I have been off for a year now from tendonitis and golfer’s elbow. I babied it, because I just couldn’t figure it out, and with treatment it always seemed to linger. I got fed up and started back lifting just doing basic movements and icing it afterwards. It keeps feeling like it is getting better and stronger.
My question is what would you recommend replacing Zottman curls with? They are a great movement, but I feel that it might be something that aggravates that area. I just started back doing the Shotgun Method, because I didn’t know which one to get back into. Do you have a suggestion for which workout to try next after I am done with this one? Your books have been great!
My Answer: If Zottman curls aggravate your tendonitis, then you should definitely avoid it. The key to recovery is to avoid exercises that aggravate your tendonitis and perform exercises that work the elbows but don’t cause you any pain. This means you have to experiment with different exercises and find out which hurt and which do not. Go through Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth and you’ll find many exercises to choose from.
Once you’ve figured out what exercises work your elbows without aggravating them, you’ll perform high reps (12-15) along with eccentric training. There is some evidence to suggest that negative reps strengthen the tendons, which would alleviate the tendonitis.
So a good program to follow after the Shotgun Method is a Muscle Spinning program. Do 4 sets of 12-15 reps on each exercise. On the last 2 sets of each exercise, perform 12 reps followed by 3 negative reps. Using the cable curl as an example:
Set 1: 15 reps
Set 2: 15 reps
Set 3: 12 reps followed by 3 negative reps at a slight higher weight
Set 4: 12 reps followed by 3 negative reps at a slight higher weight
I suggest choosing cable and machine exercises, since negatives can be more easily performed.