Brad Jensen made good on an important decision more than ten years ago to get sober and become the best version of himself. Since then, “The Sober Bodybuilder” has grown a successful coaching business and has amassed more than 185,000 Instagram followers thanks to his handy tips for keeping consistent in the gym. In a recent post, Jensen had some useful advice for anyone who is suffering elbow pain during overhead triceps extensions.

It is well known that traditional double arm triceps extensions are boss for building muscle size and definition, targeting the lateral head of the triceps, but this simple exercise, allowing for a high rep count, can often lead to elbow pain. “I think I know why,” shared Jensen via IG. “And I got a substitution for you.”

Try single-arm overhead triceps extensions to reduce elbow pain

“Performing a single-arm overhead extension may result in less elbow discomfort … because it allows for better alignment and control of the movement,” suggests the sober bodybuilder. “With a two-arm dumbbell overhead extension, there’s a potential for uneven distribution of weight or improper form, which could lead to increased stress on the elbow joints. On the other hand, a single-arm extension can provide a more stable and controlled range of motion, reducing strain on the elbows and minimizing that pain in your elbows.”

With joint pain being an obstruction to many athletes and bodybuilder’s progress, a way to correct form and subsequently put less stress on our limbs is always welcome. “Much like katana raises, (single-arm overhead triceps presses) puts your tricep in a much more natural position,” says The Sober Bodybuilder.

Unilateral training (using one side at a time) is great for balance, muscle building, and helps to avoid injuries through highlighting any weaknesses that we may need to develop on one side or limb. Training one arm at a time also puts the core to greater use, building stability and providing added muscle in the midsection. Be mindful however, that it’s easy to overestimate just how much weight you can lift with a single arm, especially if you have postural issues to address. Aim for 12 good repetitions and increase the challenge by adding slow negatives; try and take 3 to 4 seconds to lower the dumbbell, further activating your triceps.

For more tips from “The Sober Bodybuilder,” Brad Jensen, follow him on Instagram!