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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Forearm Pain Paradox

paradox - A statement or situation which defies logic or reason

Today I am going to tell you about the Forearm Pain Paradox.

Imagine being able to bend spikes and steel bars with your hand and wrist strength, but not being able to turn a door knob to pen a door.

Imagine being able to lift a world record weight in a strength contest, but not being able to straight your arms to do so.

Finally, imagine being dog-tired from one of the best workouts you ever had, but not being able to fall asleep because your forearm hurts so bad you can't find a pain-free position.

All of these scenarios are things I have lived with over the years.

My name is Jedd Johnson, and I am from  I am a strength coach, and my passion is Grip Strength.  I love bending nails, tearing cards and phone books and own world records in grip.

But I am also just like you.  I know what it is like to have workouts hindered due to the annoying nagging pain that can happen up around the top of the forearm and elbow.

Chances are, if you have been training hard for a while, or if you do a lot of hand-intensive manual labor, you have had bouts of forearm pain like this too.

Maybe, you're even suffering from it right now.

Forearm pain, especially up near the elbow, creates what I call the Forearm Pain Paradox.  What I mean is, you can have strong hands and wrists, and lower arms capabable of absolutely astonishing feats of strength and power,  but your grip goes completely to shit when you have high forearm and elbow pain, especially medial and lateral epicondylitis.  There are so many attachments in that small area near your elbow, if something goes wrong, it's like the strength you've worked to build up for years works against you.

The same goes for big movements, like bench press, overhead press, squats and deads.  You can be a damn monster in the weight room, but if you get high forearm or elbow pain bad enough, you can kiss PR's goodbye...

Forearm pain SUCKS, and thousands of people get it each year.  In my estimation, I have had what is referred to as medial and lateral epicondylitis, and more commonly known as Golfer's Elbow and Tennis Elbow, respectively, about 10 times since 2003. 

The Causes of Forearm Injuries

I know a lot of you love getting into the meat and potatoes behind all of this stuff, so here it is in a nutshell.

Medial Epicondylits (ME)  - Golfer's Elbow

M.E. is an injury to the common flexor tendon which originates from the medial epicondyle, a bony structure high on the elbow, and on the underside.  That just means a lot of the flexor muscles start there.  It also means that if you do a lot of movements where you are flexing your hands and wrists, you could end up with this problem.  This is also caused by a valgus movements, where the forearm moves out away from the body, but the upper arm stays close to the body, like the back arm of the golf swing, which is why it's called Golfer's Elbow.

Lateral Epicondylitis (LE) - Tennis Elbow

L.E. is nearly the same as M.E., but the difference is that it takes place in the common extensors tendon, which is on the back of the forearm, and attaches on the top part of the elbow.  This one is caused by rotation and extension movements.  Even just straightening the arm can lead to it, so you don't need to rip, bend and tear things to cause issues.  Just the basic pressing movements can do it.  Tennis players get this because of the drag that takes place when swinging the racket in a back-hand strike.

What Can You Do about These Conditions?

Now that you know what these conditions are with their supped-up names and bad attitudes, it's time to discuss what to do about these conditions.

First and foremost, preventing these conditions is a lot more fun than getting them.  Like I said, I have had both of these full-blown conditions about ten times over the years, from 2003 until 2009.

In 2003, I was bending steel and lifting stones like a mad man, but when it came to turning a door knob, my knees would buckly because of the pain.  Several times, the pain was enough to keep me awake at night, and my most recent case of full-blown LE, the injury was so bad, that I needed to wear elbow sleeves with tiny heating packets in them in order to keep the area warm enough to straighten my arm to pick up weights from the floor.

In 2009, I decided I'd had enough of this crap, so once I rehabbed it that last time, I began implementing a battery of preventive exercises.  I still do all of my feats and compete in Grip Sport contests, but now, I am smarter about it.

Surprisingly, the Preventive measures add almost no time to my training at all.  They are so simple, I often wonder why I didn't start doing this stuff way back in 2003.

The principles I use involve promoting strength in the extensor muscles, which open the hand.  This keeps a strength balance between the extensor muscles which open the hand and the flexor muscles which close the hand, and keeps the lateral epicondyle and the tendons that connect to it in good working shape.

Other things like a good warm-up and keeping the area warm during my training (also known as common sense) have paid huge dividends in my training, allowing me to train longer, miss fewer workouts, and compete at a higher level.

