Cure Golfers Elbow  From Lifting Weights (Inner Elbow Pain From Lifting)

This article covers frequently asked questions about golfer's elbow from lifting weights, and how to fix golfer's elbow (inner elbow pain from lifting weights) in 5 minutes or less.

For a video-based guide to cure elbow pain fast, consider the TitaniumPhysique program. A solution created for athletes, by athletes. Take the elbow pain quiz to start now.

golfers elbow lifting weights

If you experience golfer's elbow from lifting weights (or inner elbow pain after working out), you've come to the right place.

For years I struggled with golfer's elbow pain during bench press, chest flys, chin-ups, bicep curls, triceps extension, and cable rows - among other exercises. I fixed my golfer's elbow, and I will show you how to do the same.

This article covers frequently asked questions about golfer's elbow from lifting weights, and how to fix it in 5 minutes.

For a detailed article on the root causes of elbow pain from lifting weights, the types of elbow tendonitis, chronic vs. acute elbow pain, and the fastest way to permanently cure elbow pain, check out this article: elbow pain lifting weights

Nurudeen Tijani Posing Physique Abs and Chest
Written by: Nurudeen Tijani
Member of American Chronic Pain Association, Personal Trainer, Bodybuilder, Physique Athlete, Yoga Instructor, Wellness Coach

Golfer's Elbow From Lifting Weights (Frequently Asked Questions)


What is golfer's elbow?

Golfer's elbow (also known as inner elbow pain or medial epicondylitis) is a type of elbow tendonitis where pain occurs on the inside part of the elbow. It may develop over time (chronic), or occur suddenly from overloading the medial elbow tendon (acute). In the case of lifting weights, overloading the elbow includes:

  • Lifting a weight too heavy
  • An increase in training volume (e.g. performing excessively more sets during a workout)
  • Using bad weightlifting form during exercise (e.g. bench press)
illustration of golfer's elbow: forearm flexor muscles, inflamed medial elbow tendon

Can you get golfer's elbow from lifting weights?

Yes, you can get golfer's elbow from lifting weights. However, it's important to note that lifting weight is not the root cause of golfer's elbow. Lifting weights simply triggers (acute) golfer's elbow or aggravate (chronic) golfer's elbow. To learn more about the root causes of elbow pain when lifting weights, check out this article.

What causes inner elbow pain when lifting weights? Why does it happen?

What causes golfer's elbow when lifting weights?  - The tendon on the inside part of the elbow (medial tendon) can become overstressed and inflamed from weight lifting. The inflamed tendon causes inflammatory pain on the inside of the elbow (golfer's elbow) during weight lifting.

Why does golfer's elbow happen? - The forearm muscles contract when you perform exercises involving the arm. Over time as you continue to lift, the forearm flexor muscles and triceps muscles become tighter and shorter. Shortened forearm muscles pull and put tension on the medial elbow tendon, decreasing the elasticity of the tendon.

A combination of shortened forearm flexor muscles and an inelastic medial elbow tendon, overloads the elbow joint and causes inner elbow pain during weight lifting.

nurudeen performing flat barbell bench press and incline barbell bench press

Nurudeen performing barbell bench press during a chest workout at gym (2020). The bench press is a highly effective exercise to build upper body strength and the chest. The bench press primarily targets the pectoral, shoulder, and triceps muscles. "Push" exercises such as bench press can trigger or aggravate golfer's elbow (inner elbow pain).

The Complete Elbow Pain Solution For Athletes

For a video-based guide to cure elbow pain fast, consider the TitaniumPhysique program. A solution created for athletes, by athletes. Take the quiz to start now.

What are symptoms of golfer's elbow from lifting weights?

Symptoms of golfer's elbow from lifting include the following:

  1. A burning feeling of pain at the inner part of the elbow after lifting (e.g. chin-ups, push-ups, chest flys, bench press)
  2. Tenderness, swelling, and soreness at the inside part of the elbow after lifting
  3. Dull pain and ache in elbow when lifting weights
  4. Sharp, sudden and severe pain at the inside part of the elbow while lifting
  5. Pain and difficulty bending and straightening arm after working out
  6. Weak grip strength when lifting dumbbells or barbells

How does golfer's elbow affect weight training?

Athletes and weightlifters with golfer's elbow experience elbow pain during exercises that stress the medial elbow tendon. Common exercises include:

  • Barbell Bench Press (flat, incline, decline)
  • Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press
  • Chin-Ups
  • Chest Flys (machine and dumbbell)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Push Press, Military Press
  • Triceps Pushdowns, Triceps Extensions, Bar Dips
  • Close Grip Lat Pulldown
  • Cable Rows

What weight lifting exercise should I avoid with golfer's elbow?

