I seem to have very tight tendons. It's very evident doing squats (although my hips are getting looser). When I do push-ups, I almost get a numb feeling in my left elbow when I am in the down position and my elbow is fully bent. Several months ago, after several days of single arm movements, I developed tendinitis in that elbow. It literally took months to get back to 100%. I did a workout today with a lot of push-ups, and now my elbow is sore and feels like the beginnings of tendinitis again.
I'm certainly going to rest it, but what should I do long term to fix the problem?
I'm guessing I need to increase the flexibility in my tendons for one. Does regular stretching or yoga help tendon flexibility, or do I just need to continue using it to loosen it up?
Also is there any particular food(s) that would help strengthen/heal from the inside? Maybe marrow? I would be willing to take a supplement as well but would prefer a food source.
Take a look at Pavel's books "Super Joints" and "Beyond Stretching", they should have everything you need to fix your "tight" joints. You can apply heat locally before exercise to warm the tendons up a bit, that should help too.
yin yoga is the PERFECT compliment to a heavy strength training workout. its very challenging in a very different way. you wont be sorry if you give it a try! i can feel the difference when i lapse in my practice.
Stretching right after exercise, when your muscles are all nice and warm, works really well to improve flexability. You will notice that with the muscles already warm, the stretching is easier and more effective.
I have the same elbow problem. I find that it is a lot better if I just do two sets of 10 pushups (3x a week). Not muscularly taxing, but it stops total atrophy and actually causes less pain than if I did nothing for some period of time and then tried to do it again. Stop doing the exercise as soon as you feel pain if it's before 10 reps. I might try 2 sets of 5 reps for a while and see if I can get it to heal fully. It's a really annoying injury.
I have fibromyalgia and am VERY prone to overuse syndrome, tendonitis, and waking up with rock hard muscles (and recently learned muscles get hard in living humans for basically the same reasons they do during rigor mortis! No joke!). After some research, I started taking D-Ribose. I've only been on it a few weeks, and I can't say I haven't had a flare up, but after a long road trip and a lot of driving, sleeping in strange places, using the laptop in uncomfortable positions on a motel bed, etc., I expected to feel a lot worse. I could find n reported side effects, it's a sugar that isn't supposed to have glycemic effects, is nearly tasteless and not terribly expensive, so I'm sticking with it. Some people report much greater benefits, and it's used by athletes to quell muscular issues thereby increasing endurance.
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