Forearm pain during preacher curls

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by CountryLiftin View Post
    Hmmm okay. I know I was finally glad to shake this a while back I think I actually have an older post or two in here. I assume you tuck your elbows properly etc. I think another big issue is wrist orientation. Aka keep your wrists straight an don't "curl your wrists" so to speak.
    "I assume you tuck your elbows properly etc." I think you assume too much. I've never really put emphasis on tucking my elbows in. I can see how that would help in leveling out the forearms and removing torque on just one portion of the forearm. I am taking maybe a month long break from preacher curls specificly but I will keep this in mind when I pick it back up.

    To me it feels like the leverage and strain is being placed on the bone (ulna) closest to the elbow. The other day I told myself "no pain no gain" and really did more harm than good as now I have begun to experience the issue outside of just preacher curls. Albeit the pain is tolerable but wasnt there before I pushed myself a little to far the other day. I agree with wrist orientation possibly being a contributing factor, so I usually wear wrist wraps during bicep workouts.

    Thanks again for the input.


  2. No problem just giving my experience with this issue because I had it and got rid of it. Opinions are just that; food for thought. I know I hate nagging injuries and I'm sure you do as well. I wasn't trying to saying sucking the elbows in is the only way to curl, but keeping them in line with the shoulders helps keep the force of the weight on the biceps and other supporting muscles and away from the bones.
    Log: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/226478-country-gets-huge.html#post3905023
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  3. What's up guys. This is a really common problem that a lot of ppl have. It usually doesn't involve your form or forearm strength, it's simply how your body is made. Its all about elbow/arm structure...

    So if you stand in front of a mirror in the anatomical position (arms relaxed/extended by your hips with your palms facing forward and thumbs pointing straight out at either side) you can see there is an angle between your upper arm (humerus) and your forearm (radius and ulna). (Here is a link: sciencephoto.com/image/392527/530wm/C0096507-Anatomical_position,_artwork-SPL.jpg).
    When you look at yourself in this position don't try to straighten your arms. Make sure your arms and wrists are in a relaxed and comfortable position so your thumbs point straight out at either side. Not kinda straight out but actually straight out--almost like you are trying to point your pinkies towards the mirror.

    The further your arm/ forearm angles out from your body, the harder it is to use a bar for curls. Compare the left and middle images in this picture: img.blog.163.com/photo/2kK59_xjLfpn_T1x63QzRA==/4805622277382965448.jpg

    The second image has a sharper angle between the forearm and upper arm. This is valgus of the elbow, more specifically "cubitus valgus." this angle between the upper and lower arm is called the elbow "carrying angle." when your forearm sticks out from the body you have an excessive angle, which is common. Another variation of this would be If your entire arm sticks out from your torso (which is kind of my issue), it dsnt have to only be the relation between your upper and lower arm.

    What this means for barbell curls is that your wrists will break excessively throughout the range of motion. breaking refers to the wrist being in such a position that your wrist flexors (the meaty part of your forearm by your inner elbow) cannot adequately support the weight of the bar so it puts strain and tension on the wrist itself--not on the muscles of the wrist. Muscles support our anatomical structures under strain so stressing a structure instead of the muscle can lead to unnatural and painful stress/tension on tendons ligaments etc. this can lead to inflammation and greater soreness of you don't make the appropriate changes.

    When you find ppl who can do barbell curls in a full range of motion, they almost always have straighter arms than most. This allows them to avoid the pain we are talking about. If someone has an excessive carrying angle and is still able to do bb curls they could have slightly different wrist mobility/structure, could be using a lighter load or could be using a smaller ROM.

    Solutions?
    -use a much wider grip for BB curls
    -use a smaller range of motion with a narrow/medium grip
    -use an ez bar, or even use a wider grip with an ez bar
    -the best solution is to use dumbbells.

    If this has been a nagging problem chances are that there is inflammation so any initial changes you make will still cause pain. Avoid any kind of bar work for a while and then slowly work in barbell variations above (start with light weight). I took a good month or so of doing light DB work before slowly working back to an ez bar, a wide barbell curl and a narrow bb curl with a smaller ROM(making sure I don't fully extend my arms, focusing more on the peak). Anyone who says you NEED barbell curls to build biceps is wrong, you don't. In fact all exercises with barbells have the potential to create problems because a barbell can't conform to us, we are forced to conform to it.

    There could always be other underlying mobility issues. Most ppl have excessively tight forearms so stretching after a grip-intensive workout is never a bad idea. That said, if your form is good and you still get pain, I'd bet a lot of money that this is the problem.

  4. Great post Storm. I have found that the "No pain, no gain" motto is completely false. It caused me more injuries than I can count in my younger years. Make sure to recognize pain from fatigue. Fatigue is the goal! It took me more than a year and countless drugs to get rid of my tennis elbow I developed from a gym injury.

    Back to the original post, Sometimes our anatomy just simply doesn't allow us to perform every exercise in the gym. For instance I can't do military press due to my shoulder joints. However, I can do dumbell press just fine. I would suggest maybe grabbing a barbell and putting your back against the wall/pillar/or something firm and see if you have the same issue. If this exercise works for you then avoid preachers for at least a few months.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Axillist
    Great post Storm. I have found that the "No pain, no gain" motto is completely false. It caused me more injuries than I can count in my younger years. Make sure to recognize pain from fatigue. Fatigue is the goal! It took me more than a year and countless drugs to get rid of my tennis elbow I developed from a gym injury.

