Home Physical What causes bodybuilder’s excessive elbow bone growth

What causes bodybuilder’s excessive elbow bone growth


If you’re watching the world’s most famous bodybuilders, it’s certainly not hard to notice Ronnie Coleman’s odd-looking, overly grown elbow bones. The condition is now known as the bodybuilder’s elbow and it looks quite alarming. If it intrigues you too, read below about what causes this mysterious condition.

Ronnie Coleman’s elbow bone growth

His elbows show a bulge about the size of a tennis ball. The issue is not connected to steroid injections. It is caused by an inflammation of the bursa, also known as bursitis, caused by repetitive movements. The elbow joint can get inflamed and that is a rather common injury in the world of gym goers. It also has to do with the liquid inside the joint, which keeps accumulating and is not reabsorbed.

Bodybuilder’s elbow causes

As mentioned above, this condition is caused by repeated elbow joint movement. It has nothing to do with any medications, steroids or any enhancers that bodybuilders may take in order to increase their performance and muscle size. Inflamed elbows are really common in weightlifting. More precisely, it is the sack of the elbow joint that gets inflamed.


The only way to treat bursitis is to insert a needle and aspirate the excess fluid stuck inside. Although the growth may look like it’s a proper bone, it’s mostly fluid inside. It is simply the bursa that’s inflamed. Online, you will find many photos of bodybuilders displaying this condition, as well as of the recommended treatment.

Training aspects

Ronnie Coleman has favored bilateral training – a strategy employed to create massive mass in a very short time. This is tempting but it is certainly very damaging to your body. It literally hurts the body, causing pain and structural damage. It surely takes its toll on the soft connective tissue and joint mechanisms. Of course, performing exercises incorrectly or abusively is sure to lead to such injuries – it doesn’t have to be Ronnie’s own method. Still, Coleman himself performed some of the exercises in wrong ways, as it can be seen in videos. His arm movements do not focus on the shoulders, as expected, but on the elbows, hence the overworked joints.

All in all, weight lifting involves a lot of risks. That should not discourage you, but remind you to have a good diet and to take high-quality supplements for joint support. Just like your spine discs can get herniated so your elbows can face issues because of excessive movement or pressure. The training style also matters a great deal. If Ronnie Coleman is your idol, you should, however, need not change your role model but do adopt a different training method, as to avoid the injuries that Ronnie’s method caused him.

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