i've had a problem with aching tendons which i originally contributed to pressing movements. However, after a little bit of research i found out that the real culprit is actually squats and the way the low bar position together with narrow hand placement on the bar overstretches the bicep tendon and makes it sore.
The pain is a shooting pain in front delts, biceps, elbow and sometimes forearms as well. Having a job with a lot of typing doesn't help either (RSI related stress on the joints and tendons).
the westside barbell guys recomment not to squat heavy more than doubles because of it causing tendonitis. The reason for this is that the bar usually drops down even if just little causing you to overstretch the bicep tendon even more. Can't find the reference now, but will post it to this thread when i do.
What helped me and what i plan to do:
1. squat low reps, i dont do more than a double with heavy squats
2. no benching straight after squats - i would love to do this, but usually can't and ideally i would have at least one off day between squatting and benching.
3. stretching. In any ways possible, including dislocations with a broomstick or a band.
4. icing and deep heat.
5. high rep shoulder pressing to pump blood into the muscles.
6. hit rear delts and high rows hard to pull the shoulder blades back.
7. cut down computer use
For reference here are some things i found out:
Squats and Arm/Shoulder Pain
It is a common phenonemon that the bigger you get and the more you squat, that you will eventually develop arm or shoulder pain. There are roughly three main causes of this: 1) having too narrow of a grip; 2) holding the bar too low on the back; and 3) overusage.
I have had bicep tendonitis so bad that I couldn’t raise my arms and any movement almost reduced me to tears. For those of you who have never had it, I pray that you never do. Image a sharp pain anytime you move your arm, that in its most extreme form, takes your breath. Shoulder pain usually results from the same three causes. A lot of times the only thing that can truly help you is rest, let it heal, and start over not making the same mistakes again. Here are few things that I have learned to keep it to a minimum.
1) Widen your grip when you squat. Learn to ‘balance’ the bar on your back and not ‘hold’ it with your hands. Widening your grip takes time in order to feel comfortable.
2) If you learn to do #1 properly, you can use the lower powerlifting bar placement without too much trouble. Many of us use the lower placement to improve leverage. You can always hold the bar higher on the back but it is likely your poundages will suffer. For some this is not an option.
3) Here’s one of the secrets. Cut the rep work out. Do no more than triples on any set. A lot of the abuse comes from the higher rep sets. Think about it. The bar moves around more, you get tired and have to stabilize it and your biceps and shoulders take the brunt of it. If you have these problems, lower your reps.
4) Use some neoprene sleeves to give extra support for you arms ONLY IF your shoulders are fine. Otherwise, you are just transferring the stress to your shoulders. I like to use them on my heavier sets. A good liniment helps too.
5) Bicep and Shoulder scheduling. You have to plan your training such that after squatting, your shoulders and arms have enough recuperation time. This is usually the easiest way to stay healthy. If you are doing 15 sets of shoulders and arms on Tuesday and then trying to squat heavily on Wednesday, you can understand why eventually it catches up with you. Try to include at least a day or two after a heavy squat session as a rule. You can also substitute a leg press and/or a safety squat bar for your leg work as neither stress the area.
6) Bicep and Shoulder training. Be sure to include work for your Brachialis and Brachioradialis. These include reverse curls, hammer curls, and incline dumbell curls. Don’t go crazy with volume as that will only make your problem worse.
7) Lastly, don’t be afraid to take some time off. I found that at some point, rest is the only thing that helps.
another guy i was emaailing with said:
dont know if you know the difference or not between supraspinatus and
biceps tendonitis. they have some of the same signs and symptoms and
can occur together due to the location of each and the close proximation
of the structures in this area.
basically bicpital ten. has pain in the front of the shoulder in the
bicipital groove. (follow your clavical to the end, walk your fingers
towards your bicep about 1 to 1 1/5 inches).
there is pain with resistance in the groove when you have arm flexed
straight out in front of you, palm up and someone else applies resistance
to your hand (speed's sign).
supra ten. pain occurs with an impingement test. stand with your arm
straight out in front of you again, have someone else internally rotate
your arm and bring it towards the other side. somewhat forcefully and
you should feel pain at the very end of your clavicle. (kind of looks
like someone is making you dump you favorite beer out in a line in
front of you)
if you noticed that your shoulders are rotating forward, stretch your
pecs in various positions. this is a cause for many shoulder issues
i would also suggest strengthing your rear delts, rotator cuff and
mid/lower traps and rhomboids.
here are some helpful pre/rehab things that you can do. the most obvious is ice and nsaids (ibuprofen). as well as the dreadful resting that area.
one of the issues with tendonitis, is that acute bouts of them are normal and not such a big deal. chronic tendonitis will actually change the cellular make up of the tendons and will cause problems later in life. when i state this i am referring to 10-15 years. doesn't seem like a big deal now, but as you get older, you may see a difference.