T Nation

Triceps Training to Avoid Elbow Injury

I been reading a lot about triceps since I wasn’t training them directly and just started to this week.

I did:

The close grip(ass off the bench, upper and lower back on the bench, in the smith machine)press.

Dead stop “skull crusher”

Seated tricep dumbbell extension

cable pull-downs

Now I been reading a lot about skull crusher giving elbow pain. So I was thinking about switching them out before getting any kind of injury. Which exercise could I swap this for? I’ve read about Larry Scott extensions but have no idea how to perform them, anyone have a video or something?

Any other ideas would be nice as well. Oh and I’m getting some elbow sleeves ASAP.

Ass off the bench?? Why?

I do have some elbow problems with the Barbell triceps extension but it seems to actually be easier doing them from a dead stop, or maybe it’s just the reduced range of motion or easier eccentric that helps. Anyway it’s mainly because of wrist positioning. Doing it with an ez bar or with dumbbell shouldn’t give any elbow pain if your are that worried.

The deadstop tricep extension is used by a lot of guys in favour of standard skullcrushers for that very reason (preventing elbow problems, tendonitis) I believe.

Unless it starts to go ‘hurty’ I think you should be fine.

PJR Pullovers are also a v. good triceps exercise, look them up.

When saying that skullcrushers almost always cause elbow issues down the road, we are usually referring to traditional (upper arms vertical, bar comes down on nose or forehead or so) skullcrushers.

Having upper arms at an angle (and even at lockout), as done in Dead Skulls and PJR’s/Pullover+extensions alleviates much of that problem.

Also, obviously don’t do extensions with weight too close to your max.

Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.

And finally, why do that many exercises?

3 are fine when training tris once a week directly, and you could even stop at 2 and add a drop set or whatever floats your boat.

-press (don’t forget to press towards the feet as well as up when pressing in the smith, and always keep your shoulder blades retracted… That last part actually goes for Dead Stop Extensions as well)

-Extension or Pullover extension

(- Pushdowns or whatever… Most just do these for the pump)

There you go… The best thing you can do to avoid elbow tendonitis due to tri work is to:
-> Avoid certain kinds of extensions such as traditional skullcrushers and seated or standing overhead extensions… Or at least only do them when warmed up very well and for high reps.
-> Don’t do a ton of tricep exercises at random. Pick 2 or so main movements which work well and get strong on them. A press and an extension/pullover+extension usually.
-> Wear elbow sleeves
-> Keep your biceps and triceps in proportion, strength wise.

Why aren’t you doing weighted dips?

How about trying reverse wide grip smith presses

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.
[/quote]

You recommended those sleeves in another thread some time ago, and I ordered a couple of pairs (one pair for knees, another pair for elbows). They are great! I don’t have any joint issues, but they are wonderful for warming up.

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.
[/quote]

You recommended those sleeves in another thread some time ago, and I ordered a couple of pairs (one pair for knees, another pair for elbows). They are great! I don’t have any joint issues, but they are wonderful for warming up.[/quote]

Goddamnit, I’m making Tommy Kono rich. He ought to pay me for that :slight_smile:

Glad I could help, Rational Gaze.

[quote]upg wrote:
Why aren’t you doing weighted dips?[/quote]

There’s better exercises for me. Dips give me achy elbows and my chest takes over the movement too much.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
When saying that skullcrushers almost always cause elbow issues down the road, we are usually referring to traditional (upper arms vertical, bar comes down on nose or forehead or so) skullcrushers.

Having upper arms at an angle (and even at lockout), as done in Dead Skulls and PJR’s/Pullover+extensions alleviates much of that problem.

Also, obviously don’t do extensions with weight too close to your max.

Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.

And finally, why do that many exercises?

3 are fine when training tris once a week directly, and you could even stop at 2 and add a drop set or whatever floats your boat.

-press (don’t forget to press towards the feet as well as up when pressing in the smith, and always keep your shoulder blades retracted… That last part actually goes for Dead Stop Extensions as well)

-Extension or Pullover extension

(- Pushdowns or whatever… Most just do these for the pump)

There you go… The best thing you can do to avoid elbow tendonitis due to tri work is to:
-> Avoid certain kinds of extensions such as traditional skullcrushers and seated or standing overhead extensions… Or at least only do them when warmed up very well and for high reps.
-> Don’t do a ton of tricep exercises at random. Pick 2 or so main movements which work well and get strong on them. A press and an extension/pullover+extension usually.
-> Wear elbow sleeves
-> Keep your biceps and triceps in proportion, strength wise.

[/quote]

Thanks CC. As I said, I’m getting the elbow sleeves as soon as possible.

As for exercise. I’m going to keep it to 3 on arm day(bis and tris) and maybe add the Seated tricep dumbbell extension at the end of chest day.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.
[/quote]

You recommended those sleeves in another thread some time ago, and I ordered a couple of pairs (one pair for knees, another pair for elbows). They are great! I don’t have any joint issues, but they are wonderful for warming up.[/quote]

Goddamnit, I’m making Tommy Kono rich. He ought to pay me for that :slight_smile:

Glad I could help, Rational Gaze.
[/quote]
C_C I send you a PM but I guess it didn’t work.

