Tip: Soft Tissue Work for Heavy Bench Pressers

Use this simple technique to prevent overuse injuries and ease your elbow pain.

If you've lifted for a while, you'll undoubtedly experience some elbow pain. This is especially true if you're a heavy or frequent bench presser. Using a barbell on the forearms is a great way to mitigate soft tissue or overuse injuries:

Simply lay down on your side and rest your head on your bicep. Start by placing the bar just above your wrist bones. Slowly, use your other hand to roll the bar up towards the elbow. When you feel a tight spot, begin to open and close your palm a few times to help release tension.

This is painful at first, but it goes a long way towards getting rid of some chronic inflammation in the elbow. If the pain is too intense when you first start, you can cut a pool noodle in half and use it as a cushion for the bar. Stop rolling if your forearm feels numb.

TJ Kuster is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), specializing in mobility and injury prevention. He coaches at Method Sports Performance in Bloomington, IL.