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  • Dr. Michael Mollenhauer

Topic: Lifting Technique (again)



The GREAT, the GOOD, and the UGLY of lifting.


Lifting will be a repeating topic from me and this blog. This post will specifically discuss the position of the arm when lifting. The three photos in this topic are going to be slightly different than our famous movie title. I will call them the great, the good, and the ugly.


Let us start with the ugly. Lifting with one’s palm facing downwards is suboptimal. This can cause pain on the outside of the elbow where the wrist extensor muscles attach. These muscles are designed to move the wrist, not lift heavy objects. Repeated use of this poor technique is almost a guarantee to have forearm/elbow pain.


This is commonly referred to as ‘tennis elbow’.



Next is the good, lifting with your palms facing inwards. This is better as it mostly removes the wrist extensor muscles and takes greater advantage of the brachioradialis muscle. This muscle is in the forearm and is designed to bend the elbow. Sounds like a good muscle for the task of lifting, don’t you think?


Now the finale. The great. Lifting palms up uses a bit more the muscles in the upper

arm, like the famous biceps brachii. These muscles in the upper arm are designed for heavier tasks like lifting, so use them for that purpose.



There really isn’t much else to it. An easy way to remember is that if you can see your palms when lifting, you are likely doing good. If your palm is hidden, trouble (and a visit to me) awaits.


Until next time, don’t hide your palms.


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