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Tendinitis on the fingerboard

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 Cake 10 Jan 2021

I gave myself a good dose of golfer's elbow last lockdown on my fingerboard (actually, it is probably quite mild, but it's still bothering me a bit). 

I did 7:3 repeaters and max hangs then. It seemed like it was the repeaters that set it off, but it may have been the sheer volume increase or that muscles (and tendons) don't complain with max strength stuff. 

My question: is there a general concensus about which may cause the tendinopathy more - repeaters or max hangs?

p.s. I'm doing lots of of ecentrics too, though if you have any thoughts about how much to do on a finger board day, I'd appreciate them.

In reply to Cake:

I've no evidence but I suspect repeaters would be worse given the volume.

I've always found doing 3x10 press ups after every session on the hang board keeps my elbows happy. 

 Cake 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

Thanks. There is logic on that

 Punter_Pro 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

Possible weakness in your Antagonists or it is your body responding to a sudden change of routine and you have over done it. What is your current schedule? I have always done one or the other, not both at the same time.

If you have some weights at home, I,Y,&T's, are great for the shoulders, so are shoulder presses. No need to go really heavy, 8-12 reps will do to start off with.

For the Triceps and Chest, Pushups and Dips.

For the forearm antagonists, reverse wrist curls are really good or using an elastic band around your fingers and thumb, open your hands and hold for a few seconds.

Post edited at 07:40
 Mike Nolan 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

It's usually excess volume that causes that kind of thing, so I'd suggest it could be a case of too much too soon of both max hangs and repeaters. 

Max Hangs, Repeaters and 'lots of eccentrics' sounds like it could be a lot of volume for somebody who's not used a fingerboard much in the past - I know a lot of people still suffering from elbow and shoulder issues as a result of the first lockdown! I'm making an assumption here though so apologies if that's not the case!

How many sessions are you doing per week and what is your rest like between sessions? Are you doing Max Hangs and Repeaters in the same session? I've a client who just increased his max hangs score by 10% in 5 weeks only doing 1 max hang session per week, you really don't need as much volume as you might expect for that kind of training, especially if you've not done a lot of it in the past. 

Also worth paying attention to your form. Anecdotally, I find my form suffers slightly in the shoulders and elbows on a max hang (because I'm trying really hard!), and this seems to aggravate recurring elbow issues more than a repeater session at lower intensity. Whilst I don't think the MH causes the elbow issues for me, it can certainly highlights it. 

With regards to eccentrics, do you mean pull-ups negatives? If so, I'd be doing them after a fingerboard session - ideally you want to be as fresh as possible for the highest intensity work. Again though, be careful with overdoing the volume of eccentrics as it could be hindering your recovery from fingerboarding. Might be worth experimenting with isometrics at a variety of joint angles instead too, as they may aggravate your elbows less (and could even help improve elbow tendinopathy...).

 Inhambane 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

n = 1 here 

my tendonitis is always set off by increases in volume and intensity 

 JMarkW 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

> I've no evidence but I suspect repeaters would be worse given the volume.

> I've always found doing 3x10 press ups after every session on the hang board keeps my elbows happy. 

agreed. Also started doing pushups using wood rings off my knees. Helps shoulder stability as well, I think.

 nikoid 11 Jan 2021
In reply to JMarkW:

> agreed. Also started doing pushups using wood rings off my knees. 

I'm struggling to visualise that!

 redjerry 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

Do you do much stretching of the forearm and fingers? If not, that can help (can also hurt if you don't do it carefully). 
Might want to check your form as well. I find that my form is usually better doing max hangs cos there's more time to set up.

 Cake 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Mike Nolan:

Thanks for the advice, all.

To clarify, I got the problems in the first lockdown when I started going from 2 to 3 sessions per week I think. I had worked up to that from 1. I hadn't regularly done fingerboarding before that, but I've trained for years. I'm sure, now, it was too do with ramping things up quickly. It seemed feasible at the time.

