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  1. #1
    Registered User davidlaboza's Avatar
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    Elbow pain during Skull Crushers/French Press

    Now, I'm assuming that Skull Crushers and French Press are essentially the same thing. Please, if I'm wrong, do tell and explain why because when I watch videos, they essentially look the same to me.

    Basically, I love working my triceps, and I use overhead extensions (which still hurt my elbows a little, but not as much as Skull Crushers/French Press), dips, push-ups, tricep pushdowns, reverse tricep pushdowns, and probably some other movements I'm forgetting about.

    I always see guys doing the Skull Crushers/French Press at the gym though and I could see that it's an awesome tricep exercise. Whenever I go about trying it though I get lots of elbow pain during the lift. I'm assuming it's because my joints might not be used to the movement and are too weak currently. Though when I go through the motion I feel like I could definitely go heavier for my triceps, but the pain my elbows feel don't allow me. Do you all recommend I start with a much lighter weight and focus on getting my joints adjusted to the movement, or is the pain due to something else entirely?

    Thanks .

  2. #2
    Registered User Dysun's Avatar
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    Try doing it on a decline bench and extend the bar outwards (at an angle) instead of straight over your head while keeping your elbows tight and locked with low weight to get used to it. Decline puts lets stress on your elbow

  3. #3
    Registered User davidlaboza's Avatar
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    I'll definitely try that the next time I work-out my triceps.

  4. #4
    Registered User Coke_Zero's Avatar
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    I get the same issue when doing this. I find if my elbows are flared out too much it causes an issue.
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    I have to do a few sets of cable rope push downs to warm up my elbows before i do skull crushers, or my elbows will pop and feel real uncomfortable.
    seems to work for me.

  6. #6
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    Lots of warmup is key.

    I probably do twice as many warmup sets for triceps as I do for any other body part.

  7. #7
    Stay Strong all year long alex2363's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by davidlaboza View Post
    Now, I'm assuming that Skull Crushers and French Press are essentially the same thing. Please, if I'm wrong, do tell and explain why because when I watch videos, they essentially look the same to me.

    Basically, I love working my triceps, and I use overhead extensions (which still hurt my elbows a little, but not as much as Skull Crushers/French Press), dips, push-ups, tricep pushdowns, reverse tricep pushdowns, and probably some other movements I'm forgetting about.

    I always see guys doing the Skull Crushers/French Press at the gym though and I could see that it's an awesome tricep exercise. Whenever I go about trying it though I get lots of elbow pain during the lift. I'm assuming it's because my joints might not be used to the movement and are too weak currently. Though when I go through the motion I feel like I could definitely go heavier for my triceps, but the pain my elbows feel don't allow me. Do you all recommend I start with a much lighter weight and focus on getting my joints adjusted to the movement, or is the pain due to something else entirely?

    Thanks .
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  8. #8
    INTJ stylin' on you Christaras9's Avatar
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    When I do overhead extensions,I feel a bone in my elbow changing position.After doing extensions with 9kg dumbbells,I would have that issue whenever I extended my arm for a week.
    So I started doing kickbacks and it stopped.They're harder and I don't get that issue
    You can definatelly work your triceps without exercises that give you joint pain.Try close grip bench press and kickbacks
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  9. #9
    dat dere stick insect noflyingcars's Avatar
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    Issues with skullcrusher are most likely due to the fact that you use too much weight.

    OP, how much do you bench press and how much do you use for skullcrusher?


    There are several ways of cheating with the skullcrusher, one of them is involving the chest in the exercise and this allows you to use a weight so heavy that hurts the elbow.


    Also, skullcrusher works best with 8+ reps, it's not an exercise to do with low reps.
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  10. #10
    Encyclochuzzle chazzy1864's Avatar
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    They aren't teh same thing. French press has the upper arm move and the weight drops behind the head.
    Skull crusher has the upper arm stay in a fixed position and the weight is lowered to the forehead.
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  11. #11
    Registered User topgunRJ's Avatar
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    Glad I did a search and found this thread. I've been having problems with my elbow when doing this exercise. Like the OP I feel like my muscles could push more weight, but my elbow joint doesn't let me.

    If the OP or anyone else following this thread has followed any of the above advice with positive results it would be great to hear about it.

    In the meantime I'll try increasing my warm-ups for this specific exercise.

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