Avoid "pull" exercises. "Pull" exercises can overload the forearm flexor muscles, inflame the medial elbow tendon (inner elbow tendon), and aggravate golfer's elbow (inner elbow pain). Common weight training "pull" exercises include the following:

  • Chin-Ups
  • Chest Flys (machine, dumbbell, cable)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Triceps Pushdowns
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Bar Dips/Chair Dips
  • Close Grip Lat Pulldown
  • Cable Rows
Nurudeen performing close grip chin-ups in gym (2022)

Nurudeen performing close grip chin-ups during back workout at gym (2022). Close grip chin-ups is a variation of the chin-up exercise. Close grip chin-ups primarily target the lower lats muscle and secondarily the deltoids and biceps. Close grip chin-ups can trigger or aggravate golfer's elbow (pain on the inside of the elbow).

The Complete Elbow Pain Solution For Athletes

For a video-based guide to cure elbow pain fast, consider the TitaniumPhysique program. A solution created for athletes, by athletes. Take the quiz to start now.

Is it OK to lift weights with golfer's elbow?

It depends on the severity of the golfer's elbow. If the golfer's elbow causes "low to mild" pain, most people can use elbow sleeves, elbow brace, elbow wraps, elbow straps, or other short-term pain relief remedies to reduce inner elbow pain when lifting. 

If the golfer's elbow is chronic and severe, or causes sharp pain in the elbow during when lifting weights, it's best to treat the root cause of the pain before resuming exercising.

For more information on elbow pain post-workout treatment, short term remedies, as well as the fastest way to cure the root cause of golfer's elbow lifting weights, check out this article.

Does golfer's elbow go away?

Yes, golfer's elbow can go away if treated early, and if the ROOT causes of the tendonitis are treated. Short-term remedies can help if the golfer's elbow is acute (condition is less than three months old). If the golfer's elbow is chronic (condition is more than three months old), it usually requires fixing the root cause of the elbow tendonitis to rid of the pain.

    How long does it take to get rid of golfer's elbow?

    Short-term pain relief remedies like elbow sleeves, elbow brace, elbow wraps and elbow straps can provide temporary but instant relief for golfer's elbow pain. 

    Elbow sleeves compress the elbow joint to promote increased blood flow to the elbow, while also keeping the elbow joint and elbow tendon warm. This temporarily reduces golfer's elbow pain when lifting weights. Unfortunately, the pain usually return and often gets worse when you resume lifting without elbow sleeves.

    Alternative solutions, like the TitaniumPhysique program can help you permanently cure golfers elbow (in 30 days or less), as well as prevent it elbow from coming back.

    nurudeen performing seated shoulder press with barbell at gym 2019

    Nurudeen performing seated barbell shoulder press during a shoulder workout at gym (2019). The seated shoulder press is a variation of the shoulder press exercise. The shoulder press is an effective exercise to build upper body and shoulder strength. This exercise primarily targets the deltoids, upper pectoral, and triceps. "Push" exercises such as seated shoulder press can trigger or aggravate golfer's elbow (pain on the inside part of the elbow) and triceps tendonitis (pain at the back of the elbow).

    The Complete Elbow Pain Solution For Athletes

    For a video-based guide to cure elbow pain fast, consider the TitaniumPhysique program. A solution created for athletes, by athletes. Take the quiz to start now.

    What happens if golfer's elbow goes untreated?

    Golfer's elbow left untreated become degenerative and can lead to irreversible deterioration of the medial elbow tendon and elbow joint. When left untreated, the forearm muscles become restricted and inelastic, leading to forearm muscle pain and wrist pain. The medial elbow tendon lose strength and deteriorate, which often lead to tendon tear or rupture - known as elbow tendinosis.

    Can golfer's elbow cause permanent elbow pain?

    Yes, it possible for golfers elbow to cause permanent elbow pain - known as elbow tendinosis. Tendinosis is the deterioration of tendon collagen due to chronic repetitive stress injury - often a result of lifting weights. Tendinosis results in the loss of strength in the tendon and often lead to tendon tear or rupture. It's necessary to treat the root cause of the pain to prevent permanent elbow pain.

    Do elbow sleeves help with inner elbow pain when lifting?

    Elbow sleeves (including elbow straps, elbow braces, elbow wraps) are a popular option to manage elbow tendonitis (such as inner elbow pain) when lifting weights. Elbow sleeves compress the elbow tendon and elbow joint. As a result, it temporarily reduces elbow discomfort when lifting, e.g. during bench press.

