T Nation

Do You Work Trough Tendonitis?

Well i have been to about 3 doctors and they all tell me to just lower the weight and that nothing is really wrong, if it hurts just ice it and take advil…

Problem is i cant do a lot of triceps isolation exercises (skull crushers, French Press), or any other extension exercise like the above, without feeling pain in the elbow.

I have not done these in awhile and attribute my lagging triceps to this problem, so should i try to work trough it or am i fucked?

Do you guys work trough it?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Tendinitis is one of those overuse injuries that only gets worse over time if not given rest.

There is a way to fix it, but it probably involves less pressing movements, which means you’ll have to get more creative about hitting your chest. A few months of focusing on your tris won’t ruin your chest development though, IMO.

Firstly, you have (according to your profile) been lifting for only 6 months.

I find it alarming that you have already developed tendonitis…

How do you guys train? Do 6 sets of skullcrushers with your top weight, followed by six sets of lockouts also with your top-weight or somethimg equally tendon-unfriendly?

I’d suggest you let the tendonitis heal first, then, instead of skullcrushers and the like, use CGP’s/ IH-presses and smith-rgb’s (ala DC) and PJR pullovers as your main tricep movements… Don’t lock out entirely, either.

Skullcrushers just fuck up people’s elbows, especially once you get to the heavy weights or do lots of sets…
EZ Extensions where you bring the bar down behind your head (lying on a bench or even floor) are a little easier on the elbows, but still not the best choice in your case.

#Edit: Not sure if you’ll ever get totally rid of your tendonitis again… Just make sure you don’t do the movements which aggravate it.

take at least 2 servings of Flameout, it’ll start feeling better in a few weeks, of course then there’s the pain in the wallet.

I have tendinitis in my left knee, and a double dose of Flameout helps big time

Tendonitis is not something you can work through and if you keep pushing, it will eventually work through you. Be smart, if it gets worse it WILL force you to take off far more time than if you were originally a bit more wise and cautious. Bite the bullet, find alternative lifts for your triceps that don’t irritate them. Blood supply to the tendons are far less than muscles making their heal time much slower. Keep icing, keep taking anti-inflammatories and warm them up gently and generously before you intend to use them.

[quote]Da Vinci wrote:
Tendonitis is not something you can work through and if you keep pushing, it will eventually work through you. Be smart, if it gets worse it WILL force you to take off far more time than if you were originally a bit more wise and cautious. Bite the bullet, find alternative lifts for your triceps that don’t irritate them. Blood supply to the tendons are far less than muscles making their heal time much slower. Keep icing, keep taking anti-inflammatories and warm them up gently and generously before you intend to use them.[/quote]

That blood-supply part reminds me: Try some high-rep, low weight pushdowns or some such (whatever doesn’t irritate your tendons) every day or so just to get the blood flowing… Never tried (never needed) it myself, but most benchers/Plers at my gym do similar stuff.

Good luck…

One more thing I wanted to mention just to put something in perspective for you. I have been lifting and physically active for a long time, a boxer and martial artist since I was 5 so growing up I was always taught to tough it out and not be a pussy. I was in a similar situation when I was about 18, 8 years ago. I ended up not listening to my body, pushing it too far and blew out the connective tissue in my right tricep. After it was repaired, I couldn’t even bench press 135lbs, I had to start all over with any pressing lifts. On bench press I had to start with the bar, 45 lbs and progressively rehabbed my strength. To this day while I’m now far past where I once was, I still have pain in that elbow and I can still feel the tendon click and snap against my bone where the scar tissue remains in certain ranges of motion. Be careful, there are some things your body won’t heal 100% from.

I have been training for a year now, i dont think the problem ever came from actual tricep work, but more from squatting when i got to 400LB+ i used close grip and put most of the weight on my arms and it fucked my elbows up.

Since then i switched my squat grip and stopped everything that caused pain. Currently i do dips, rope extensions, Smith Machine GQ Bench and reverse grip bench press on the smith. I actually got most of these from a post by Cephalic_carnage…

I was just wondering, if this would ever go away, i guess ill just stick to these movements and see if it ever goes away, just to be clear i have not worked trough it yet, felt it would be stupid…But seeing that after 2-3 months it has not yet gone away i was wondering…

[quote]matso1236 wrote:

I was just wondering, if this would ever go away, i guess ill just stick to these movements and see if it ever goes away, just to be clear i have not worked trough it yet, felt it would be stupid…But seeing that after 2-3 months it has not yet gone away i was wondering…
[/quote]

NONONONONONONNONOOOOOOO! It will go away, but it’s an overuse injury, which means you need to change your workout and/or rest.

The main issue is to rest the joint. Like I said, stop pressing and do lots of flys etc… Then by not pressing you should have enough rest time to be able to focus on your tris w/stuff like extensions etc…

Whatever you do, if you don’t change something it will only get worse. Just repeat OVERUSE OVERUSE OVERUSE OVERUSE

Just to be clear, i never have elbow pain, unless i try to do those extension movements, so it is not like my current workout is irritating the tendinitis, just not fixing it…

I am getting great gains from my current workout right now, do you think i should drop it to TRY to fix this?

