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Author Topic: Certain tricep exercises causing elbow pain  (Read 6779 times)
chaos
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« on: May 02, 2012, 12:18:21 PM »

Seems lately that skullcrushers and seated OH ext cause a "burning " sensation right above my elbow where the tricep ties in. No pain on any other tricep moves or pressing of any kind, seems to be only these two exercises .....any ideas wtf that's all about?
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 12:34:11 PM »

Pain is trying to tell you something, listen. Skull crushers are hard on a lot of guys's elbows. If it hurts don't use it for awhile and maybe you can come back to it. Maybe it's out your rotation forever.

 There are so many excellent exercise you can do. Like you, lying tricep extensions with an ez curl bar kills my elbows. Narrow grip bench doesn't hurt my elbows. Various pulley pushdowns don't irritate either. Weighted dips is another.  Instead of skull crushers try two dumbbells with hands facing each other while lying on a bench.

 Sometimes just going away from a movement for a couple of months and coming back at first light solves the problem.  I would not work through the pain.  A little tear can become a complete rip.  A ruptured tricep has the possibility of never being the same again. A powerlifting friend of mine ruptured his tricep and he got it repaired. It never worked right again. He went from benching raw in the low 400lbs. to never again doing 225.  If a movement hurts don't work through the pain. Drop it.
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 01:38:20 PM »

Depending on how bad the pain or discomfort is, I would try a different bar or grip.
I have used the straight bar instead of the cambered bar when I had issues with the cambered bar and vice versa.

But like oldtimer said you may have to drop them for a while. I hurt my elbow doing decline db skull crushers a while back. I used to love this excercise, hit my triceps more direct than anything else. As a result I could no longer do tricep extentions of any kind for over a year. But then I slowly started working them back in, and now the only thing I won't do is decline db version, all other extentions are fine.

Also how heavy are you going rep wise? I won't go heavier than a weight that I can  get for at least 10 reps.

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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 01:53:45 PM »

Seems lately that skullcrushers and seated OH ext cause a "burning " sensation right above my elbow where the tricep ties in. No pain on any other tricep moves or pressing of any kind, seems to be only these two exercises .....any ideas wtf that's all about?
Skullcrushers have always given me elbow trouble. Presses never do. I use cables instead of skullcrushers.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 02:33:32 AM »

Pain is trying to tell you something, listen. Skull crushers are hard on a lot of guys's elbows. If it hurts don't use it for awhile and maybe you can come back to it. Maybe it's out your rotation forever.

 There are so many excellent exercise you can do. Like you, lying tricep extensions with an ez curl bar kills my elbows. Narrow grip bench doesn't hurt my elbows. Various pulley pushdowns don't irritate either. Weighted dips is another.  Instead of skull crushers try two dumbbells with hands facing each other while lying on a bench.

 Sometimes just going away from a movement for a couple of months and coming back at first light solves the problem.  I would not work through the pain.  A little tear can become a complete rip.  A ruptured tricep has the possibility of never being the same again. A powerlifting friend of mine ruptured his tricep and he got it repaired. It never worked right again. He went from benching raw in the low 400lbs. to never again doing 225.  If a movement hurts don't work through the pain. Drop it.
Good post. I worked through pain in my shoulder and could not press for months...stick to close grip benches and Dips. Let it heal up.
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 05:07:51 AM »

I injured my delt pec tie in using incline flies when I was about 18. Took about 6 months to heal. I'm 53 and I haven't done incline flies since.  I don't miss using it either.
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 06:38:27 AM »

Yeah typically I shy away from these movements but I'm teaching a new kid and was just showing him different stuff and tried them out, even a warm up weight causes the burning sensation.

Just strange it only happens on those moves. Undecided
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 07:22:46 AM »

I have the same issue.  Those same two movements cause elbow pain in the same area you mentioned.  It has been like this for years.

I have long arms for my height, so i think this might play a factor here.  Even when i warm up a lot and use perfect form, skullcrushers kill my elbows.


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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 09:56:25 AM »

Yeah typically I shy away from these movements but I'm teaching a new kid and was just showing him different stuff and tried them out, even a warm up weight causes the burning sensation.