I basically haven't done any regular fingerboarding since the summer until this new lockdown, but I did some regular bouldering and I was pretty strong, getting a few 7as done outside in quick succession, which is about my limit. 

I'm just starting again at probably once a week on max hangs, but I'd quite like to get some power endurance in there too so it doesn't disappear altogether. Therefore I'm hoping to do a separate session on repeaters. That shouldn't be too much of I'm doing the right other stuff 

 Cake 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Mike Nolan:

The ecentrics I'm meaning are the twists on a theraband bar: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DvZsa0bBCAf0&ved=2ahUKEwjGsdiMw5TuAhVGxYUKHa__AWQQjjgwAHoECAEQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3eAdjKiMvd7n92Rg4ea2oH

Also those weight on the end of a stick eccentric pendulum things.

 Cake 11 Jan 2021
In reply to redjerry:

There doesn't seem to be a concensus that stretching is a big part of the answer, from what I can tell. Possibly the opposite, although it feels good?

 Ged Desforges 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

I'd agree, most likely repeaters. Especially if you so the encores variety, where you are locking off. That screwed mine. 

All of the shoulder stability stiff will no doubt help. I had a lot of success tweaking my form whilst hanging. Basically, get your ears as far away from your shoulders as possible by Really engaging your shoulders, and dropping them low. I found it reduced my pb for max hangs, but haven't had any elbow issues since. 

 Ged Desforges 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Also, the only thing I found that really fixed my golfers when it was bad was the hammer exercise. As in dumbell with weight ar one end, rest arm on table, slot lower it outwards. Try it with different elbow angles until you find the one that hurts, and so that. 3 sets of 10 in morning and evening every other day. 

 Cake 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Yeah, that's what I meant by the weight on a stick exercise. I've been doing them for some time and I'm ramping that up with the flexbar exercises too

 redjerry 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

The stretching question is an interesting one. I know someone who's a phd physical therapist who did a study that tried to gather and summarize all the available research on stretching (he ended up putting a lot of what he found in a book https://books.google.com/books/about/Contemporary_Stretching.html?id=YhtKngEACAAJ. His basic conclusion was that (I'm paraphrasing here) the effects of stretching (both positive and negative) were really poorly understood and really difficult to research in a meaningful way.
Anecdotally, I've found it to help with elbow problems. 
 

 Mike Nolan 12 Jan 2021
In reply to redjerry:

Here's another quite large review that looked at physical intervention to prevent sport injury. It suggests strength training is pretty effective, and stretching isn't: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24100287/

I agree with you that anecdotally, it seems to provide some short term relief for me. People like Tyler Nelson (who spends a lot of his time looking at the research into this, and applying it) have been pushing the idea of heavy isometrics as a way of recovering from tendon issues, and he seems to get really good results. His Instagram feed is a good source of information and ideas - @C4HP. 

AFAIK, recent research suggests isometrics at differentiations joint angles may be more effective than the eccentrics, like the hammer exercise that climbers have always done! 

 Ged Desforges 12 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

The key for me with the stick exercise was adjusting the elbow angle until I found the sweet spot. I'd been doing it for ages with no benefit, but as soon as somebody told me that, I went from not climbing to feeling pretty OK in a couple of weeks 

In reply to Cake:

I would have though that 1 session of repeaters and 1 session of max hangs a week for someone without a long history of fingerboard activity would be enough.  I wouldn't go to 3 sessions a week yet.

 Iamgregp 12 Jan 2021
In reply to Cake:

There's a stretch that works as a miracle cure for some, but seems to have no effect at all for others.  Works well for me - gave myself a mild dose of golfers in the run up to Xmas and spent the xmas week at the mother in laws doing this before I went to bed every night and am all good now https://tomrandallclimbing.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/golfers-elbow-a-possible-solution/ 

 Cake 12 Jan 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

Yeah, I've tried that too! I didn't really feel anything when I did it, so maybe I'm in the not affected group. I'm pretty sure I was doing it right. I'm very bendy, so perhaps that's why the stretch didn't seem to stretch me much.


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