Elbow Pain Doing Some Triceps Exercises

Hey everyone, I’ve been dealing with some elbow pain doing some tricep exercises. Through particular exercise that causes most discomfort are dumbbell overhead tricep extensions. The discomfort happens regardless of weight. Until sometime late summer, I will only have access to 2 dumbbells and about 80lb of weight on each dumbbell, so I don’t have access to cables or dips. I made the change recently of doing one set of triceps extensions per set of shoulder and bench press. The weight ranges from 60 lbs to 80lbs and I typically do 2 sets of Arnold’s, 2 sets of alternating shoulder press, 2 sets if bench press, 2 sets of floor press, 2 sets of laying extensions with focus on upper chest and then I do 2 sets of overhead tricep extensions with 100lbs because I can’t load more on my dumbbell bar. Do you guys think this is just too much volume? I decided to do more because I recover well and my triceps feel great, but my elbows are aching. A week ago, I started a new program where I left every other day with about a 40% workload to see how it goes, since I saw an article about this program for 6 weeks at the TNation Facebook page. I worry my triceps will lag behind if I take a break, but I don’t want to get injured. Ive focussed and kickbaks and laying cross body extensions and feel a little less pain, but I feel that overhead extensions and skull crushers are more effective. I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Didn’t you post a thread like this before? Correct me if I’m wrong.

Try lower volume maybe only 2x per week i think. This has helped my elbows feel better and not need so much stimulation. Also, overhead Tricep ext AND skullcrushers are pretty rough on the elbows, consider doing close grip bench/weighted push ups.

I had posted about horrible shoulder pain, but correcting how I tuck my shoulder blades as suggested has completely eradicated the issue. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll get the barbell out

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Any triceps exercise where your elbows are overhead, gets your triceps in the most stretched position. While, IMO, the more the stretch the better the results (when the weight is heavy), the risk of injury is much higher than, say, a triceps press down, while there is much less stretch.


Definitely! That’s my concern exactly. I don’t want to give up anything overhead. Do you think it would be wise to give these lifts a break and then resume with less sets?

I agree with everything @RT_Nomad said here. I used to do too many overhead triceps movements, and haven’t had really any pains since reducing the number of them I do. Now I only do 2 direct triceps movements, with only one being overhead… elbow pains have really been non-existent with this lower volume/heavier weight approach.

IMO: yes. Let the inflammation (pain) subside, then resume but with less sets.

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Awesome! Thanks man. I figured the same but wanted to her any suggestions since the change that I made when pressing has completely got rid of my shoulder issues. I could had taken a break from pressing, but the break wouldn’t had solved the issue.

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