    Unfortunately, elbow sleeves do not cure the root cause of golfer's elbow. When left untreated, elbow tendonitis can lead to elbow tendinosis and cause irreversible elbow tendon degeneration.

    Nurudeen performing skull crushers aka lying triceps extension

    Nurudeen performing skull crushers during a shoulder and arms workout at gym (2021). Skull crushers is a variation of the Overhead Triceps Extension. Skull crushers is an effective exercise to build upper body and arm strength. This exercise primarily targets the triceps muscle. "Pull" exercises such as skull crushers can trigger or aggravate golfer's elbow (inner elbow pain) and triceps tendonitis (posterior elbow pain).

    The Complete Elbow Pain Solution For Athletes

    For a video-based guide to cure elbow pain fast, consider the TitaniumPhysique program. A solution created for athletes, by athletes. Take the quiz to start now.

    How do I stop pain on inside of elbow when lifting weights?

    To stop inner elbow pain when lifting weights, do this:

    1. Use short-term pain remedies that provide temporary relief to elbow pain - or - 
    2. Fix the root cause of elbow pain to cure and prevent it from coming back.

    Short-term pain relief remedies for inner elbow pain from lifting include: joint supplements and vitamins, anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs), physical therapy, stretching, "Ice and Rest therapy", elbow braces, elbow straps, elbow sleeves, kinesiology tape, and topical anti-inflammatory solutions (oils and creams).

    For a detailed explainer on conventional remedies to stop elbow pain, check out this article.

    To cure golfer's elbow pain and prevent it from interfering with your workouts, you can fix the root cause of elbow pain. The ROOT causes of elbow pain when lifting weights are (1) chronic inflammation, (2) magnesium deficiency, (3) muscle restriction.

    For a detailed article (and explainer video) on the root causes of elbow pain and how to cure it, check out this article.

    How can I get rid of inner elbow pain fast? (Relieve Elbow Pain In 5 Minutes or Less)

    To get rid of inner elbow pain fast (in 5 minutes of less) follow these steps:

    1. Use a peanut ball to massage the forearm extensor muscles, forearm flexor muscles, and triceps brachii muscle and tendon.
    2. Roll out (massage) the muscles with the peanut ball for 3-5 minutes. Stretch the forearm muscles and triceps muscles after the massage. 
    3. Perform the massage ball routine once a day. Rest the muscles the following day. Then repeat the routine again.

    On day when you're not using the massage ball, you can apply an ice pack to the elbow (if you experience a sensation of burning pain). For faster results, perform the massage ball exercise 2x a day. Once in the morning and once at night.

    For a detailed article (and explainer video) on how to get rid of chronic elbow paincheck out this article.

    For an easy-to follow video-based guide to permanently cure elbow tendonitis (including tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, triceps tendonitis), consider the new TitaniumPhysique program.

    How do you prevent golfers elbow lifting weights?

    To prevent and counteract golfer's elbow from lifting weights, follow these steps:

    1. Stretch the triceps muscle and forearm muscle before lifting (for example, forearm flexor stretch).
    2. Start your workout by warm-up the elbow tendon and triceps tendon (e.g. resistance band pull-aparts exercise).
    3. When lifting, incrementally add weights to avoid sudden overload of the triceps tendon and elbow tendons.
    4. Learn and always good weight lifting technique. To learn proper lifting technique, check out the Exercise Database & Library (by the American Council on Exercise).
    5. Incrementally increase training volume (i.e. be mindful about doing an excessive amount sets per workout).
    6. Supplement with magnesium to heal and decalcify the elbow tendons. Magnesium also relax muscles to reduce pain.
    7. Use a peanut ball to massage the forearm extensor muscles, forearm flexor muscles, and triceps brachii muscle and tendon. Roll out (massage) the muscles with the peanut ball for 3-5 minutes. Stretch the forearm muscles and triceps muscles after the massage. Perform the massage ball routine once a day. Rest the muscles the following day. Then repeat the routine again.

              For a detailed article (and explainer video) on how to prevent and counteract elbow pain, check out this article.

              For an easy-to follow video-based guide to permanently cure elbow tendonitis (including golfer's elbow, tennis elbow, and triceps tendonitis), consider the new TitaniumPhysique program.

              How to treat chronic elbow tendonitis pain

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              Nurudeen Tijani, Author & Founder at TitaniumPhysique
              Written by: Nurudeen Tijani

              Nurudeen (aka T.J) has a passion for helping people build the body they desire through weight training. He is a physique and fitness trainer, nutritionist, yoga instructor, vegan natural bodybuilder, National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor, and founder at TitaniumPhysique. Nurudeen is a member of the International Association Study of Pain (IASP) and the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).

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