Triceps Exercises After Elbow Surgery


Question: I had surgery on my elbow a yer ago and it had healed nicely. Rehab went well but I still can’t do any tricep exercises like triceps Pressdowns. Do you know of any exercises that may not hurt across my elbow when I do them?

Answer: The first potential exercise that comes to mind is the triceps kickback. These can be done either with a cable attachment or dumbbell. Keep your upper arm parallel to the ground when you do these. Fully extend your arm and flex the triceps when your arm is completely straight. You will feel these more effectively if you do. If you use a cable, you will find them much more challenging than the dumbbell version. There is more tension throughout the range of motion with either a cable or resistance band.

The reason triceps Pressdowns are uncomfortable is the point that you have the most resistance on the joint and tendons around the elbow is the time you have the joint and tendons at their greatest stretch point. Using the kickback versions the greatest resistance is applied when your joints are the least stressed.

Another exercise you could use is the rear triceps flex. It’s an obscure exercise usually paired on the end of another exercise as a finisher. Use a moderate barbell, begin with a five-foot, 30 pound bar. Place the bar in a rack about waist-high. With your back against the bar, grab it and step away from the rack. Your hands should naturally be just wider than the width of your waist. Your palms are facing away from you. Push the bar back away from your torso. Don’t try to go too far with it because of the potential strain in your shoulders. You will feel your triceps contract sharply, high near the shoulder insertion. Do three sets of ten reps slowly. You should get a great isometric contraction that finishes off your triceps without inflaming your elbow.

God bless and keep training,