Wrist Pain with Bicep Curls (NOT ANYMORE!)

Wrist Pain with Bicep Curls (NOT ANYMORE!)

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What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Do you get wrist pain when you do Barbell
Curls? Not necessarily dumbbells, but wrist pain when you do Barbell Curls? If you do, I think I can help you especially
if you’re getting pain on the inside near the pinkie right here at the base of the wrist
when you’re curling. See we have to look at what’s going on to
understand why that might be happening, and then I’m going to show you something you might
be able to do to help alleviate that. When we curl, the problem is, we’re basically
curling with a fixed bar, obviously, if we’re using a straight bar. And this fixed bar forces our hands into a
degree of supination that we may not be either able to achieve or comfortable with because in order to get to a straight bar, we have
to really get our supination all the way up until it’s flat enough to be able to support
a bar. When we use dumbbells, we can kind of cheat
that a little bit and have our hands even just a little bit more pronated, k, this direction,
so that when we curl, we don’t have to feel that extreme range of
motion. Well, what happens there is, if you take a closer look, the extensor carpi ulnaris
is a muscle that runs on the backside of our forearm and runs through the wrist and attaches to
our fifth metacarpal, or our little pinkie bone here. When we pronate our forearm here,
it has a nice straight path from here straight through. It gets to run with little tension and torque
straight up to its destination right up here, again, on the base of that metacarpal. If we supinate the wrist, though, as we would
with a Barbell Curl, now all of a sudden, and I have to actually turn because I can’t
get there comfortably, and you can see the difference how difficult it is to get a lot of supination
there, we now have changed the path of that tendon. You can see that now it doesn’t go
straight. Now it kind of angles off at a 30 degree angle.
What’s happening there is, now we’re creating torque, and once we have a torqued tendon, you’re going to go add tension to it with
the bar, and over time if you start curling like that and you don’t have adequate flexibility
and mobility in that tendon, you’re going to have problems. So, what can we do about it? You can try to
increase your own supination mobility at your wrist. And what you do is, you want to start
by putting your elbow in at 90 degrees, and I’ll tell you why in one second, and you
grab the area, the meaty area of your wrist below your hand. You don’t want to grab your
hand because it’s possible to torque and twist your hand without ever really influencing the true supination
at the forearm. So, you grab the meaty area of the wrist here when you’re in this 90 degree
position, and you’re just turning and you try to stretch it for about 20 to
30 seconds. You let it go, grab for a little bit more range if you have it, and you turn
again. 20 or 30 seconds. Let it rest, and then do it again if you can
grab a little bit more available range. You could even do a little bit of contract/relax
where once you’re in this end position, you try to pull your hand back against the
resistance for about 5 seconds, and then let it go. And you might find that you can get
even a little bit more motion. The next thing you want to do is make sure
that you’re not also exacerbating this problem by consciously trying to involve your forearms
in your curl. We’ve talked about that before. It can cause a lot of problems even at the
inside part of your elbow if, when you’re curling, you’re really trying to use your
forearms to help cheat the weight up. The best way to do that is to try to allow
your wrists to bend back a little bit. Bend into a little bit of extension so that when
you’re doing the curling, you’re not over-using the forearm because another way to make this problem worse
in your wrist here is to combine a little bit of this wrist flexion with the torque
here at the wrist from the supination and also, what they call ulnar deviation, getting your
hand bent in this direction. So, you get that combination of 3, and the position that we’re
referring to is when you’re carrying a football. And they sort of diagnose this in PT clinics.
If you carry the football position here, which is wrist flexion, ulnar deviation, forearm
supination and elbow flexion, and if you start feeling some discomfort and pain in here, it’s very likely
that you’ve got this going on. Obviously, if you’re doing Curls and you’re feeling a
lot of pain there, likely you’ve got this going on. So, make those 2 modifications. Try to get
into a little bit of extension on your Curls, and also, like I’ve said, try to work a little
bit on the mobility of your supination in your forearm. It could go a long way. Now, obviously, if
it’s burning and killing you right now, you might want to lay off of the straight bar
Curls, and go to something more neutral, like a Hammer Curl for now until that pain
starts to subside and then as you get back into it you can start using some of these
mobility drills and then progressively try to get back up to the bar. Guys, we put the science back in strength
here at ATHLEANX. As a Physical Therapist, it’s impossible for me to look at a workout
or look at an exercise without realizing what’s the overall effect on you as a whole?
Because if you can’t get to the gym, if you can’t curl a straight bar, I think it’s a
great exercise. I think it’s one of the best ways to build
your biceps and probably one of the biggest ways that I relied on to build my biceps as
I developed, if you can’t do it because you’re in pain,
then what good is it? You’ve got to make sure that we’re doing things the right way. And the ATHLEANX Training Program, guys, again
as a Physical Therapist, I put everything in there and I progress you the way I feel
you should to make sure that we’re addressing everything not just saying,
‘Hey go do these exercises. These are good.’ No. Sometimes you have to look a little bit
deeper than that, and that’s what I try to do. If you found this video helpful, make sure
you leave a thumb’s up and a comment below. I got this idea because one of you out there requested, ‘What do you
do for wrist pain during Barbell Curls?’ So, whatever else it is that you want to see,
make sure you leave your comments and it might show up here in a future video. In the meantime, I’ll see you over at ATHLEANX.COM. And I’ll be back here in just a couple days.

47 thoughts on “Wrist Pain with Bicep Curls (NOT ANYMORE!)”

  1. Thanks for the tip. I have wrist pain from using the straight bar. I wish i could do other bicep exercises besides hammers. Is there any other exercises that i could do for biceps until the pain goes away? I don't want quit lifting.

  2. thanks for the advice, Jeff!! i do get a lot of wrist pain, but in my case, my hands seem to be turned a little further to the inside. turning my wrists outwards to hold a bar bell is particularly ppainful from having to twist my wrist . never had an opportunity to use an easy curl bar, so i don`t know if it would help me or not. i do all my curls at the gym using dumb bells!! i`ll give your remedy a try next time i get wrist pain, or maybe i should start doing it now as a preventive measure!! thank you so much for sharing my friend, with love from Wes!! hugs!!!

  3. You hit the nail on the head Jeff. The main reason I like your videos and subscribed is because you're not just showing some exercises and telling people yeah go do these and get ripped. You actually care about us and want to help us all to train and do it safely and properly so that we can pursue the results we're trying to achieve.

  4. My left wrist hurts a lot when I set the EZ curl bar down . I find it hurts less if I slowly release my grip from the bar after setting it down

  5. Ok serious question Jeff, why does the center of both butt cheeks itch when i do barbell curls like around rep 8 and 9, almost like its on fire and ends when i stop the lift? am i clinching my butt hard during this lift? I do barbell curl standing up.

  6. man i really never could do it. i always use the EZ bar but never felt my biceps being trained. one time i quit the gym for 4 years and when i got back at it, the muscle soreness i felt was on my forearms and really not at my biceps. my form is 100% im sure but my mind is cheating i think by putting more into the forearms to complete the reps

  7. If bar is spinning in my hands does that mean too much weight ? Just got into working out after many years and don’t want to cause injuries, should I lower weight some ?

  8. i have a wrist pain too but the pain is particularly on the thumb side of the wrists when twisting it. left wrist hurt more than the other

  9. Simple: Use an EZ Curl Bar instead of a standard straight bar when performing barbell curls. It is a more natural grip position that will take the pressure of the foreman tendons, and will prevent tendonitis and the subsequent pain from developing.

  10. You saved me. Its been two weeks i am having wrist pain. I am starting to do this from today and i am sure it will solve the problem.
    I have stoped barBell curls altogether but I do hammer curls with dumbbells. I wish you all the happiness and health.

  11. I have this pain but it was completely fine until one day I hit a heavy bag abit too hard with a left hook…my wrist was perfectly fine curling on the straight bar before then, so do you think trying to stretch and get more supernation will improve my wrist or cause my injury was from a hard hit and not from years of curling or bad form it may do more damage…?

  12. I have this kind of pain (on the pinky side of the wrist and also a little bit down my forearm), although I am not doing biceps curls. However, I do bent-over barbell rows, where I have my hands in a supinated position. Can it be that my pain comes from this? Could this kind of pain theoretically also come from an overhead shoulder press or a bench press? Thank you so much for your great videos! Your channel helped me a lot already!

  13. Dear Jeff, thanx a lot for your videos would you be so kind to make a video about wrist pain which appears under the thumb thanks in advance.

  14. I can't do pushups or any biceps training. My wrist hurts from falling from a bike a while ago. I did not brake anything and i went to doctor to be sent home after he told me im fine. Like wtf why does it fucking hurt after 4 weeks?!

  15. I saw this video and started recommending to a lot of people that they bend their wrist (just as you did). I received a lot of negative responses to my recommendation. They said it isn’t good to bend your wrist like that ?‍♂️

  16. Really helpful video. I was actually doing the opposite of what was said here and trying to use my forearm to keep my wrist from bending, thinking that was the problem. Will try this out.

  17. Why it doesnt work for me it still hurts when im using 25 pound long bar barbel im 14 yrs old and im also having that wrist ache it hurts alot

  18. Great advice and insight – as usual. Any thoughts on combination bar, versus EZ bar, versus straight bar? And other variations of how to do biceps effectively all heads in one workout? Would you recommend super-setting with triceps for a full arm workout?

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