Just strange it only happens on those moves. Undecided
stop jerking men off at night you're burning up you're wrists and elbows tendinitis
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 10:02:25 AM »

WTF that's all about dept:

With tricep extensions, bottom position, the muscle is being stretch beyond normal function. Lot of applied direct pressure , in this regard. With benches/dips, or any other kind of presses, the triceps are not being stretch (usually) to the full extreme. Also, with any pressing, other major muscle groups  (pecs, delts, etc) are taking a lot of direct pressure/workload off the triceps themselves. This allows these exercises to balance the function as a unit, as all muscled do. Dips and Close Grip Benches are excellent compound movement that can target the triceps strongly.

 A burning feeling , around the elbow, may suggest the start of the point of undo  stress  with the  muscle, tendon or ligament. Which may/may not include elbow joint problems (at times, the angle/position of the elbows can be corrected, than direct stress is lessened). .

As trainee's advance in age, these sort of problems seem to compound themselves slowly. May have been doing  forms of tricep extensions for years, no problems at all. And than one workout day, a odd feel to these exercise may develop; as burning, undo stress, etc within the working triceps/elbow area.  

Just to note: Highest weight I have witnessed (and confirm) in workout reps (sets of 6's) for SkullCrushers was around 320lbs, or so., but have heard of much heavier weigh used (can not confirm).. SkullCrushers are a partial rep movement, not gaining near a full stretch, still the pressure/stress on the elbows was brutal...Also commented on related potential biceps tears on injury/rehab site, which  may reflect with regards  to the  triceps. ..two better triceps exercise that no one does is a the one arm DB kick back & the tricep push off /push back bwt movement. Good Luck..

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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 11:22:10 AM »

Triceps moves dont bother my elbows but i cant do certain biceps stuff cos of elbow pain! Seems weird i can do anything with my arm braced ( concentration curl, preacher curl ) but anyhting like DB curl, BB curl , incline curl, cable curls etc etc all give pain even my first very light warmup set, so obviously i now dont bother with them!
Id say find diffrent exercises mate, as long as your training a muscle real hard it doesnt matter the exercise IMO! My arms never lost any size even when i didnt train any bicep movement at all for over a year before, they get plenty work in other things, same as your triceps will also!
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 12:40:55 PM »

two better triceps exercise that no one does is a the one arm DB kick back & the tricep push off /push back bwt movement. Good Luck..


These have become a staple in my triceps routine; I do them almost every workout. You can make the movement as hard or easy as you want using very minor adjustments in technique.


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« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 02:16:54 PM »

Describe it.
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2012, 02:30:20 PM »

Describe it.


You may laugh at how ridiculously sissy these look, but I assure you - when done properly - they kill!
Also, this isn't exactly a power or functional strength builder, so I don't know how keen you'll be to try them. However, since you asked...

Below is the best clip I could find with a quick search. Typically, they are performed on a bar rather than with the straps. Personally, I prefer to have the bar lower to make the movement more vertical. Oftentimes, I'll stand behind a basic flat bench press (to give you an idea of bar height), although power racks and Smith machines are also nice to use. 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZqfUbgmOU8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZqfUbgmOU8</a>

I also allow my head to travel much farther down for a deeper stretch before starting the next rep. IMO, it is CRUCIAL for you to be warmed up prior to this. And, as with all extension work, I recommend using a very slow and controlled descent to minimize trauma to the condylar tendons. Since eliminating what some trainers call the "stretch reflex" from my movements, I've barely gotten even short-term minor pains from any exercise.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 02:36:24 PM »

There is also a partial-rep version of this exercise, which may better suit some:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTV2p3Hj1L4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTV2p3Hj1L4</a>
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 08:07:40 PM »

Just to clear any confusion the Tricep Push Off and the Tricep Push Back are the same exercise with different names. This happens quite a lot in BB'ing. Also, this  goes for training systems, which can have different labels on them. West Coast terms tend to be different than east or mid-west terms when it comes it BB'ing. I have found that SoCal (where I live) BB'ing can have all together different titles, and slants, for things. SoCal can be a very strange place to some.

The Tricep Push back/off can also be done with most of the resistance on one arm at a time. With the regular two hand version, you can make the resistance fell very light to extremely heavy with just a slight shift/adjustment of the body.  When using a bar (usually on a rack, etc) you can bring the hands to a full stretch around the mid to lower traps. Or just bring the head down , so the forehead touches the bar it's self.

