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Sore Tendons
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HITMAN68

Hello fellow HITers!
I've been following Dr. Darden's New HIT routine for about 5 weeks now with pretty good results so far. The problem I'm facing now is that both of my elbow tendons are sore as hell from the DB Triceps Extensions and the pain has gotten almost intolerable.

Has anyone here experienced this before? Can anyone recommend a remedy for this kind of pain? Thanks!

Stay Strong,
Robert
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Ciccio

HITMAN68 wrote:
Hello fellow HITers!
I've been following Dr. Darden's New HIT routine for about 5 weeks now with pretty good results so far. The problem I'm facing now is that both of my elbow tendons are sore as hell from the DB Triceps Extensions and the pain has gotten almost intolerable.

Has anyone here experienced this before? Can anyone recommend a remedy for this kind of pain? Thanks!

Stay Strong,
Robert


hey Robert,

nice to hear you're successfull with TNHIT.
But I never had myself or heard about tendon soreness in the lower tendons of the triceps which are going over the elbow joint.
The first what comes to mind is, that you should try the cable pushdown and see if it helps.
No exercise is worth to experience "intolerable" pain!

Regards,

Franco


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J.W.

Indiana, USA

A layoff for a week or so would be my suggestion. However, prevention is the key to avoiding the problem. I have found that with any tricep movement, if I don't consciously make an effort to slow the weight down at the top and botom of the movement I will develop tendenitis. You have to avoid any semblence of a ballistic movement or thrust in the turnaround.

Unfortunately, tendons heal very slowly. I have found that a layoff is the only thing that healed the tendons once the damage has advanced past a certain stage. A friend of mine once had to go almost a year in layoff before his recouped. Every few months he would try again and the same problem would develop. This was no doubt extreme and in his case a lot probably had to do with his trying to handle too much weight which necessitated using bad form to complete the reps.

Initially rather than dropping triceps movements entirely, you might first want to try some other tricep movements and see if they cause you problems. If it doesn't irritate the tendons, substitute that movement. No one says you have to use only one specific exercise for a specific bodypart.

You may also be simply overtraining. Your tricep also gets work in any form of the bench press and overhead presses. So you may be able to get by for a while working the triceps through only using a compound movement.

JWH
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TheSofaKing

Manitoba, CAN

I just want to point out an elbow problem that bothered me for over a year and was hard to find the cause. I couldn't figure out what specific movement was causing it, until I was describing the pain to my chiropractor, and it hit me. It always hurt my left elbow when my hand was supinated. I had been doing deadlifts with my left hand supinated (alternate grip) for some time. That was the connection. I took 3 weeks off, and started again using a double overhand grip and the problem is gone.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Robert,

I found myself having elbow problems with the overhead DB TX too. When I have this problem, there are 4 basic things I do:

1. Warm-Up - I know HIT talks against this, but I find it beneficial. Just 3-4 reps with 60-65% of your workout poundage is fine.

2. Slow Down the Reps - Drop the weight ~10% and do slower repetitions (10-12 seconds each, if not slower). J.W. has a really good point here: even if your reps are slow, you can sabotage the efforts if your turnarounds are too fast or ballistic.

3. Stretch - 10-20 second static stretches after your workout, none of that ballistic crap. Be gentle and stop the stretch right when you feel the pull.

4. Ice - 10 minutes of ice at night will work wonders. Do some more stretching too.

Obviously, I didn't invent these ideas. These are proven methods per orthopedic surgeons, with the exception of the shift to slower reps -- to me that's just common sense.

Some substitute exercises may be a something to consider:

Lying Triceps Extensions with an EZ Curl Bar - Start with the bar resting just above your forehead and contract the triceps only to raise the weight smoothly. Rotation should only occur at your elbow joint. Make sure your upper arms are angled somewhat towards your head (a bit more than perpendicular to the floor) -- this will keep more tension on the tris throughout the movement. This movement stretches the tris a bit less than overheads. The bar may actually come down anywhere from your nose to the top of your forehead, depending on how long your arms are.

