Heads up: I have a muscle imbalance between my left and right back, my right back is more developed.

Yesterday I went to the gym for my usual back day. I started with perhaps 3 sets of neutral close grip pullups, at 7-5-4 respectively. Then, I did perhaps 3 sets of bent over dumbell rows at 8 reps. Usually I do these with 15kg dumbells, but I managed to do 20kg yesterday with good form.

Now, I then jumped on to try to do more pull-ups (same grip_ and immediately felt a little pain in the region between my inner elbow and tricep. I have read that this is called the medial epicondyle.

My question is: What is the reason for this pain?

From watching this video here it could be that my forearms are taking too much of a load. He suggests to use neutral grip pullups, but this is what I am already doing! What can I do about my technique in future to reduce this problem? Any recommended stretches?

At the moment, that region of my arm is a little sensitive to touch. I'll be seeing my physio tomorrow.

  • I wouldn't mess around with elbow tendinitis. The only thing you can do is completely rest and stop hurting it. In the past I've had that problem when I've done bouncy movements.
    – Eric
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


That sounds like "Golfer's Eblow". I can only count the number of times I've golfed on one hand, but I've been suffering on and off with this condition for years. I first discovered it after several sessions of preacher and spider curls about 10 years ago; a few years later, I had a recurrence doing pull ups on a cross beam, and again, after completing Stew Smith's 10 day pull up program.

I'm not a doc, but generally speaking, it's caused by repeatedly stressing flexors and extension in the forearms/fingers.

I went to the doctor for it originally, and he told me to take 400 mg of NSAIDs/day, and lay off the workouts causing the problem until the pain stopped. This worked, but nipping pulls up from any routine for weeks/months really sucks; it's especially frustrating when the rest of your body is fully capable.

Taking my doc's advice into consideration, I slowly worked them back into my routine by doing light lat pull-down work, focusing intensely on the eccentric lat squeeze (resistance band assisted pull-ups are also "effective").

That said, I recently discovered "elbow smashing" and voodoo floss (bike tubing also works), and it's helped me tremendously. Here are a couple videos to get you started:

Banish Your Elbow Bench, Dip, Pull Up Pain, You Don’t Really Play Golf or Tennis Do You?

Epicondylitis-ness? Voodoo it

I feel for ya, pal...sucks and super frustrating, but experiment with the methods above, and I think you'll see a turnaround.