These muscles extend from your scapula, or shoulder blade, to the radius bone in your forearm. Here are the four main reasons why you get elbow pain when doing bicep curls. That usually means either doing fewer biceps curls or stopping them completely until the discomfort improves. Also, make sure you aren’t experiencing any new weakness in the arm (especially grip strength). Whether you love them or hate them, biceps curls are the best isolation exercise for targeting the biceps, the muscles that flex your arms at the elbow and rotate your forearms. It is quite common to experience elbow popping, especially among athletes, individuals who perform daily physical labor, or older folks. What Causes Elbow Pain When You Lift Weights & How Can You Prevent It? Before we go into treatment options for your elbow pain, be sure you haven’t lost feeling (sensation) in your forearm, elbow, wrist, hand, or fingers. See a doctor if you have any symptoms of inflammation or injury of the biceps tendon. If you do have any sensation loss or new weakness, go see a medical provider immediately. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It’s this muscle that, together with the biceps brachii, make flexing your forearms so seamless. Patients can commonly have pain when feeling the back of their elbow. The article isn’t meant to demonize the barbell curl, in fact, I love the exercise. In the quest for bigger arms most guys end up with severe elbow pain from too much heavy barbell curls. The bicep curl typically begins with the elbow in full extension (straightened out) while standing with the weight gripped in the hand. Be sure to make the small adjustments suggested above, including the treatment options, and soon you’ll be on your way to be elbow pain free while performing bicep curls. Your email address will not be published. Tendons connect the biceps to the shoulder joint (the proximal end) and to your elbow and lower arm … Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint disease that affects the elbow, but rheumatoid arthritis can cause arthritic elbows too. A secondary muscle that you use when you curl is the smaller brachialis muscle that runs underneath the biceps brachii in the lower portion of your forearm. Why Do My Elbows Hurt When I Lift Weights? The most likely cause is tendonitis, meaning your tendons are irritated or inflamed. Since repetitive stress on the elbows causes most cases of elbow pain, vary the approach you take to curling. Here now are 17 tips for doing just that… 1. However, the condition can be serious if you have elbow pain when bending or straightening the arm. Ulnar neuropathy – This can cause numbness, tingling, or even burning on the outer part of the elbow due to injury to the ulnar nerve which can potentially be irritated with incorrect bicep curl form. Change the grip that you use. Stuck at Home? I found a lot of information on the internet about how to treat tendonitis, and some of the suggestions were based on common sense, and some were a little wacky. should i stop lifting ? If you’re holding onto the barbell too tightly, it can activate the flexor tendons (helps to bend your wrist forward) in your wrist which can lead to inner elbow pain during bicep curls. The elbow joint is formed by the connection of the arm bone (humerus) with the forearm bones (radius and ulna). Slowly curl the weight up by bending your elbow, keeping your elbow close to your body. Niraj has been published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine as well as Current Sports Medicine Reports, the official review journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. It’s when you rate your pain on a scale from zero to ten (zero being no pain and ten being the worst pain possible) and then track the pain level in your elbow during bicep curls. Learn how your comment data is processed. Aim for lighter weights and higher reps for less stress on the tendons. Performing biceps curls Follow these steps to perform this exercise: Hold a … As a result, it can lead to elbow pain while bicep curling. What is Weightlifter’s Shoulder & How Can You Avoid It? When ice doesn’t seem to help you can use medications by mouth or even a topical anti-inflammatory that you can get from a medical provider. Try 3 free workouts on Fitbod. You'll have meatheads who swear by it on one side, and you'll have overly scientific dorks who don't even lift cla… Your hand and forearm may not be strong enough to stabilize the weight in your grip which could affect your wrist position. The motion pivots around just the elbow joints. If you spend any amount of time training for bodybuilding or athletics, odds are you’ll do some biceps curls. In this post we’ll discuss the reasons you get elbow pain during bicep curls and how to fix it so that you can get back to training your arms. If you’re bending your wrists too far forward, it can have the same effect on your inner elbow as gripping onto your weight too tightly. Old school bodybuilders used to talk about exercises to emphasize various portions of the biceps. So if you’re having some bicep pain or what you think is elbow pain, take a look at how often you’re doing hammer curls and where the pain is when you press. Your hand and forearm may not be strong enough to stabilize the weight in your grip which could affect your wrist position. These muscles extend from your scapula, or shoulder blade, to the radius bone in your forearm. Plus, well-defined biceps are aesthetically pleasing. How to do it: Instead of doing a bicep curl with a dumbbell, use a weight plate and grab it by its end. Lateral Epicondylitis – Also known as “golfer’s elbow.” This is often worsened with repetitive use of the wrist extensors (bending the wrist backwards). While holding a light dumbbell in each hand, flex your hands as high as you can toward the ceiling. There are several problems that can occur with the biceps tendon that may lead to the development of shoulder pain. Also, lighten up on the weight. In both types of injuries you will likely feel a “pop” in the elbow at the time of injury: a biceps tear would produce a pop in the front of the elbow, a triceps tear in the back of the elbow. Therefore, you may need to change your approach to biceps curls and give your muscles and tendons more rest between workouts. One the cheapest (usually free), oldest, non-prescription anti-inflammatories that you can get your hands on is ice. This stress can tear the tendon from the … Specifically, the biceps curl works the muscles in the front of the upper arm. Here is the basic information you need to know about the different biceps muscles. A lot of people know what RICE is (rest, ice, compress and elevate). Barbells won’t allow you to use a neutral grip. Do 5 – 6 sets of 4 – 8 reps; if you can do more, use a heavier plate. It just involves adding “protection” to the acronym. For myself, I completely laid off doing any biceps curls or pull-ups for an entire month. However, there are actually multiple muscles in the area that all work together. The classic way to do the bicep curl. The most obvious symptom will be a sudden, severe pain in the upper part of your arm or at the elbow, depending on where the tendon is injured. Here are the most common diagnoses for elbow pain when related to bicep curls: This is when someone asks where your elbow hurts and you can’t point to one specific spot on the inside or outside. Stay Fit With Cathe Live & OnDemand! But it's not possible to … This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In addition, he has completed a Certificate in The Principles of Aviation & Space Medicine through NASA / The University of Texas Medical Branch where his final project was on the topic of “Muscle Loss in Spaceflight." Shop Cathe Fitness Equipment & Accessories, The Benefits of Depth Jumps and How They Can Improve Your Fitness Level. The bicep is a muscle located on the front portion of the upper arm. Now that we’ve discussed the reasons you get elbow pain during bicep curls, let’s discuss the potential elbow diagnoses that could cause issues. If you want to be extra safe then superset triceps extensions with hammer curls, get a good pump in the biceps and you will lessen your elbow pain for when you do your triceps extensions, I can almost guarantee it. This can happen due to overlapping areas for nerves which can get signals from multiple areas in the body. Remember to always consult a medical provider for an actual diagnosis for your elbow pain. 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