If that is still too much, try pushdowns as Franco said. Keep your elbows tucked in and don't rock your torso to initiate the movement.

Scott
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Feb221732

I have often wondered the reasoning behind the alternate grip. Does anyone know why it is used? When I first started training that is how everyone did deadlifts. Assuming these guys knew what they were doing I followed along. Like many other things the so called personal trainer showed me, I never questioned it then as I trusted him. Bad move as it eventually cost me a shoulder surgery from ballistic movements.


Ted
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TheSofaKing

Manitoba, CAN

Feb221732 wrote:
I have often wondered the reasoning behind the alternate grip. Does anyone know why it is used? When I first started training that is how everyone did deadlifts. Assuming these guys knew what they were doing I followed along. Like many other things the so called personal trainer showed me, I never questioned it then as I trusted him. Bad move as it eventually cost me a shoulder surgery from ballistic movements.


Ted


The opposing grip helps grip the bar a little better. Thats what I found anyway. If you must use it, I think alternating which hand is in which position every workout might help. I will avoid it from now on.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Robert,

I have a question: Does it also hurt on the forearm side of your elbow too? These two tendons often have interrelated problems.

If so, may I suggest light reverse curls done with a slow-rep protocol. Warm-ups, stretches, and ice also apply.

Good Luck,
Scott
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Feb221732 wrote:
I have often wondered the reasoning behind the alternate grip. Does anyone know why it is used? ... Bad move as it eventually cost me a shoulder surgery from ballistic movements.

Ted


When you use heavy weights, you'll notice that the bar feels like it wants to roll out of your hand(s). With opposing grips, one end wants to go one way and the other end the other way, but they are stifled/dampened by the inertia of the heavily-weighted bar.

Improving your grip strength is the best way to combat this problem. Besides the elbow, the alternate grip can cause rotator cuff problems too.

Importantly --- and this almost seems like the "Theme of the Week" here on the HIT Revolution --- avoid those ballistic movements.

Scott
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HITMAN68

Thank you to everyone who responded to my thread. Your suggestions are very helpful.

Franco, at this point the pain is so bad that any direct triceps work whether light or heavy hurts like hell. Even normal, everyday pushing movements hurt.

I've always made it my business to use good form on all of my excercises so I don't think that form is the issue here.

J.W., you are so right, tendons do heal very slowly. When I started experiencing this elbow pain recently I decided that for a whole week I would not do any excercises that stressed the elbow tendon (Bench Press, any triceps work, overhead presses, etc.) for a little over a week. The pain minimized a bit after the lay off but then came back once I started working triceps again.

The pain is only in the tendon that extends from the triceps over the elbow but does not hurt on the forearm or the triceps, just on the elbow.

Based on your suggestions, I think I'm going to drop all direct triceps work for a while and warm-up on those compound movements like Bench Presses and continue to ice down at night after working out. Hopefully I'll be able to do triceps work soon. Thanks again and any more suggestions will be appreciated.

Stay Strong,
Robert
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NATUREBOY

HITMAN68 wrote:
Thank you to everyone who responded to my thread. Your suggestions are very helpful.

Franco, at this point the pain is so bad that any direct triceps work whether light or heavy hurts like hell. Even normal, everyday pushing movements hurt.

I've always made it my business to use good form on all of my excercises so I don't think that form is the issue here.

J.W., you are so right, tendons do heal very slowly. When I started experiencing this elbow pain recently I decided that for a whole week I would not do any excercises that stressed the elbow tendon (Bench Press, any triceps work, overhead presses, etc.) for a little over a week. The pain minimized a bit after the lay off but then came back once I started working triceps again.

The pain is only in the tendon that extends from the triceps over the elbow but does not hurt on the forearm or the triceps, just on the elbow.

Based on your suggestions, I think I'm going to drop all direct triceps work for a while and warm-up on those compound movements like Bench Presses and continue to ice down at night after working out. Hopefully I'll be able to do triceps work soon. Thanks again and any more suggestions will be appreciated.