I got the sleeves but on the them it says “Knee bands”. On the website it said they were elbow sleeves, are they the same thing? I have to return them because they’re too big for my elbows but was wondering if they are the same item…

PS: they are TK brand.

I think if any of the exercises are going to bother your elbows, it will be the seated dumbell extensions. I personally can’t do those or else I get a lot of pain. If you do want to do keep the reps higher.

Like CC said, the biggest elbow killer in my opinion is just wear and tear from doing too many exercises, or doing them too frequently. If you are just adding in direct triceps work, I would keep it to one day and not do the additional work after your chest work (they will get worked from the chest pressing anyway). In time you may be able to add more tricep work after chest but you don’t want to do too much too soon.

[quote]ronaldo7 wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.
[/quote]

You recommended those sleeves in another thread some time ago, and I ordered a couple of pairs (one pair for knees, another pair for elbows). They are great! I don’t have any joint issues, but they are wonderful for warming up.[/quote]

Goddamnit, I’m making Tommy Kono rich. He ought to pay me for that :slight_smile:

Glad I could help, Rational Gaze.
[/quote]
C_C I send you a PM but I guess it didn’t work.

I got the sleeves but on the them it says “Knee bands”. On the website it said they were elbow sleeves, are they the same thing? I have to return them because they’re too big for my elbows but was wondering if they are the same item…

PS: they are TK brand.[/quote]

TK knee and elbow sleeves are the same basically, only that the elbow sleeves don’t have “knee bands” written on them (doesn’t matter).

You could keep yours and use them for quad work. Really helps if you use hack machine squats or so as your main quad exercise, for example.

I’ve been squatting without them a few times now (kept forgetting to pack them back into my gym bag after cleaning them) and my knees are letting me know…

Another vote for the Kono’s. Bought mine for the knees after reading about them on Clarence Bass’ site. I haven’t used them for the elbows, but in the colder months I’m usually warming up in layers anyways and that is definitely helpful at 38.

Learn to listen to your body, it’s the best thing you can do. If it hurts or starts to give you problems, back off or work on your technique/hand placement/whatever so that it doesn’t become aggravated. If it persists, maybe it’s time to step up on another body part for a while and give it a rest.

I hit mine twice a week after delts and chest, usually two exercises per session. Keeping the arms angled on the PJR’s definitely helps, if you’ve seen the article where Larry Scott describes doing tricep presses at the cable station, with the elbows on the edge of a split bench and your head dipping below, it’s kind of like that but inverted. I normally feel it stretch where the tricep attaches to the shoulder (rear delt? lol, my anatomy sucks). Anyways, I think I’ve seen both CC and Waylander say in one of the Tricep threads to be careful and not let it stretch/bounce too hard or risk injury, esp. with the heavier weights.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

[quote]ronaldo7 wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

[quote]Rational Gaze wrote:

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Another thing is to wear neoprene sleeves (such as Tommy Konos)… No need for hardcore double-ply pl sleeves, just something to keep the joints warm (no need for much support) etc… Makes a big difference.
[/quote]

You recommended those sleeves in another thread some time ago, and I ordered a couple of pairs (one pair for knees, another pair for elbows). They are great! I don’t have any joint issues, but they are wonderful for warming up.[/quote]

Goddamnit, I’m making Tommy Kono rich. He ought to pay me for that :slight_smile:

Glad I could help, Rational Gaze.
[/quote]
C_C I send you a PM but I guess it didn’t work.

I got the sleeves but on the them it says “Knee bands”. On the website it said they were elbow sleeves, are they the same thing? I have to return them because they’re too big for my elbows but was wondering if they are the same item…

PS: they are TK brand.[/quote]

TK knee and elbow sleeves are the same basically, only that the elbow sleeves don’t have “knee bands” written on them (doesn’t matter).

You could keep yours and use them for quad work. Really helps if you use hack machine squats or so as your main quad exercise, for example.

I’ve been squatting without them a few times now (kept forgetting to pack them back into my gym bag after cleaning them) and my knees are letting me know… [/quote]

So I guess I should get “small” for my elbows and just keep these for legs. Then when I’m huge I use the ones for legs as elbow sleeves=Win :).

Hey C_C I been trying to get elbow sleeves but the ones on APT are too big for me(my elbows are only 10.5") I don’t want to run the risk of getting them and then being too big.

I was thinking about getting these:
http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2161292&cp=3077568.3077639.693995&pg=2&parentPage=family

Are these a good choice as well at least until I grow more muscular?

Thanks

As much as I love my TK sleeves, I think you could rock some of the lesser known ones. The neoprene retains heat, keeping the joint moving smoothly, but doesn’t provide any real support.

I was having some serious elbow pain. I have TK knee sleeves and didn’t think they would work, but I was pretty damn happy when they fit my elbows fine. Guess I am getting bigger arms…