If you just got back into lifting weights, and now you’re elbows are killing you, it’s not a pain to ignore.
Pain is a sign you may have injured yourself—or are about to—so listen to it. It could be a tendon strain, tendinitis (usually from overuse), even a fracture or dislocation (though, unless there was Ambien in your pre-workout shake, you’d probably remember those).
A common issue is strained tendons as a result of going too gung-ho. I applaud the gusto, but in the future, if you feel pain, take a break—don’t work through it!
But to get some relief now, a few ideas: In the spirit of your newfound fitness zeal, you could work around the pain; so, since it’s your elbow that’s bothering you, focus on lower-body moves.
You could also take a couple of days off and, when the pain subsides, slowly get back to upper-body moves, but doing them at a slower tempo.
If that doesn’t work, have a physical therapist or masseuse do some soft tissue work. That often does the trick by boosting blood flow to the tendon.
If you’re still in pain after that, make an appointment with an M.D.
Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer who works with professional athletes and celebrities. Follow him on Twitter.