So, I have become very good on the Preventive side.  In fact, I wanted to put together an ebook to help others prevent these types of injuries from occurring at the forearm and elbow, but I soon realized that it would be a complete waste of time for many people, because so many people are already bother by this kind of intense pain.

That was when I knew I had to track down somebody that was experienced at rehabbing this kind of injury.  That was when I tracked down Rick Kaselj.  Rick has many certifications behind is name, but that is not what is important.  What really matters is the fact that he has already helped so many people in the past get through injuries.

I contacted Rick about putting together something with me for forearm injuries like this and he agreed.  Within a short time, we had developed the main outline of Fixing Forearm Pain - Medial and Lateral Elbow Pain Fix for Athletes and Lifters.

Rick and I released this new product this week, and we know that there are a lot of you out there who are struggling with forearm pain.   That is why we opened it up for this week at such a dirt cheap price - $19.  That is less than my co-pay when I go to the doctor!

If you've had forearm/elbow pain for a while, you know how bad it can affect your training, strength levels, attitude, and night-time rest.  Grab our ebook and study Rick's portion, where he outlines his professional approach to rehabbing elbow pain

And maybe you've never had pain like this, but you know that the training you do could one day cause something down the road.  In that case, check out the manual and dive into my section, where I talk about the Preventive Methods I have used for the last couple years to keep high forearm and elbow pain from coming back.

I know this manual is going to help a lot of people, so make sure to get it before Friday, because then the price is going to increase.

All the best in your training,


P.S.  Don't be the "I'll wait to later" guy.  You and I both know that later never comes, and if it does, it might be too late to grab Fixing Elbow Pain for less than a 20-spot.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Got Wrist Pain?

I bet you have had wrist pain from time to time,haven't you?
Any sort of training or sport can bring about pain.
One spot that gets  jacked up more than others is the wrist
If you are active in sports, it might have come  about from a hard hit or other sort of trauma.
Lifting can cause issues as well, like if a pressing or jerk-style movement goes slightly wrong.
Even lifts like squats and curls can mess up the wrist from time to time.
Did you know the wrist has 8 little bones in it that are all arranged in a specific way in order to provide proper movement, function and strength at the wrist joint?
Many people do not realize this, but it is true.
And if any of those little bones gets thrown out of whack by getting tackled or during a lift where technique goes wrong, then you can have some pretty serious pain that greatly reduces your performance.
I found an awesome and completely free resource that shows you the construction and layout of the wrist joint.  As you move your cursor above the parts that make up the wrist, you can get even more info about the role these parts play.
Here's the link if you are interested in learning more:  The Wrist (no charge or email opt-in to view this)
Getting rid of wrist pain can be tough to do sometimes, but I do have a few suggestions for you.   Remember too, this is coming from somebody who  isn't a doctor, but has had his share of wrist injuries in the past and has found ways to get rid of them quickly.
1.  Go to a Doctor for a professional diagnosis
You have to start by learning what exactly is wrong.
They may have you go for an X-ray or MRI to see exactly what is going on. 
If it is a miss-alignment, that can usually be fixed pretty quickly.  If it is some sort of a tear, then there might be more intensive work required.
But either way, the best thing is to see exactly what you have going on there to plan your therapy and recovery.
2.  Go to a Chirporactor
Most Chiropractors do not only work on the back and neck, but also the other joints as well. 
I have had my Chiropractor adjust my wrist no fewer than 20 times over the last 10 years, and sometimes when I go in for a tune-up, I have her hit my wrists for good measure.
3.  Do Something Different from What You are Doing Now! 
Many people put treatment off for weeks, months, or even years before they do anything. 
All of this results in lost training time and possibly a condition that you can never fully recover from.
Whether it is because you don't have, lost, or can't afford insurance, or whatever the case may be, you've got to try something to get out of pain.
If you are fed up with wrist pain, I have some suggestions for you in Fixing Elbow Pain. 
Although that program is designed primarily to treat and prevent injuries of the elbow, a lot of the drills that I show you can be used for the wrist as well.
You can get this product by clicking here
If the price of a doctor visit is as scary in your home town as it is in mine, my $27 ebook might be a little easier pill to swallow.
One technique in that ebook I showed to my subscribers at my Grip instructional site,, and after using it just one time, one member experienced immediate relief.
I wouldn't sit here and guarantee that fast of results for everyone, but who knows?  You're sick of your wrist pain right?  So is it worth a try?
I will tell you for certainty, that these days, any time I feel anything weird with my wrist I march my ass downstairs and use this technique.
You can do a Test Drive of for just $7.  Now I know that's less than what you'll pay your doctor.
Like I said before, all of the tactics I show people are things I have used for myself to recover from injuries and then later on to keep them from coming back. 
I am not a doctor, don't profess to be,  nor do I want to be, but these little tricks of the trade I have picked up sure do help me get people out of pain, especially when it comes to the hands, wrists, forearms and elbows.
If you are tired of dealing with pain then click on one of the following two links.
Check out Fixing Elbow Pain here.
Check out The Grip Authority here.
Let me know if you have any questions.
All the best with your training.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Grip Training: Benefits of Sledgehammer Training

