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Safely working the tricep
 
 
A1C Evans A1C Evans is offline
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10-30-2008, 12:17 PM
 
Ok lets say you have your arm hanging straight down by your side fully extended, this is 0 degrees. you bend it a quater way thats 45 degrees, half way 90, and if you bend it as far as you can toward your should thats maybe 130. So with this as a reference, if you are doing pushing, pressing, or extension exercises where the tricep is working to shorten and straighten the arm, is it bad to go past 90 degrees? By bad I mean damaging to the muscle, joint, ligiments and tendons. I was doing DVR curls full range and found I had a lot of tightness and pressure around the elbow, when I reduced the ROM to half way and lower, this was eliminated and the muscles felt like they were beling much more directly worked. So a second question, does working 90 degrees give benefit to the full ROM? (just for the tricep as described, not in general). Thank you all for your input.

Jared
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blackbelt blackbelt is offline
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10-30-2008, 12:49 PM
 
First and foremost, it depends on what ďbenefitĒ youíre looking for.

Itís long been debated whether or not shorter ROM exercises yield any strength benefit to the full length of the muscle. Thatís just one of the reasons John advocates doing ISOís in at least the three positions (extended, mid, contracted). Why take chances?

But, if youíre referring to benefits of general conditioning or weight loss, I canít see where the difference would be.

That being said, if you find you have problems, modify the exercises. Or better yet, try other exercises that might not irritate a given area.
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10-30-2008, 12:58 PM
 
Thanks for the reply black belt. Well, its not really about the benefits for me, im just looking for what is safe. Most commercial information on strength training says not to go past 90 degrees in the elbow when doing pushing type exercises I guess because the load then shifts to the tendon more as it has to go around the corner of the elbow and it is stressful. But anyway, does anyone else have a problem with going beyond 90, like doing full range tricep pressdowns either DVR, DSR, iso, etc? or pushing movements where the arm is pretty much folded before coming up like the diamond or tricep pushup? Those things dont actually bother me, it just seems to be pressdowns.
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10-30-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Iím sure it would be almost impossible to specify a specific source on that information. But, in all honesty, Iíve never heard that.

Some believe the theory that if you train a muscle within a limited range of motion, then that range is where the gains will be.

That theory aside, any physiological changes that MIGHT occur during ďconventionalĒ strength training would not be incurred with DVRís in particular. Part of the beauty of that form of exercise is that the resistance is constant throughout the entire ROM. As a result the full length of the muscle is hit equally.

I wonder if youíre applying more tension to the lower half of the movement even if unintentionally. It seems that could cause the extra tightness and pressure youíre referring to.
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A1C Evans A1C Evans is offline
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10-30-2008, 01:29 PM
 
I dont think so, because when I switched to only doing the bottom 90 degrees of the motion, it was gone and the muscles felt like where being worked much more directly instead of just feeling like the muscles right around the elbow were straining. Well, I agree that in DVR you can work the full ROM but when you move, you transition from where the antagonist is strong to where it isnt strong and vise versa. For example when you start the bicep curl, the tricep is stronger because it is in its shortest phase. And the bicep is at a disadvantage because it is long. When you get to the top of the range of motion, the bicep is at its shortest and the tricep at its longest and the tricep is at a disadvantage here plus, the way the elbow works, the tricep has to move over or around (however you want to look at it) the tip of the elbow which puts more strain on it. Have you also heard that you shouldnt squat below 90?
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10-30-2008, 01:49 PM
 
I believe it's beneficial to put joints through full ROM. With DVR's accommodating resistance, full ROM work can be done safely. Full ROM with Powercals is trickier; eg you may wanna grab something when performing full ROM squats. If you perform Powercals as partials be sure to also include full ROM DVRs for the health of it.
 
 
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10-30-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Yes, I have heard that. However, I'm not so sure that's not one of those general warnings given out because someone went to an extreme (weight, speed) and injured themselves.
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