Tendons & Ligaments in elbow are popping...

Whenever I do Tricep presses (aka: Tricep extensions) with a barbell or E-Z Curl bar, I can feel the tendons in my right elbow popping. I have even tried it with an empty bar, but the same thing always happens. Does anyone know what might cause this? Is it just something that might be wrong with my elbow?

Also, when I do the same movement with a dumbbell (holding the dumbbell under the plates) I do not have that popping feeling; or at least not that I notice. Should I continue doing this movement with dumbbells and stay away from the barbells when I do this?

Dude, this is common and although I need to know more information, here are a few ideas that may help you:

The snapping noise may be a result of
1.joint subluxation in the elbow or wrist(ulna and/or radius) as a result of
-muscle imbalances
2. inhibition of the triceps by the elbow flexion chain(biceps and/or forearm)eg. if your biceps are too strong relative to you triceps
3. tightness in muscles that may inhibit the proper neural flow through the shoulder brachial plexus eg. pec minor, subscapularis, pronator teres

Ask yourself these questions:

Is my training program balanced?
Make sure your training program is balanced so that you don’t encourage imbalances throughout your body. For example do you perform the same volume of horizontal pulling(rows)movements as you do horiz. pressing(bench?
Do I stretch enough? especially before workouts? Do I know what muscles are too tight?
If you don’t already know a good flexibility assessment test, find a trainer or therapist who does. Find out what needs to be stretched and make sure you stretch the proper muscles before you train. eg. stretching or deep tissue on your pec minor, I have found, can fix problems in the elbow and wrist in an instant as well as increase strength.
the bottom line is that you should find out what the hell is out of whack and fix it. Often the problem stems from a completely different muscle or joint. Never settle for modification!

Typically if a person does triceps extensions long enough they will eventually get some sort’ve elbow pain from time to time. If it hurts then don’t do it. Try warming up more, vary the position of the bar and position of your elbows or switch exercises altogether for a while.

Okay, thanks. Actually it is not popping that I hear; it’s that I feel it. It did that the very first time I tried those extensions with a b-bell. I know I include plenty of exercises for triceps. I do at least one pressing movement for shoulders and chest. Then I also do the same number of sets for tris as I do for tris independently. Yes, I do balance all pressing movements with a pulling movement. Also, I know that I am very flexible. I have yet to see another bodybuilder beat me at upper body flexibility. And I always do some ab work to warm-up and then some stretching of the body parts to be worked. I guess I should just stick to d-bells when it comes to tri extensions for now.

Tall Bodybuilder,
Answer some questions for me. 1. Where do you feel the “popping”? 2. Previous injuries to the elbows. 3. Assess your posture. Are you “round shouldered” or are your shoulders in good alignment? 4. Max bench press and max seated row in excellent form. 5. Any pain/tingling down to the hand or up to the shoulder? 6. When you perform the dumbbell movement, I’m assuming your hands are facing each other. 7. How long have you been training? 8. Your age. Get back to me as soon as you can.

The popping occurs right where the triceps connect to the elbow.

As far as I know, I have never had any injuries to my elbow. Well except falling down and scraping it up as a kid, but I doubt that would screw anything up.

I’m no expert on posture, but I’d say that it is pretty good. I don’t let my shoulders sag forward or anything.

As far max bench and max seated row, I don’t usually do 1RM. And I workout at home, so I don’t do seated rows. But for bench press (don’t laugh now), I can do 80# for 8 reps. For Bent-Over Rows I can do 80# for 8 reps.

I don’t have any pain or tingling down to the hand or up to the shoulder.

Yes, when I do the dumbbell movement, my hands are facing each other. I hold the dumbbell under the plates with my thumbs encircling the handle.

I have been training for a little over a year.

I am 18 years old