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  1. #1
    Registered User Oceanbreezeez's Avatar
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    Barbell Bicep Curl - Elbow pain?

    Hey everyone,

    Just started working out, I'm currently in my second week. Did my research before starting so I haven't had too many issues so far. However, I definitely think I should ask about this before going much longer.

    When I do barbell bicep curls, I experience some pain in the region of my left elbow. This mostly occurs when I start exerting myself with the exercise (sometimes end of first set, usually middle to end of second set). It's not an unbearable pain but it is undeniably there and I don't want to hurt myself. I don't think I'm using too much weight because I calculated my 10RM to be 32lb and I'm currently curling 30lb for 2 sets of 9. I've also double and triple checked my form and I don't think that's the problem either.

    What's this all about?
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  2. #2
    Registered User 260lb's Avatar
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    Less repititions, more sets.

    Since you say you are experiencing at the end/or middle of a set.

    try 3x5/6 since you are doing 2x9
    stimulate your mind craig.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Oceanbreezeez's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that lowering the bar about 1 inch less than proper form dictates I should (i.e. lowering it just to my waist instead of just below my waist) minimizes the pain or removes it altogether. I don't know if that's just because the exercise is less exerting when I'm not quite doing the full range of motion or for some other reason, but I don't really want to deviate from proper form anyway.

    Less reps more sets sounds like it could help but I'd prefer to keep going with the higher reps for now if possible because I'm on All Pro's Beginner Routine and being so new to everything I don't really feel comfortable deviating too much from it, I feel like it might mess up my results/progress since I don't really know what I'm doing as far as putting together my own routine yet.
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  4. #4
    Registered User sojomojo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oceanbreezeez View Post
    When I do barbell bicep curls, I experience some pain in the region of my left elbow.

    What's this all about?
    You should do a search on this forum or on the Internet for "elbow tendonitis barbell curls." I've got elbow tendonitis on my left elbow from doing straight barbell curls. I now use an e-z barbell bar or DBs for my bicep exercises.

    One other thing, don't ignore the "pain" and try to work through it. I did and now I'm paying for it.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Anatomus's Avatar
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    It may be a muscle imbalance, assuming you're triceps aren't strong enough to stabilize the elbow when executing the movement.

    As the antagonist to the biceps, they should not be neglected. It's common for people who start out to just work the biceps exclusively, but opposed to your arms getting stronger, you'd only be doing more harm in the long run.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Oceanbreezeez's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sojomojo View Post
    You should do a search on this forum or on the Internet for "elbow tendonitis barbell curls." I've got elbow tendonitis on my left elbow from doing straight barbell curls. I now use an e-z barbell bar or DBs for my bicep exercises.

    One other thing, don't ignore the "pain" and try to work through it. I did and now I'm paying for it.
    So using an e-z bar helps with this? I'll try it out next time I work out. I'm definitely not going to ignore the pain, I'm well aware of the general consequences for doing that.

    It may be a muscle imbalance, assuming you're triceps aren't strong enough to stabilize the elbow when executing the movement.

    As the antagonist to the biceps, they should not be neglected. It's common for people who start out to just work the biceps exclusively, but opposed to your arms getting stronger, you'd only be doing more harm in the long run.
    I do think my triceps are a bit lacking, especially the left one. However, All Pro's routine is supposed to work triceps through compound lifts.

    Perhaps I should just replace this exercise altogether with preacher curls or maybe just dumbell curls until my triceps have had more time to develop?
    Last edited by Oceanbreezeez; 08-25-2011 at 02:42 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Perform the exercise slower for starters. When you move too quickly you start cheating and using other muscle groups to perform the exercise which in turn puts stress on elbow joints. Even if you have to go lighter at first, slow down and concentrate on proper form.
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  8. #8
    Master Skullsmith phozosado's Avatar
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    OP - This could be any one of a dozen different things. (might even be shoulder-related, which is very common actually.) Have someone who knows what they're doing check your form on EACH of your upper-body exercises - specifically shoulder position. If you're wearing gloves that wrap your wrists, lose them. Ease up on the curls. If the pain doesn't go away, get it checked out by a sports-med guy.
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    You are new to lifting and your connective tissue strength likely isn't very strong at this point. Just stick with it and don't be too quick with upping the weight.
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