I have been lifting weights for the last 15+ years and had a coach for powerlifting for about 4 years. Over this time, I have somewhat consistently had a popping feeling and sometimes pain in my right tricep when doing certain tricep lifts.

I'm wondering if I have bad form, but I try to focus on good form first and foremost, even if I have to drop weight. The biggest thing that is confusing me is it happens with some of the exercises I do, but not all.

Lifts that popping happens:

  • Tricep bench
  • EZ bar Skull crushers
  • Tricep dip
  • Dumbbell overhead tricep extension
  • Close-grip/diamond push-ups

Lifts that popping doesn't happen:

  • Cable rope and bar tricep extension
  • cable rope and bar push down
  • Bench dip
  • Tricep machine dip
  • Kickbacks
  • dumbbell skull crushers
  • dumbbell floor press
  • regular push-ups
  • decline push-ups

Does anyone notice a pattern or have any suggestions? To minimize the popping, I either go down in weight (by a lot, unfortunately) or don't do the exercise at all.

  • 1
    Without seeing you perform the movements it is hard to diagnose anything which is why we put it in our rules to not diagnose any medical issues here. That being said, the first thing that jumps out at me is simply the rotation of your arms for these exercises. Typically in the ones that cause your issues, your hands will be closer together than the ones not causing issues. This means your elbows will be more flared out, putting more strain on them. There are several reasons for popping in joints but a loose guess would be an injury in the past that didn't heal properly. Jul 28, 2021 at 21:36
  • No joint popping for me but the muscle itself which is super weird. That's a good observation of hand placement and elbow placement. That's what I'm looking for. No injury in the past as well. At least, not that I know of :)
    – mrizz
    Jul 29, 2021 at 16:10


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