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TRICEPS Training with SORE ELBOWS

This Triceps routine is one I implement when the tendons on triceps (Elbow attachment) are slightly inflamed and not co-operating. Through trial and error, the exercises below don’t seem to aggravate the tendons like some other exercises can. The goal here is to stimulate the muscle without adding to mild tendonitis. If you continually aggravate the tendons they will not heal. My personal opinion is that you can intelligently train around minor injuries, be careful and allow them to repair. Note this routine has been effective for me when experiencing mild Tendonitis, you may need to see your Doctor if the Injury is more severe.

 Normally I would class 4-8 reps as the heavy range, however due to the sore tendons the entire rep range has been scaled up. Ten is now the heavy range, 15 medium and 20 reps is the lighter pumping range. When the Tendons heal you can use the same routine but scale the reps back down again.

 Warm-up sets                      Tricep pushdowns                               3 x 20 reps

Heavy sets                               Dip Machine                                          3 x 10 reps

Medium weight sets          Overhead dumbbell Extension  3 x 15 reps

Lighter pumping sets         Cable Rope Extensions                   3 x 20 reps

 So that’s it, 3 warm-up sets then 9 working sets (2 more than biceps because triceps are a bigger muscle). Each exercise served a specific purpose so let’s go into a little more detail.

 Warm-ups: the warm-up sets not only get some blood into the working muscle they also prime the muscle fibres for the working sets. The weight is about half of what I would normally use for a Triceps pushdown. These 3 sets are as much about warming the tendons up as about warming the triceps.

  • Heavy sets: The Dip machine places little stress on the elbow so it is a great choice to go a bit heavier. Reps are low and you only have 3 sets, so make each rep count. Show them who’s the boss.
  • Medium Sets: these place a little more tension on the elbow but by now the tendons are warmed up enough to perform without any pain. If elbow pain is not an issue then other great exercises to perform would be close grip bench press or skull crushers with a cambered (curl) bar.
  • Pumping sets: the tricep should be reasonably fatigued by now, time to finish them off. I’ll alternate between doing the cable overhead extension with a rope or some type of push down, again with a rope or an angled bar. (straight bar can hurt my elbows, try it for yourself).

  So no excuses, on days when the elbow tendons are a little tender you can always find an exercise or angle where you can train the triceps maximally. If you avoid 1 rep maxs on Bench press and shoulder press then the tendon probably won’t get sore in the first place.

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