Stuff im doing to be better while training around tendonitis

Beard power at maximal!

Regular readers will recall a post I did a few months ago “How I trained around tendonitis and still got stronger”
Well you can consider this an update, sometimes it takes an injury to reassess our training. We have to be more creative and plan properly when coming back from tendonitis, I find occasionally the wrong exercise or the slightest tweak can tug on the tendon insertion and give you a days worth of discomfort. I still cannot curl, do rows or pulling with heavy elbow flexion without pain or pain post exercise. I did however take the opportunity to test my static pull-up hold and pull-up numbers to test my back strength, both improved! Despite taking out all pulling with elbow flexion! My deadlift and bench for reps and ring flye numbers improved too. So heres a selection of things I have been doing in my strength training sessions.

Snatch Grip Rack Pulls

Serious beard hypertrophy

Strict control and good posture is needed to do them perfectly, so for those of you with poor posture this could go a long way to fix your rubbish posture. Much like conventional rack pulls, they’re a fantastic upper back movement. Having the hands wider causes greater involvement of the lats, upper traps, and mid-back musculature extensively and the best bit no elbow flexion. I’ve experimented with pulling against bands horizontally which requires me to engage the lats and glutes hard!

Thick Floor Press

Floor press effectively allows me to overload my triceps with out causing problems for my elbows. Close grip or conventional benching causes an acute angle at the elbow which causes aggravation. Im doing max effort benching, but the volume is currently low enough to not cause problems. Usage of the thick grips opens my hands up which take pressure off the tendons that insert onto the epicondyle. The dead start does no harm for improving starting strength, which is part of reason I like it for grapplers.

Overhead Squats For High Reps and Sotts Presses

This really torches my upperback, I really focus on squeezing the bar and pull it apart.
As I mentioned in the previous post “This was however a  boon for my back as clean grip overhead squatting requires even more stability requiring me to grip the bar with my fingers and pull the bar apart to help engage my lats and upperback. High rep overhead squats had me questions my sanity, my legs found the loads laughable but my upperbody was screaming.”
The sotts press, I’ve found is a good progression from the front loaded cable press. Either wide or close grip it engages the upper back. I have to retract and depress the scapular as I press, it also does no harm for scapular stability and shoulder mobility. The light loading does’nt excessively load the elbow either.

Offset Band Resisted Bent Over Rows and Romanian Deadlifts

By off setting the bar with bands, the movement requires active shoulder extension the entire time this causes greater engagement of the upper back especially engagement of the lats. Another way of training my back without bending my arms. This excellent video from diesel strength demonstrates how they are done.
Neutral Static Hold and L-sit

Neutral static hold and L-sit, misery

Pull-ups deload into the shoulders and tendons of the elbow at the bottom of the movement, which for tendonitis is pure misery. However with the static hold puts the emphasis on my upper back, the neutral grip avoids the external shoulder rotation that can then send stress down the arms to the inside of the elbows. The L-sit adds in core element, this gives the movement a full body emphasis. Again I like static holds especially with grip challenge/core for time for grapplers.

Straight Arm Press Outs

Looking a variation beyond regular ring flyes which I had gotten pretty good at. I started doing straight arm press outs. Initially I was worried this would put stress on the inside of the elbow, but the movement largely challenged my triceps, chest and anterior deltoids. I also found my upper back contracting hard to help stabilise.

I keep conditioning fairly simple. Usually a few 6 minute rounds with 20 sec work period and 10 seconds rests, I’ll do this maybe twice a week. A favourite complex being

1. Sprawl to deadlift
2. Diverbomber push-up + kick thtough
3. Static hold variation (pull-up, L-sit, ring planche etc)

The Program layout is the same as in the previous article the only difference is im now doing 4 days a week following a layout of:

Explosive (Snatch High pull, CG snatch)
Main movement (Deadlift, Squat, Bench, OHP)
1-2 Accessory
Grip or Core

My tendonitis is pretty much gone, now and to be honest I don’t really miss rowing, pull-up variations or curls. I slipped up earlier this month by adding in some dumbell rowing, while it felt fine at the time it seriously aggravated the elbow joint post training, a victim of my own over confidence perhaps. The best part about all this is im still getting stronger, because lets face it the worst part about injury is the fear of going backwards. Hopefully you found this post insightful or interesting, head on over to or to let me know what you think!

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2 thoughts on “Stuff im doing to be better while training around tendonitis”

  1. This is 8 years later, but with my sleep being disrupted every single night by bilateral medial elbow pain, this and your other article seem like they were written for me. I’ll be taking a few things from here now!

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