Tricep pain and squats Tricep pain and squats

starting strength gym
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Tricep pain and squats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    121

    Default Tricep pain and squats

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    • wichita falls texas february 2021 seminar
    • starting strength seminar april 2021
    I don't think I've ever had a low bar squat session that didn't hurt my left tricep.
    I feel it in the tendons, just above and toward the outside of my elbow. I also feel it deep in my armpit where the tricep ties in, and general tightness along my triceps muscles.

    I've been doing the low bar stretch every day for the last 2 months. I also do PVC pass throughs and around the worlds.
    And I moved the bar up higher on my back - I now jam it backwards up under the spine of my scapula before standing up.

    I also read all the threads I could find on the matter and as a result have tried really hard to avoid "holding" the bar with my arms or pushing on it. I do notice that on really hard reps, my elbows shake back and forth like you see of people's legs do during a tough deadlift.

    I was just starting to be really proud of how far my mobility had come when the "dull throb after every workout" became "intollerable sharp pain that made me miss on bench/OHP" for the last three sessions in a row.

    This session I tried to put my press before my squats, and back off the squat 10%. But I still failed my press and couldn't get past set one of the squat.

    Here is my last squat before the pain set in (155, I'm 160 and 5'5)
    August 25, 2020 - YouTube

    Here's where I started from July 1:
    Low bar squat 1 - YouTube

    Do you see anything else wrong with my squat?
    What do I do now to get back on track?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Just standing, let your arms hang relaxed. Now, hold your upper arm against your sides. If they're not externally rotated, rotate them. Keep them there while going under the bar, squeezing your chest up and shoulder blades together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    Just standing, let your arms hang relaxed. Now, hold your upper arm against your sides. If they're not externally rotated, rotate them. Keep them there while going under the bar, squeezing your chest up and shoulder blades together.
    I do all of this, or at least try too. Although, I physically don't have the flexibility to get my hands back behind my shoulder without using the bar to force the issue. So I have to do it after I'm under the bar.

    People have also said "keep your elbows down" but that's kind of laughable because I have exactly 0 inches of freedom of movement once I'm loaded into the low bar squat position. Trying as hard as possible, I can't move my elbows in any direction. Everything is so tight that sometimes I get stuck under the bar after a set and have to wiggle my way free by bending my wrists and walking out forward.

    It's worth noting that my shoulders are rotated forward/down and in on themselves during daily life (hunchback style). Fixing my posture was a bit motivator for starting strength training.

    Here's a video where I haven't cut off the unrack, and where I was actively cuing myself "elbows down" "shoulder blades together" before each rep. You can see that the only way I actually get my elbows down is by hyper extending my low back, which then promptly resets itself.
    August 27, 2020 - YouTube

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Your elbows are cranked up way too high in the first video, and it looks like only your right elbow is cranked up in the second (?).

    There's an article on this problem here if you haven't read it.

    Used to have this problem severely myself. What I found works best is really shoving out your chest and pinching back your shoulder blades to create strong bar "shelf". When the upper back is not tight, your arms end up working harder at a very awkward angle to stabilize the load.

    The problem gets aggravated even more because for some reason, when the elbows are up, the upper back might round at the bottom of the squat during the ascent. When the weight gets much heavier, this can cause both elbow pain and missed reps. Learning to keep them down, pinned to your rib cage, will help with this.

    So shove your chest out and use that tension along with straight arms to hold the bar. Keep your elbows down.

    In the meantime, you can try a compression brace for pain relief if it's present after the workout.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elle View Post
    I do all of this, or at least try too. Although, I physically don't have the flexibility to get my hands back behind my shoulder without using the bar to force the issue. So I have to do it after I'm under the bar.

    People have also said "keep your elbows down" but that's kind of laughable because I have exactly 0 inches of freedom of movement once I'm loaded into the low bar squat position. Trying as hard as possible, I can't move my elbows in any direction. Everything is so tight that sometimes I get stuck under the bar after a set and have to wiggle my way free by bending my wrists and walking out forward.
    But your arms are not against your sides, the elbows are out and up. That's why I'm suggesting you start with pinning them there.

    Nearly all the positioning comes from what you do with your back, not with your arms or at the shoulder joint. Flexibility works from center out, not extremity in - like the hip power diagram that is at the start of the squat chapter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    But your arms are not against your sides, the elbows are out and up. That's why I'm suggesting you start with pinning them there.

    Nearly all the positioning comes from what you do with your back, not with your arms or at the shoulder joint. Flexibility works from center out, not extremity in - like the hip power diagram that is at the start of the squat chapter.
    Sure, I get that I'm not doing it, but it's not for lack of trying. My arms aren't pinned to my sides because I physically cannot move my hands back far enough to grab the bar when I do that. I feel (and probably look) like a guy trying to drop into a split when he simply does not have the required flexibility. It's a non starter.

    It's either that I raise my elbows up/out, or my hands are in front of the bar.

    Here is my trying with all my might to keep my arms pinned but move my hand into position:
    August 28, 2020 - YouTube

    Side note, I find it quite laughable that I seem to be incapable of pinching my shoulder blades without hyper extending my lower back.

    Sorry, I'm really not trying to be argumentative. I'm sure that it is possible, I appreciate and am trying out all the tips to make it happen. But I genuinely can't, yet.

    Just that little session of trying to get the bar into position had me going for the ice pack for my angry triceps tendons. So I'm sure that the my elbow position would/has cause(d) me pain in the long run, but honestly it feels like this acute pain came more from trying too hard to stretch into position. Another anecdote is that my triceps always hurt more on my first 2 empty bar warmup sets than any other set. Even if I take tons of time to do shoulder dislocates and low bar stretches before I start, it's the feeling of overstretching my triceps to get into position that kills me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elle View Post
    Here is my trying with all my might to keep my arms pinned but move my hand into position:
    August 28, 2020 - YouTube
    That's exactly the idea. Works better with an actual bar you can get tight against. Keep working at it.

    As it is, you are way overdoing pushing your arms/elbows up on your sets. The focus needs to be in, not up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elle View Post
    Even if I take tons of time to do shoulder dislocates and low bar stretches before I start, it's the feeling of overstretching my triceps to get into position that kills me.
    Those don't address the upper back position.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    That's exactly the idea. Works better with an actual bar you can get tight against. Keep working at it.
    Sure, I am and will continue to work on it. But my question is, what do I do in the meantime? And what do I do now that I've effectively pulled my tricep muscle and am in pain? Just not squat?? Not wrap my fingers around the bar?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,141

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Elle View Post
    Sure, I am and will continue to work on it. But my question is, what do I do in the meantime? And what do I do now that I've effectively pulled my tricep muscle and am in pain?
    You have to figure out what you can do, yes, while enabling your torn muscle to heal.

    If you're going to stretch, I'd recommend active isolated stretching and ditch the dislocates. I consider those possibly one of the worst stretching exercises ever. "Worst" meaning stretching exercises where it very easy to stretch or even injure structures that are not the target of the stretch. It's entirely possible that your stretching is the source of your injury.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •