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View Full Version : Barbell curls killing wrists.



billb7581
03-29-2012, 05:55 AM
My wrists hurt like hell when I do straight bb curl or even with the ez bar. I did them last night with DB's and my arm draped over the back of an incline bench adjusted to vertical and that felt good in the wrists and I felt a good stretch especially... is this an inferior version or does it even matter that much.? I aslo pumped out some additional sets on a Hammer Strength bicep machine because I was waiting for my wife to finish up and the machine felt good.

orb85750
03-29-2012, 06:06 AM
DEFINITELY listen to your body & know the difference between good pain and bad pain, especially at our age! There are lots of ways to better biceps.

rosty4888
03-29-2012, 06:14 AM
had that too. i started taking fish oil pills and the pain slowly went away.

Lagartizscha
03-29-2012, 06:15 AM
Also had similar problem years ago, couldn't do barbel curls neither dumbbell curls.
Skiped those exercises for some time, now...IM ALL GOOD.
One suggestion: make Animal flex your staple supplement!

acrawlingchaos
03-29-2012, 06:24 AM
What exactly do you mean "killing you"? Is it pain? Soreness? DOMS? Describe the pain.

-=FLEX=-
03-29-2012, 06:25 AM
If you can do the exercise without pain then it's not inferior.

You can also try single arm cable curls.

emp1acur
03-29-2012, 06:35 AM
Are both wrists feeling exactly the same? With the dumbbells are you only able to do them hammer grip, or can you do normal grip?

Either way, don't aggravate the issue or you'll be sorry later - work around it until it is better.

dmacdonal9
03-29-2012, 06:36 AM
I'd investigate the cause if I were you. For me it was the first indication of a serious carpal tunnel problem that took years to resolve.

sirben81
03-29-2012, 06:48 AM
My wrists hurt like hell when I do straight bb curl or even with the ez bar. I did them last night with DB's and my arm draped over the back of an incline bench adjusted to vertical and that felt good in the wrists and I felt a good stretch especially... is this an inferior version or does it even matter that much.? I aslo pumped out some additional sets on a Hammer Strength bicep machine because I was waiting for my wife to finish up and the machine felt good.

So did mine when I first started working out. It felt like bone pain. I just went easy on them by lowering the weight and upping the reps. I even gave them a week off in some cases. I also bought a wristwrap that had a hard plastic support that covered my wrist and lower forearm. After about 3 months my arms and forearms were much more developed and the pain was gone. I can now do heavy 5x5s to failure with no pain.

billb7581
03-29-2012, 06:53 AM
Right a little more than the left, (probably due to all the curveballs and sliders I threw in my youth) it's like a sharp pain at my wrist/arm joint. it seems like my arms dont want to rotate that far to the outside to get the right grip on the bar, at first I thought I was just being a puss, but ramping the weight up really exacerbated the problem.

I saw another guy doing db curls with the crook of his armpit on the top of an incline bench so I figured I'd give that a shot. Doing it that way with a normal grip is fine, no pain.. .it actually feels like I get a better stretch at the bottom and isolate the bicep more I still couldn't get reps but it was because my bicep was fatigued not because my wrist hurt. Already taking fish oil and glucosomne chondroiton fwiw.

All pro said he tacked bicep curls on at the end not because they are integral to the routine but because everyone would do them anyhow LOL. Now that I think I found a decent workaround I'll give these a shot for awhile.

billb7581
03-29-2012, 07:01 AM
My "Big 5" lifts feel good Squat, Bench, Row, OH Press, SLDL... as long as I am doing some form of curl that doesnt injure anything I should be good I guess..

MoldyGopher
03-29-2012, 07:35 AM
I had to drop BB and EZ curls. Cable Hammer Rope curls 4 lyfe.

Actually I've switched to the rope whenever possible - triceps too. Go easy on your joints! They're the only ones you're gonna have.

2nd_chance
03-29-2012, 07:51 AM
Stick with what doesn't cause pain and avoid what does.

billb7581
03-29-2012, 08:10 AM
I had to drop BB and EZ curls. Cable Hammer Rope curls 4 lyfe.

Actually I've switched to the rope whenever possible - triceps too. Go easy on your joints! They're the only ones you're gonna have.

I dont do any tricep work directly, and ironically enough that's where I have started noticing meager gains. Maybe I should dump curls





(not srs)

DubfromGA
03-29-2012, 08:11 AM
Stick with what doesn't cause pain and avoid what does.

I heard guys say this when I resumed weights last June but didn't fully appreciate it until early December.

I pushed through pain like an idiot. I learned the hard way to differentiate reoccurring soreness from real pain....finally.

Such an elementary yet crucial concept...so grossly ignored by this noob.

Uneducated enthusiasm is dangerous.

dsymbol
03-29-2012, 08:12 AM
If you can do the exercise without pain then it's not inferior.

You can also try single arm cable curls.
wow...You're 100% correct. hats off to you man!

OP, 3 weeks ago I hurt my wrist with too heavy straight bb bicep curls.
My wrist still hurts when I flip my hand to look at the palm. I get a sharp pain in the inside right below the wrist.

It's been 3 weeks & the pain hasn't gone away for me yet, but It's getting much better & I can do light bicep curls on ez bb & db now.

To echo what Flex said, you can angle the grip of the single arm cable & work on that.

ironwill2008
03-29-2012, 08:39 AM
All pro said he tacked bicep curls on at the end not because they are integral to the routine but because everyone would do them anyhow LOL. Now that I think I found a decent workaround I'll give these a shot for awhile.


Stick with what doesn't cause pain and avoid what does.

^^^^These, Bill.

billb7581
03-29-2012, 09:09 AM
Forgot to thank Flex for the cable suggestion.. will give those a shot also and see how they feel never even thought of that.

trev71
03-30-2012, 09:49 AM
Don't hurt yourself, and as others have said, listen to your body.

One thought, have you tried to adjust your grip width? I know I feel it in my wrists a little bit if I keep my wrists a little too close.. my BB curl grip ends up being a little wider than shoulder width.. inside of my hand(grip) is about even with the outside of my shoulders.. closer is uncomfortable on the wrists.

Phattso
03-30-2012, 10:45 AM
Find alternatives or lower the weight and work on reps and perfect form.

billb7581
03-30-2012, 12:10 PM
I was initally gripping it too narrow, but after looking at Ironwills pix in his journal I started using a wider grip and was dealing with it figuring I would work through it, but with another 10 percent bump in weight I cant do it any more so I am just going to use some other exercises. Thanks for the replies.

DocTats
03-30-2012, 12:21 PM
Biceps are such a small muscle that I wouldn't worry too much if one exercise is inferior than another. I mean for legs, few would argue (well hopefully no one would) that squats are better than leg extensions but the differences in say barbell curls vs concentration curls seems relatively minor

JOHN GARGANI
03-30-2012, 12:51 PM
had that too. i started taking fish oil pills and the pain slowly went away.

I took fish oil pills also, and burped them up for the next hour or so...lol



DEFINITELY listen to your body & know the difference between good pain and bad pain, especially at our age! There are lots of ways to better biceps.


THIS answer ^^^^^ makes a lot more sense, I'm afraid.......

Corbi
03-30-2012, 03:15 PM
I dont do any tricep work directly, and ironically enough that's where I have started noticing meager gains. Maybe I should dump curls


I don't work biceps directly, see far too many guys come into the gym and spend 20 minutes doing nothing but db or preacher bench curls and their arms look like $hit. I do spend a ton of time working triceps though.

GuyJin
03-30-2012, 05:10 PM
As everyone has said, do that which causes no pain. I never liked doing barbell curls, so switching to d'bell curls solved the problem. You can do inclines, preachers, cable curls....lots of different bicep exercises out there. Change it up, rotate the exercises, change the rep scheme...whatever. But if an exercise hurts, then drop it.

polishedball
03-30-2012, 05:20 PM
I didn;t read all the other posts, but I am willing to bet at the end of your curl you are bending your wrists up. This often causes wrist pain and also what is just like shin splints in your forearms. Pay attention and check it next time you curl. I have a similar issue so I stick to cable double bi's, hammer curls, and body drags. The get hit also hard on back day.

paolo59
03-30-2012, 09:16 PM
I find that if I use DB's I have a lot less pain in the wrists and the elbows. Granted, hammer curls will leave my left elbow, not really the elbow, but the muscle right along side, really tender. There's always a way to work around something or another. Straight bar can really put some pressure on your wrists, the curl bar is the same, although I've found that the close grip, right on the inside, is better than the outer one when curling. It's seems harder to me. Close grip rather than a wider grip on the bar.

Don't let the weight lifted (what you think is decent) mess with your mind. If you need to, drop it right down, and just feel the movement. You can always do more reps. There's more to be said for that than a lot would let on! :)

billb7581
03-31-2012, 07:49 PM
I don't work biceps directly, see far too many guys come into the gym and spend 20 minutes doing nothing but db or preacher bench curls and their arms look like $hit. I do spend a ton of time working triceps though.

My wife said my arms looked bigger to her, so I had her meausre tonight... I picked up about 5/8" from 16" at the beginning of the year, but mostly in the tricep not much bicep development yet.

DocHoss
04-01-2012, 08:33 AM
My wife said my arms looked bigger to her, so I had her meausre tonight... I picked up about 5/8" from 16" at the beginning of the year, but mostly in the tricep not much bicep development yet.

Good for you! See, I told you that if you keep at it you will start to see progress. Or better yet, your wife will. Keep it up - you are doing a great job.

MoldyGopher
04-01-2012, 08:44 AM
My wife said my arms looked bigger to her, so I had her meausre tonight... I picked up about 5/8" from 16" at the beginning of the year, but mostly in the tricep not much bicep development yet.

Big arms are Big triceps. Don't waste any sweat worrying about your bicep development. (imho, natch)

yakabebe
04-01-2012, 08:22 PM
I was initally gripping it too narrow, but after looking at Ironwills pix in his journal I started using a wider grip and was dealing with it figuring I would work through it, but with another 10 percent bump in weight I cant do it any more so I am just going to use some other exercises. Thanks for the replies.

I have had the same issue and n fact cant do a curl with straight bar nor can I do traditional chins or pulldowns with thats straight grip

This bar makes it easier.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5wdBdLOkwnY/SZHx8ka9VmI/AAAAAAAABW8/Ce9G65yCMY8/s400/Chrome_Bars_Olympic_EZ_Curl_Bar.jpg
I have found the narrow grip makes it easier.

My staple is do 1 arm whatever (dbell, cables) but allow the wrist to find its own place where by the bi gets hit.

For example I might do dbell curls but one arm at a time but incline my body such that the wrist bears little torsion stress but allows the bi to extend and contract - at whatever angle it happens.

Rocky3540
04-01-2012, 09:22 PM
See a chiropractor . Seriously. Sometimes those little bones just need adjusted.

billb7581
04-02-2012, 04:55 AM
Big arms are Big triceps. Don't waste any sweat worrying about your bicep development. (imho, natch)

Not sweating it, my arms are really long and are going to take forever to fill out.

billb7581
04-02-2012, 04:56 AM
See a chiropractor . Seriously. Sometimes those little bones just need adjusted.

I'll ask him next time I am there.. I earn my keep as a mechanic so I cant be messing around hurting my wrists.

jba1
04-02-2012, 05:33 AM
My wrists hurt like hell when I do straight bb curl or even with the ez bar. I did them last night with DB's and my arm draped over the back of an incline bench adjusted to vertical and that felt good in the wrists and I felt a good stretch especially... is this an inferior version or does it even matter that much.? I aslo pumped out some additional sets on a Hammer Strength bicep machine because I was waiting for my wife to finish up and the machine felt good.

This is probably not your problem but you are not immune at 41.
Same story with my wrist...started out of nowhere.
Went to sports doctor TOTB arthritis/lack of cartilage at base of thumbs (Basil Thumb Arthritis).
Only cure is fusion with was not reccomended by MD. Found these braces to work....ACE Tek Zone Deluxe Wrist Brace. About $10 each. Metal plate in palm for support.
Back to doing straight curls instead of hammer curls

TXBuddy
04-02-2012, 06:24 AM
I usually have this problem too, since then I go thumbless on curls. if I am having an exceptionally bad day, I will use my wrist straps with a thumbless grip. It seems to help me.

billb7581
04-02-2012, 07:04 AM
This is probably not your problem but you are not immune at 41.
Same story with my wrist...started out of nowhere.
Went to sports doctor TOTB arthritis/lack of cartilage at base of thumbs (Basil Thumb Arthritis).
Only cure is fusion with was not reccomended by MD. Found these braces to work....ACE Tek Zone Deluxe Wrist Brace. About $10 each. Metal plate in palm for support.
Back to doing straight curls instead of hammer curls

I had a similar issue a few years back Doc said my hands are heading down this path with the thumb cartlage.. probably due to being a mechanic, she said she sees a lot of roofers with this issue... anyhow, I'm just going to do the concentration curls and give the cables a shot....no pain there. Props to Ironwill who said just get your presses and your rows progressing and your arms will follow. Seeing some decent growth without a lot of direct arm work.. just 2 sets of curls... tris are getting hit on the presses I guess.

Already taking glucosomene/chondroiton and fish oil have been for years after I went to arthritis doc.

billb7581
04-04-2012, 05:33 AM
Tried a few different things last night.... the concentration curls are good. Hammer grips are good, the cable machine was all jammed up as was the whole curl area so I wound up doing some higher rep work with 20's and 25's and there was no issue there.

Even a lighter BB curl felt fine. I got a good pump, so I am going to probably work curls a little lighter with a higher rep progression than I do with my big lifts. Rather than progress from 8-12 reps over 5 weeks bump weight up 10 percent drop down to 8 again, I will go from 12-16 and see if that helps.

MichaelCJ
04-04-2012, 05:39 AM
I've fielded this one a few times. I think this was my most recent take: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=143293793#post851391413

And yes, it actually did work for me.* I hope it helps you as well. :)


* And a couple of other guys "in real space", one of whom told me about that cure in the first place. I honestly don't understand much about the biomechanics or whatever, but hey, it did work! :D I think one of the guys I talked with about this online, some time ago, also said it worked. But I can't recall who, or for absolute certain. :/


edit: Interestingly (?) I no longer have that problem at all. Just did some straight bar curls last session. It could be something to do with all the weighted chins between then and now...? Or other grip-intensive stuff, like heavy deads (holding at the hang for a while on the last rep :p) and whatever else... Actually, I've no idea.