General Dance Discussion > Q for the guys - mild elbow pain

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by lebowski, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    After holding a partner for some time, with my right hand on her back, I notice the inside of my right elbow starts to ache.

    Anyone else experience this? Any tips to nip this in the bud before it becomes something worse, like tendonitis?
  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    lebowski,that's not a probem I've ever had, sorry. I hope someone else will be able to help ou though.
  3. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    I think it might be related to lifting weights. From deadlifts and pullups, I get so much grip work, that I am constantly on the verge of developing tendonitis in the elbow. I keep it at bay by working the extensor muscles of the forearm/hand.

    But the location of this pain on the elbow feels slightly different, and more to the inside.
  4. Chiron

    Chiron New Member

    The only problem I've had is if a lady is hanging on me it will hurt my right delt. Are you gripping onto the lady when you dance?
  5. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    If by 'gripping', you mean flexing the fingers, then no, or if it happening, it's very slight. My hand is on her back, and my wrist is flexed with straight fingers. Actually, I think holding my wrist in a flexed position might be the issue. I think I have to stretch the inside of my forearm after practice to counter the extended period of muscle contraction that occurs when holding the frame with a flexed wrist. Either that, or convince the ladies in class to dance closer to me. :)

    Do the leads mostly hold their partners close enough that they can place their hand on their partner's back with the wrist in line with the forearm?
  6. Chiron

    Chiron New Member

    By gripping I mean are you pulling her towards you. Also are you dancing latin or ballroom, and if ballroom are you in body contact?

    In standard I dance in body contact but try to give the lady as much room up top as she can take up. When I do this my wrist is in a straight line with my forearm.
  7. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Your wrist shouldn't be flexed, it should be straight.
  8. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    No, not pulling her toward me, or not much anyway. Both Latin and ballroom. No, not in body contact. It's a beginner class, so I don't think the ladies would be comfortable with body contact.

    OK, so this is probably the issue. I guess I need to bring my partners in a bit closer. Also, having my right elbow higher would also help because I can reach further that way, reducing the need for wrist flexion. I find the high elbow position a bit tiring, but I guess the muscles will get used to it.
  9. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Well, in a nutshell: stick your arms straight out at your sides, then move the tips of your fingers about 6" forward. Flex your right elbow so the tips of your fingers are about 12" from your right pectoral muscle, rotating your forearm up or down at the elbow, to accommodate the lady's height. That's where your right arm belongs
  10. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    You lost me with the visual. But it sounds like my wrist should be in line with my forearm. As for the elbow height, should it be high enough that my forearm slopes down? Or is it ok to leave it low such that my forearm is horizontal or even slightly upward sloping? Let's assume my partner is 2" shorter than me, in heels.
  11. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Not sure why you'd want your forearm to slope up or how you'd accomplish that if your partner is shorter. If anything, your tiny height difference would allow for an almost horizontal forearm which is actually pretty ideal considering the more you have to slope it down for a much shorter partner, the more strain you put on your shoulder... Looks at some pictures of pros to get an idea but I would say basically horizontal is what you'll have with your partner.
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Regarding the upward slope of the forearm... I assume that means sloping upward from elbow to wrist...

    My guess, since the OP mentioned it was a beginner class (which means I'm assuming the OP is a beginner as well), is that he's dropping his elbow down by his side instead of keeping it up in a good frame. If the elbow is dropped, and he's keeping his hand on her shoulder instead of her waist, his forearm will probably be angled upward. Also, if that's the case and he's trying to keep plenty of distance between the two, his wrist probably will be at a completely FUBAR'ed angle...I could see it hurting after a while.
  13. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    Right, that's what I meant.
    Yeah, I think I was keeping my elbow too low, nowhere near my side though. My upper arm was probably at a 45* angle away from my body (90* being a horizontal upper arm). Not sure if this is too low, but it sure is easier on the shoulder than keeping the upper arm further elevated.

    My hand was on her lower rib area, which as I recall was what we were instructed to do. So definitely well above the waist. Should it be lower for Latin or for ballroom?

    I don't think my wrist was cocked to either side (meaning thumb side or pinky side), but it was flexed a bit (meaning the palm was closer to the forearm than if I kept the wrist in line with the forearm).
  14. Chiron

    Chiron New Member

    Ideally you want your arm at 90, occassionaly you will dance with much shorter women where this isn't possible (2" shorter you should be able to get pretty close to 90 as Ithink said). In those cases where she is much shorter your forearm will also be sloping down. As for hand position on her back it is usually high enough that your wrist will make contact with her armpit.

    In latin my hand is ~1/2" lower than in ballroom, but in general they are about the same place.
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    The elbow should be at the highest level at which neither partner's elbow (man's right, lady's left) will be above his or her shoulder.
  16. lebowski

    lebowski New Member

    Problem solved. Last class, I kept my wrist straight, and didn't experience any elbow pain.

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