What exercises are good for strengthening tendons?
I have been having issues with my elbows (tendons) since I started doing BJJ, I am pretty sure that i don't have tendonitis or anything like that but it has been 8 years since I have trained anything to a high intensity. After doing some reading I am fairly confident my tendons are just not used to the load I am placing on them. This is starting to get me down, as I cant improve my fitness or my BJJ at the moment.
Does anyone have any exercises or tips that can help through this period faster and without injury?
I think I am going to have to take a week off as it is.
I taking supplements as well , just because I want to get this sorted;
I am also looking at taking Bromelain.
Unless you have an actual injury and a doctor told you to take a week off I wouldn't skip a week of BJJ. This is an adaptation phase that your body has to go through. Taking time off will only increase the time it takes you to adapt. You may want to look at technique especially gi grips if you are in the gi. Hanging on to the Gi for dear life will pump your hands and forearms and cost you grip strength really fast.
I had the same problem when I started Judo, some people at the club I go to never had the same issue so it does not seem to affect everybody, my doctor said it was Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow) caused by excessive gripping and pulling when my body was not used to carrying out these actions.
For a long time the pain was quite bad and I could not even bend my arm without pain.
First thing I did was stretches, twice a day every day, then after a couple of weeks some excersises with dumbells and light weights x2 a week:
After a couple of months the pain has now gone and my elbows are back to functioning normally, though I still stretch regulary (but not so often) and do the above dumbells excersises at least once a week.
Your body is just getting adapted. Do some stretching after your bjj and workouts.
Do some joint mobility, focusing on your elbows, wrists and shoulders. Stuff like shoulder circles, elbow circles, wrist circles and tea cup movement.
When you are better including pullups and chinups into your strength routine would be good.
After speaking with my coach, he said the same thing you guys have said that's it common and an adaptation phase, he also mentioned that i might be gripping too hard as well.
I am probably being overly cautious here but I have just got into this and I love it, so I am a bit worried about doing something that might stop me training permanently.
I will head to training tomorrow, the elbows have stopped hurting and I will make sure I stretch and warm up before hand. Using elbow braces seems to help as well.
I think pretty much everyone does in the beginning. What you need to do—and this can take time—is develop the sensitivity to feel when you need to grip hard. Most of the time your grips can be pretty relaxed, just hooking your fingers around the cloth; you only need to tighten your grips when you’re applying pressure, e.g. when applying a choke or when actively using a grip to prevent your opponent from moving. Keep a constant death grip and you’re sure to burn your grips out.
Originally Posted by Auszi
I think part of it, is not just that I am gripping hard but that I am using my arms instead of my body to move my opponent. The last lesson, from butterfly guard, we were pulling our opponents to our side and to the ground. Thinking about, if I keep my elbows close to my body and use my body weight more, it would probably be much easier. I was just pulling their arm across and down, rather than leaning back, I might be wrong, I will ask my coach on Thursday
Isometric contraction seem to strengthen tendons the most. The research seem to back that up.
Have you got any links to the research?
Originally Posted by Bullwhip
It sounds like mild tendinitis, actually.