I recently began to use many movements that are stressful on elbows all at once — pull-ups, pull-up holds, L-sit on paralletes, etc.

My elbows were sore afterwards — so I sensibly chopped out most of the exercises (I am a beginner for many elbow heavy exercises).

Now after stretching and massages of forearm muscles, a week later, my elbow are no longer sore. However when I lock and twist them they crack like crazy — something I've never experienced before. Should I be worried? Should I rest them longer, or slowly incorporate more exercises? The last thing I want is tendinitis. Thanks.

  • I'd suggest see a therapist or a doctor first and discuss the issues. If those things are happening, there may be something that only a doctor can tell. Some amount of popping is okay, because if happens a lot, then get a doctor's opinion. Don't take anything for granted. We can help you with injury prevention, but we can't tell if what's happening with you is normal or not. I'm not trying to scare you, but helping you know yourself better with some external help.
    – xCodeZone
    Dec 6 '16 at 5:39
  • @xCodeZone still I want to ask also,how can you prevent elbow pain because sometimes ,I am not sure if I do my warm up wrong or what is going on but sometimes I have have elbow pain when I lift and I need to trow my hands to crack them. Dec 6 '16 at 8:08
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    @JohnPietrar: Enough stretching, warmup(starting really light for a few reps) and then progressively increasing would help. I used to have golfers elbow, and the mistake i was doing was lifting without much warmup. Now how much is enough it depends. After every rep, stretching is what I do. It helped me with my golfer's elbow, but I did the diagnosis and worked as per the doctor's recommendation. Thank fully my case wasn't very severe. Golfer's elbow is pain in inside of the elbow, unlike that of tennis-elbow where pain is on outside. I'
    – xCodeZone
    Dec 7 '16 at 0:12
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    I did quite a few isolated movements and went for free weights. I dropped machines and barbell benching completely as they restricted the range of motion. Also, I was very particular about how i curled. My condition was generated due to twisting the wrist way too much, which resulted in tearing of tendons at elbow joint. Now I'm completely healed, but I always keep the basics in mind. Form above everything else. I thought mine was good, while it wasn't.
    – xCodeZone
    Dec 7 '16 at 0:15

I don't think you should be worried. Instead, here are some points to get you closer to a solution:

  • Warm up. A general rule of thumb is to incorporate change gradually to avoid injury. Warm up your target muscles/joints with smaller weights or fewer repetitions. Gradually increase until you are in a challenging rhythm for the remainder of your workout. Doing this over the course of 3 to 6 sets will reduce shock to your joints.
  • Rest. Give your body protein and other nutrients if possible within 30 minutes of your workout to help your body repair. Rest periods can be 2 or more days to help your muscles and joints recover properly.
  • New excercises. When your body is not used to something it has to adapt. Greatly increasing the load on a muscle group that is not used to it will result in very sore muscles for several days. The days of rest they need will decrease as you use them more.
  • Diet. Some food has been found to help our body repair/maintain our joints more effectively.
    Check this article out.
    And this one.
  • My experience. I am young and my bones and joints have cracked from head to toe non-stop for the majority of my life. I go to the gym and the pain I get is in my wrists. This is usually solved by changing my eating habits, rest periods, and/or excercises. Switching from a high-joint-stress excercise (dumbell bench press) to a low stress excercise (machine bench press), for example, allows my wrists to fix themselves up (a week or two of this routine is sufficient).

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