/ Knackered Elbows
Could it be something I'm doing wrong (arm spacing, or anything like that?) or are my joints just useless?
Thanks in advance for any help or advice
Impossible to say really. It's often connected to wrong technique. Google dave Macleod's site and elbows and he talks of what may cause it.
This is good for keeping it at bay but i've always had trouble with my elbows and pull ups and lock offs really aggravate them.
Also, try doing slow controlled pull-ups and always keep a slight bend in your elbow. If you are still getting pain afterwards, stop doing pull-ups for a while and when starting again build up the volume and intensity slowly stopping as soon as any pain or inflammation is felt.
Also, avoid having a very wide grip as this puts a lot more strain on the joints and is a more advanced form of the exercise.
The other thing to remember is that tendons just strengthen more slowly than muscles (due to poorer blood supply) so sometimes you'll make gains, but then need to sort of take it easy to give your joints time to catch up.
There are still loads of other things that could be causing your problems though, this is just what sorted mine. Good luck!
Also, maybe lay off the powerful things for a while. Work on slabs/technique as opposed to pure strength, and remember to care for your arms however works. Different things fix different people i guess.
I concur. Dave McLoed, one of the best British climbers currently, says he can only do about that many pull ups. Finger strength and technique are more important at every level.
On the other hand, I get elbow pain occasionally from climbing at the gym and press-ups and elbow-drops sort it. I would recommend giving up the pull-ups for something more productive mainly though
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