    Back to the original post, Sometimes our anatomy just simply doesn't allow us to perform every exercise in the gym. For instance I can't do military press due to my shoulder joints. However, I can do dumbell press just fine. I would suggest maybe grabbing a barbell and putting your back against the wall/pillar/or something firm and see if you have the same issue. If this exercise works for you then avoid preachers for at least a few months.
    This is spot on. Pain is very different from an injury....every exercise has a risk to reward ration, which is different for each person. Anyone who claims an exercise is the only way make gains isn't taking individual differences into account.

    When you're doing an exercise you are stimulating muscles and overloading them so they adapt. Whether you're training biceps, shoulders, or legs, it doesn't matter what you use to stimulate those muscles. Your biceps don't care if you're lifting dumbbells, barbells or small children--all they feel is the stimulation. some exercises stress different muscles or have more benefits but there are no universal rules governing exercise selection.

    Axillist you raise a great point--the body is so well connected that seemingly disparate symptoms can often be the result of one underlying issue.... Although I don't know the details, it seems like thoracic mobility could be attributing to your shoulder issues.
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  6. Good info guys. I agree. I still feel there is no doubt that poor form (individual, not general) and weak muscles or supporting muscles could contribute to or accelerate and pain injury or inflammation. The big issue with diagnosing any issue with the human body is the vast number of differences in the anatomy between and two people. Everyone has arms and legs and bodies but the bits and pieces can be so different it's impossible to have a catch all solution for anyone one problem.

    Ax, I'm sure you've gone over a ton of things with the mil press, and I don't believe it's a necessary exercise, but possible a overly dominantly chest is pulling your shoulders and elbows forward and putting your should joints In an unnatural range of rotation. Just a thought. I have probably one of the worst injuries I could have dreamed of that I am struggling with right now so, I understand that being limited sucks.
    Log: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/workout-logs/226478-country-gets-huge.html#post3905023

  7. My general issue seems to stem from hyper flexibility and loose joints. Every joint in my body has a much wider degree of movement than it should naturally. I need to be extremely careful about my range of motion as my joints take great damage from seemingly harmless movements.

    @Countryliftin-Great insight though. Like you mentioned, everyone is different and we need to keep ourselves informed about what is best for our body in particular.

    We need to continually assess and re-asses how particular exercises effect us. Remember that even Doctors PRACTICE medicine. You don't always get it right on the first time! It may take years of trial and error before we figure out the right path. The best solution for any injury is practicing prevention!

  8. I took a break from actually doing preacher curls (roughly 3 weeks) and outside of EZ bar preacher curls the pain is gone. Today I started griping the EZ bar almost like a straight bar. Placing the outer most curve of the bar in center of my palm, wrapping my fingers around the curve and performing the exercise. Its a little bit harder to grip that way but if you have bigger hands you should be able to do it. I still have a very minor ache but its much better than what I was experiencing before.

    @CountryLifting When i said "you assume to much" i didn't mean it in a negative way at all, I appreciate the advice. I only meant that I'm sorta a big dummy and to assume I'm doing anything correctly would be a misstep

    @Storm You might be a genius, my arms sick out so far it actual looks absurd when I pose in the mirror compared to what the norm is.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by ClintCanada View Post
    When I do preacher curls with an e-z curl bar (wide/narrow grip doesn't matter) I get serious pain along most of the length of my forearms. The pain is on the inside of the forearm on side of your pinky finger (not sure if this is beside the radius or ulna). Anyways -- just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what seems to cause it and what you've done -- have you quit preacher curls entirely ??

    Thanks
    I used to get the same thing. Started working my forearms and within like two weeks it was gone. After that my curls shot up and I started to get wrist pain at the bottom of dropping my arms downward. I do wrist exercises about once a week and tried using gloves which have both helped. Now I f*ck sh*t up.

  10. yah id say you have tendonitis i have it to just work your forearms about 20-30 mins a day for 2-4 weeks then id work em once a week and stay away from barbell,ez bar, and do hammer curls instead of normal curls and id tak it easier on the gym too

  11. Quote Originally Posted by leaver2000 View Post
    I took a break from actually doing preacher curls (roughly 3 weeks) and outside of EZ bar preacher curls the pain is gone. Today I started griping the EZ bar almost like a straight bar. Placing the outer most curve of the bar in center of my palm, wrapping my fingers around the curve and performing the exercise. Its a little bit harder to grip that way but if you have bigger hands you should be able to do it. I still have a very minor ache but its much better than what I was experiencing before.

    @CountryLifting When i said "you assume to much" i didn't mean it in a negative way at all, I appreciate the advice. I only meant that I'm sorta a big dummy and to assume I'm doing anything correctly would be a misstep

    @Storm You might be a genius, my arms sick out so far it actual looks absurd when I pose in the mirror compared to what the norm is.
    hahaha i try my best....yea i look foolish when i try to stand in the anatomical position...im glad it feels better but just be careful and try to use more DBs. while it may feel good its likely to flare up faster since youre still recovering

  12. Try keeping your wrists supinated and relax your forearms, had the same problem, just got to exsperiment with it.
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