If you don't currently have a Sledgehammer to train with, I suggest you march right out and get one right now.  There are so many benefits of sledgehammer training, it is just a great way to spice up your training.
You get them at just about any store, or even right off the Amazon Website.
Speaking of Sledgehammers, I put up a new post on the site about someone who as done more impressive things with Sledgehammers than anyone walking the Earth - Slim "The  Hammer Man" Farman.
Here's the post <= My Knuckles Were Sore
Slim is famous for some unbelievable feats with hammers, many of which I would have to specialize on in my training for years in  order to match and most likely still never come close.
However, I was surprised to see some remarkable progress in one particular feat Slim is famous for which has been called "The Slim Lever."
Check the new post out to see how it's done.
Now, as I said, there are many benefits to Sledgehammer Training, and it is a good idea to have at least a 6-lber in your arsenal if you are a woman and an 8-lber if you are a man.  Let's run down some of the benefits of sledgehammer training.
1.  Grip Strength
It takes a concerted effort between the forearm, wrist and the hands to maneuver a Sledgehammer. 
It doesn't matter if you are swinging it around with faster movements, or if you are being more strict and controlled with it, Sledges will light you up.
To give you an idea of the many ways you can  use these for Grip Strength, you can use them in strict movements to strengthen the wrist movements of nail bending, you can use them more dynamically to strengthen faster movement patterns like a golf or baseball swing, and you can even add weight to them and rotate them like a wrist curl. 
All of these techniques are easy to set up but blow your forearms up and give you much tougher wrists and hands. And honestly, we've only scratched the surface of what you can  use them for.
2.  Cardio
If you are looking for a new to train for some cardiovascular  fitness, then try swinging a sledgehammer and striking a tire or a tree stump. 
Try just 30 seconds of constant overhand swinging and you will see just how demanding it is, even with a relatively light sledgehammer.
3. Shoulder Health
Most people don't think of this one, but it is true, sledgehammers work the shoulders very well, especially if you swing them in circular forms, similar to how Indian Clubs and Maces are used.  Just a simple sledge can be really useful toward loosening up the shoulders prior to a big pressing workout, or to help you get into better position under the bar for squats.
4.  Core Strength
Because of the awkward nature of the sledgehammer, your core has to work quite a bit harder and definitely in a different way when swinging one. 
And don't just think of the core as the abdominal muscles alone, think of the lats and the glutes as well.  All of these body parts are firing when you swing a sledge, especially if you can swing laterally against an object like a standing tire - talk about crazy rotation and deceleration training.  This is great for bat and stick sports and even combat athletes.
5.  Contra-Specific Training
Contra-Specific Training is a concept that is out there but you don't hear much about yet, but I think you will in the future.  The main idea behind it is strengthening opposing movement patterns. 
A prime example would be coupling Pull-ups with Military Press because they work complimentary pulling and pushing movements. 
Sledgehammers can accomplish the same thing, especially for those who do so much Kettlebell work, which involves Extension of the body.   Sledges, when used to strike down onto something, work powerful Flexion - both styles of training compliment one another very well and I think with time you will see more and more of this mentioned.
Sledge work is great for everybody.  It can be done as a way to isolate movement patterns like various wrist and forearm actions, or it can be done in more of a full-body, multi-joint manner of training.
So make sure you get one for yourself (you can grab one here) and don't forget to check out the new post on Slim the Hammer Man.
All the best in your training.