Tiger Bends are another exceptional full triceps movement. Quite a few gymnast include this one, along with handstand presses, in training.  Good Luck.
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2012, 02:41:21 PM »

I used to have terrible elbow pain,had to do 3-4 sets of high rep pressdowns before I started my triceps training and themn I used movements that didn`t aggravate them as much as others.

The pressdowns as a warmup allowed me to at least keep training them albeit not using big poundages.
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 01:50:03 PM »

Seems lately that skullcrushers and seated OH ext cause a "burning " sensation right above my elbow where the tricep ties in. No pain on any other tricep moves or pressing of any kind, seems to be only these two exercises .....any ideas wtf that's all about?
DB overhead ext fucked my elbows up. Stop doing them and my elbow pain, tendonitis, is gone.
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 07:19:38 PM »

I used to have terrible elbow pain,had to do 3-4 sets of high rep pressdowns before I started my triceps training and themn I used movements that didn`t aggravate them as much as others.

The pressdowns as a warmup allowed me to at least keep training them albeit not using big poundages.


Just some random thoughts:

Many trainers find extensions lowered to behind the head to be more forgiving on the elbows; this includes both overhead and supine varieties. Some people also find relief performing skull-crusher type movements on a decline bench.

Personally, I've found that technique is a major factor. For me, lowering the weight slowly and controlled (avoiding the "bounce" at the bottom) greatly minimizes the pain and discomfort that many tricep exercises used to cause me. In fact, I can now do everything that once caused me pain - AND use more weight & volume than I did then - without issue.
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 06:52:07 PM »

i switched to decline dumbbell tricep extensions... no more elbow pain
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2012, 07:01:46 PM »

i switched to decline dumbbell tricep extensions... no more elbow pain


Quod erat demonstrandum!
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2012, 07:11:06 PM »


Quod erat demonstrandum!

Q.E.D. is an initialism of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as "which was to be demonstrated". The phrase is traditionally placed in its abbreviated form at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument when what was specified in the enunciation and in the setting-out has been exactly restated as the conclusion of the demonstration.[1] The abbreviation thus signals the completion of the proof.
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2012, 07:33:08 PM »

Some people also find relief performing skull-crusher type movements on a decline bench.

i switched to decline dumbbell tricep extensions... no more elbow pain


Quod erat demonstrandum!

Q.E.D. is an initialism of the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as "which was to be demonstrated". The phrase is traditionally placed in its abbreviated form at the end of a mathematical proof or philosophical argument when what was specified in the enunciation and in the setting-out has been exactly restated as the conclusion of the demonstration.[1] The abbreviation thus signals the completion of the proof.



Shit just got CEREBERAL!!!
 Grin
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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2012, 09:15:11 AM »


You may laugh at how ridiculously sissy these look, but I assure you - when done properly - they kill!
Also, this isn't exactly a power or functional strength builder, so I don't know how keen you'll be to try them. However, since you asked...

Below is the best clip I could find with a quick search. Typically, they are performed on a bar rather than with the straps. Personally, I prefer to have the bar lower to make the movement more vertical. Oftentimes, I'll stand behind a basic flat bench press (to give you an idea of bar height), although power racks and Smith machines are also nice to use. 

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZqfUbgmOU8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZqfUbgmOU8</a>

I also allow my head to travel much farther down for a deeper stretch before starting the next rep. IMO, it is CRUCIAL for you to be warmed up prior to this. And, as with all extension work, I recommend using a very slow and controlled descent to minimize trauma to the condylar tendons. Since eliminating what some trainers call the "stretch reflex" from my movements, I've barely gotten even short-term minor pains from any exercise.



Tried these last night and got a hell of a pump and burn Cool
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2012, 11:37:22 AM »



Tried these last night and got a hell of a pump and burn Cool


Great; sounds like you did them correctly!! Cool

Since you understand the biomechanics and how they should feel, you'll quickly discover many of the little nuances to make the exercise easier, harder, stricter, etc. You do this by adjusting the height of the bar and/or distance you stand from the bar, which makes it quite versatile in situations where bar height is not adjustable, or when you want to do drop or pyramid sets with as little inter-set rest as possible.
You can also perform assisted reps by bringing one leg forward and posting a bit on that foot, which reduces the tension on the tri's.

There is MOST CERTAINLY a "feel" to this exercise and the components listed above.
I definitely recommend experimenting.
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