Pull-ups are one of the top exercises that should be in almost everyone’s fitness repertoire for a structurally balanced body!
However some sports that require this movement excessively, are in a higher risk category for causing elbow tendinitis. Cross Fitters, Obstacle and Mud Runners are all susceptible, yet CAN prevent it!
Medial Epicondylitis, (sometimes referred to as golfers elbow) develops from an over use of the common flexor tendon and forearm muscles that are activated by all gripping movements such as pull-ups, chin-ups, rope climbing, hanging, climbing, gardening, hammering AND even TYPING!
It often reveals itself with a dull aching sensation coming from the back of your elbow joint (if your palms are facing your thighs).
As with most injuries, doing too much of a single exercise with out enough balancing movements (the opposite muscle groups) is what causes tendinitis.. There are many things you can do prophylacticly . Here is just one little thing to try that might help!
Avoid extended use of your fingers when your arms are flexed at the elbow, such as typing, texting, piano or guitar playing, gardening or hammering.
These movements recruit the same tendon and muscles that actually need rest and stretching to counteract the tension from training.
Although there is NO ONE SINGLE position that you should remain in when typing for extended periods of time, for the purpose of reducing your odds of getting elbow tendinitis, the elbow joint should be in an extended position (elongated) in order to allow the muscles in the forearm to restore.
In the picture above, I am actually sitting cross legged and have my arms fully elongated to type. Although there is no one position that the body should consistently remain in, typing with elongated arms can alleviate some of the repeated stress in those elbows. Do realize that maintaining proper neutral spinal alignment while in this position is crucial so you don’t strain your back or round your shoulders which will lead to a litany of other mechanical problems in your body.
Hope this helps as you build up your own arsenal of injury fighting weapons! Remember train smart and honor what is TrU about your body mechanics and you’ll overcome great obstacles in your fitness journey!