, but being a certified dummy, just can't seem to make the necessary adjustments.
    Post a video in a different thread and I'll take a look, but typically, the grip needs to be narrower. It should be as narrow as possible. The elbows need to be consciously kept down. The hands also need to be in the correct position.
    I answer all my emails: ALewis@StartingStrengthGyms.com
    Until Starting Strength Indianapolis is open, I'll still be coaching out of my Ohio gym: Blackmetal Strength Training
    BlackmetalStrengthTraining.com

  9. #9
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    So I'm back again and and that discomfort / pain in my forearms has become a major hinderance in my training. I think it's forearm tendonitis. The pain emanates about half way down my forearms and stops before my wrists.

    My last session I was able to:

    - Squat with thumbs wrapped around the bar with some minor forearm discomfort. That discomfort level increased for a bit in between sets, but was tolerable.
    - Surprising to myself, the press was the most comfortable exercise I did. Minimal discomfort, if any.
    - Some small discomfort when locking out at the top pf
    - I went to do dips and that was a big no no. Too painful towards the bottom of the rep.
    - Did two sets of chin ups with some pain when at the top of the movement. Couldn't do my final set

    So I trained today and decided to Bench first. There was tolerable discomfort for the first set, second set worse and and I couldn't finish my final set because of the pain. My form for all sets wasn't great either. Kind of wobbly because I focussing on the pain. I decided to skip my light set of squats and tried doing some rows, but in the moment my forearms were too painful, so I called it a day.

    At this stage I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do. I've had elbow and shoulders niggles in the past, but was always able to tweak technique or work around things and eventually those issues would go away. But The pain emanates from a really awkward area.

    I worked my way up to a 75kg Bench for my warm up set and at that point there was some minor discomfort and my working set of 88 kg was just too much. Do I train the exercises I can work e.g Squat, Press, Deadlift and gradually increase the Bench weight from 75kg onwards? Do i take a week off and come back and test the mentioned training regiment?

    I couldn't find much info on this forum on forearm tendonitis, but I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do? The area where I have pain seems really tricky to deal with.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Have you actually done the actual program, found in the books, with the form detailed in the actual blue book?

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