[quote]matso1236 wrote:
Just to be clear, i never have elbow pain, unless i try to do those extension movements, so it is not like my current workout is irritating the tendinitis, just not fixing it…[/quote]

Oh, well that’s actually fairly common. In that case try some triceps extensions w/a rope. Those aggravate MY elbows much less anyway. Maybe it will work for you. I think you can avoid certain exercises and still hit the tris with certain other exercises. A little experimentation will solve this. French curls are also a good one for me.

[quote]matso1236 wrote:
I have been training for a year now, i dont think the problem ever came from actual tricep work, but more from squatting when i got to 400LB+ i used close grip and put most of the weight on my arms and it fucked my elbows up. Since then i switched my squat grip and stopped everything that caused pain.

Currently i do dips, rope extensions, Smith Machine GQ Bench and reverse grip bench press on the smith. I actually got most of these from a post by Cephalic_carnage…

I was just wondering, if this would ever go away, i guess ill just stick to these movements and see if it ever goes away, just to be clear i have not worked trough it yet, felt it would be stupid…But seeing that after 2-3 months it has not yet gone away i was wondering…
[/quote]

Ah shit, if you had mentioned that before lol!
That’s your typical problem lots of powerlifters (especially) have once they put up decent numbers on the squat…

Curiously enough, I never got this… I don’t do low rep work, of course, but I’ve squatted some neat numbers low-bar style before… Then again, I did use sleeves and all… And I rotate exercises due to DC… (squats, smith squats, front squats, machine-hacks, what-have-you).

Sorry, don’t know exactly how to help you here man :confused:

One suggestion:

If I were you, I’d pm maraudermeat (chris drummond, I believe he had/has similar issues?) or just run a search in the strength sports forum.

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
matso1236 wrote:
Just to be clear, i never have elbow pain, unless i try to do those extension movements, so it is not like my current workout is irritating the tendinitis, just not fixing it…

Oh, well that’s actually fairly common. In that case try some triceps extensions w/a rope. Those aggravate MY elbows much less anyway. Maybe it will work for you.

I think you can avoid certain exercises and still hit the tris with certain other exercises. A little experimentation will solve this. French curls are also a good one for me.[/quote]

French curls, you mean lying db/ez skullcrushers? Ok, his issue stems from awkward forces being applied on the elbow when trying to hold the bar in place while squatting.

While french curls do not pose the same problem, they DO give a lot of people elbow problems later on (esp. once you get to 70-80 pound db’s or more)… If you can do them pain-free and actually use some weight, more power to you, but my elbows (even though I have no actual injuries or tendonitis) pretty much start crying every time I try to do that exercise…

I’d second the rope extensions, not as an actual main exercise but as a rehab movement, high reps, low weight, no pauses… Just to get the blood flowing.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
beebuddy wrote:
matso1236 wrote:
Just to be clear, i never have elbow pain, unless i try to do those extension movements, so it is not like my current workout is irritating the tendinitis, just not fixing it…

Oh, well that’s actually fairly common. In that case try some triceps extensions w/a rope. Those aggravate MY elbows much less anyway. Maybe it will work for you. I think you can avoid certain exercises and still hit the tris with certain other exercises. A little experimentation will solve this. French curls are also a good one for me.

French curls, you mean lying db/ez skullcrushers? Ok, his issue stems from awkward forces being applied on the elbow when trying to hold the bar in place while squatting. While french curls do not pose the same problem, they DO give a lot of people elbow problems later on (esp. once you get to 70-80 pound db’s or more)…

If you can do them pain-free and actually use some weight, more power to you, but my elbows (even though I have no actual injuries or tendonitis) pretty much start crying every time I try to do that exercise…

I’d second the rope extensions, not as an actual main exercise but as a rehab movement, high reps, low weight, no pauses… Just to get the blood flowing.
[/quote]

I guess it’s the one in the pic (kickbacks?), not a French curl. Anyway, my main point was to experiment with different movements. He can still most likely do some triceps isolation moves without pain. Which ones he will have to figure out.


This is also another great one for me. I get no elbow issues from this. And I also use the rope at heavy weights and I like it.

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may sound obvious,but when i get tendinitis, i do whatever doens’t hurt

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Try alternating hot and cold therapies.

Buy two large buckets. Fill one with ice water and the other with hot water. Submerge both elbows into the buckets and leave for between 1- 10 minutes (some have reported good results with 1 minute intervals, but I find that 5 minutes works better). Now swap. Repeat a few times. Always finish on cold, so as to control inflammation.

You need to do this at least 3 times per day for 2 days and then you can cut it down to post exercise only.

This worked a treat on my own elbows. I had brachioradialis tendonitis, not triceps tendonitis, but th principal is the same.

BBB[/quote]

Ill try this out, thanks for the tips everyone else, i do those rope extensions and they are not that bad, usually 15-20 reps for a little pump at the end…

[quote]slimthugger wrote:
may sound obvious,but when i get tendinitis, i do whatever doens’t hurt[/quote]

Sometimes that isn’t always an option, although in this particular case it may be.