Stay Strong,
Robert


Dude if it hurts that bad you need to see a doctor. I wouldn't put it past them to put your arm(s) in a brace for a while.
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HITMAN68

Natureboy,
A cast? Bite your tongue! Well, today I went to the gym and the pain was so bad I couldn't even warm up on my Bench Presses. This totally f@#$%! sucks as I was making good progress with HIT (6 pound gain of muscle in just a tad over a month).

Well, I will continue to train HIT style but will obviously have to drop all compound pressing/direct triceps work.

So instead of Bench Press I'll have to do DB Flyes or Pec Deck, DB Laterals instead of overhead presses, and absolutely no triceps work until this freakin pain goes away.

This is a shame and I almost felt like crying in the gym today when I realized I couldn't do the above excercises but I'm going to get through this and I will continue to train HIT style. I know I'll get through this!

Stay Strong,
Robert
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NATUREBOY

HITMAN68 wrote:
Natureboy,
A cast? Bite your tongue! ...Robert


Nah...probably just a slip brace...in fact if you don't want to go to the doctor you can buy one yourself. Stay strong.
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bill1

California, USA

HITMAN68 wrote:
Natureboy,
A cast? Bite your tongue! Well, today I went to the gym and the pain was so bad I couldn't even warm up on my Bench Presses. This totally f@#$%! sucks as I was making good progress with HIT (6 pound gain of muscle in just a tad over a month).

Well, I will continue to train HIT style but will obviously have to drop all compound pressing/direct triceps work.

So instead of Bench Press I'll have to do DB Flyes or Pec Deck, DB Laterals instead of overhead presses, and absolutely no triceps work until this freakin pain goes away.

This is a shame and I almost felt like crying in the gym today when I realized I couldn't do the above excercises but I'm going to get through this and I will continue to train HIT style. I know I'll get through this!

Stay Strong,
Robert


I don't know what to tell you , except this has occasionally happened to me also, over the last 30 years or so. I think it is due to overstretching of the tendons during isolation exercises , such as the extension or pushdowns. I think you are right to lay off tricep work for a while and that when you return to it , it would probably be better to avoid isolation movements for the triceps. Or maybe avoid the stretch at the beginning of the movement. In any case , I would let your elbows " cool down " for a good while.
Check with your Doc, maybe some good anti inflammatories will help speed recovery. Ice is always good too.

Good luck

Bill
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ZEZ

Robert,
I'm also going through the pain of elbow tendinitis. This is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. I've had it for almost 4 months.

Originally i think i hurt it doing extensions(lying and seated). I also think it was from all of the underhand grip exercises i was doing (chins, rows, curls, wrist curls, and even deadifts). I tried to work through it which is a mistake and progressively got worse. Did the whole RICE thing took 2 weeks off went back and still had pain. I finally went to the doctor, but he told me nothing that i aleady didn't know. He told me to rest it and if doesn't get better to get a shot. I took another 5 weeks off and am slowing working my way back.

I am not doing extensions(only Dips and Pressdowns) and don't know if i'll ever do them again. Alot of sport doctors say if entensions bother your elbows, then don't do them. My tendinitis is on the inside of the elbow (forearm flexers)and affects my grip, so which is pretty much on every exercise, as i don't have access to non-grip machines. Tendinitis heels very slowly, not weeks but months and in some cases even years. Rest it and be patient, as you don't want it to become a chronic condition.
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HITMAN68

Bill/ZEZ,
You guys hit it right on the money. I strongly believe that this was a result of the overhead DB Triceps extensions as I've never experienced this degree of tendon pain before but yet I've never really done this excercise before either.

Also, I feel the pain most when I assume that same position without weight.

Rest assured, I'll never do this excercise again. I'll stick to close-grip benches and pressdowns, both of which have never given me a problem and are great triceps developers.

Luckily for me, all non-pushing excercises don't bother me. I can still do barbell rows, deadlifts, curls, laterals, etc.. So I'll safely work around this injury but I'm afraid my triceps are going lag considerably. Thanks again to all for your suggestions to my tendon problem.

Stay Strong,
Robert
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