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Old 08-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #1
Evan
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wrist pain and curling

Ive just recently, about 2 bicep workouts ago, started noticing some pain in my wrists in a few exercises. I start my bicep workout usually by doing some straight barbell curls. I use the bench press bar and do 4 sets of 8 reps at 95 lbs. Anyway, my wrists really HURT on the first set. Its like a sharp pain when im gripping the bar and go down all the way. Gradually, the pain lessens after each set. I usually do preacher curls next and get the same pain, although usually I do not notice it as much because my wrists have already been worked a little from the previous exercise. I finish up with some concentration curls and there is no pain whatsoever in these.

I seem to notice this pain usually only when I am doing any curls with the straight barbell. I figured the pain would subside and I'd be able to work out today; but this isnt the case. My wrists, especially my non dominant hand are slightly sore when i make a tight fist today. I decided not to work out and probably will wait a few days for them to heal.

My question for anyone who really knows what they are doing, how do you all avoid getting wrist pain while curling? It seems impossible to avoid it while doing curls with a straight barbell. When my arms are extended down all the way it seems like there is so much tension on my wrists which are holding a lot of weight in an unnatural position. Normaly when you move your arms to your waist, your wrists are slight bent inward. Unfortunately, this is not the case when doing straight barbell curls.

How do I go about avoiding this pain that is associated with this? Should I just not do any bicep excercise that involve using a straight barbell?
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:33 AM   #2
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Re: wrist pain and curling

good question...i would let ur wrists heal and do less weight, start doin wrist exercises and when ur wrists feel good bump the weight back up

it might have to do w/ your technique though

im not a pro though, so i could be way off
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: wrist pain and curling

For some people, the straight barbell can really take a toll on the forearms. Here's a couple of things you can do to immediately test out what the problem is:

-Make absolutely sure the barbell in your hands is in line with your forearm throughout the curl. If you notice that your hands are bent, as if you were holding yourself up during a pushup, then that's probably what's causing the pain. Force yourself to keep the barbell straight in your hands and not allow it to bend as you curl up or down. Do this for all your bicep exercises.

-Try the EZ-Curl bar, aka the bar with the curves. Make sure your wrists are straight here too--this sometimes solves the problem right away.

-Try various dumbbell curls

-Take some time off--if you haven't taken a week or more (10-14 days) off in the last 8-12 weeks, you are putting yourself in a position to experience more injuries and overtraining. You will not waste away--your body will thank you for the time off.

-If all else fails, quit curling for a while, and when you start back up again in several months or so, slowly add back the sets into your workout. Your biceps won't shrink--if you're doing rows, pullups, and pulldowns, you're getting plenty of bicep stimulation.


Best of luck

-Dave
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:21 PM   #4
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Re: wrist pain and curling

I'm not too sure if I do this while curling, but sometimes while I am getting to some more difficult reps of bench press, I find myself "cheating" a bit when I am struggling to get the weight up. By cheating I mean breaking my wrists (as you mentioned not keeping them straight), and even arching my back.

I am not too sure if I break my wrists while attempting to do heavier reps of curls, but I would be willing to bet if I am doing that while benching, I am probably doing it while curling.

I'll have to focus more on form. I know arching your back while benching is asking to get injured, but its always a cheap way to get more weight up . I'll have to cut that out.

What should I do about tight grip bench press? It seems impossible to do this exercise without breaking your wrists. Maybe i am gripping the bar too tight (hands about 4 inches apart), but when I bring it down my wrists are bent towards the outer portion of my forearms at about a 45 degree angle. Should I just be gripping the bar shoulder-width and keeping my elbows tucked in while doing tight grip? There is way too much pain the way I am currently doing it. And now that I have just gone through the motion of doing tight grip bench press while typing this, I would not be suprised if this is the source of my wrist pain considering I am experiencing this pain in the part of my wrist that would be bent toward my forearm while doing tight grip bench press. Maybe I'll just drop that exercise
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
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Re: wrist pain and curling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan View Post
I'm not too sure if I do this while curling, but sometimes while I am getting to some more difficult reps of bench press, I find myself "cheating" a bit when I am struggling to get the weight up. By cheating I mean breaking my wrists (as you mentioned not keeping them straight), and even arching my back.

I am not too sure if I break my wrists while attempting to do heavier reps of curls, but I would be willing to bet if I am doing that while benching, I am probably doing it while curling.

I'll have to focus more on form. I know arching your back while benching is asking to get injured, but its always a cheap way to get more weight up . I'll have to cut that out.

What should I do about tight grip bench press? It seems impossible to do this exercise without breaking your wrists. Maybe i am gripping the bar too tight (hands about 4 inches apart), but when I bring it down my wrists are bent towards the outer portion of my forearms at about a 45 degree angle. Should I just be gripping the bar shoulder-width and keeping my elbows tucked in while doing tight grip? There is way too much pain the way I am currently doing it. And now that I have just gone through the motion of doing tight grip bench press while typing this, I would not be suprised if this is the source of my wrist pain considering I am experiencing this pain in the part of my wrist that would be bent toward my forearm while doing tight grip bench press. Maybe I'll just drop that exercise
Your intuition is correct--super-close bench pressing (<12 inches) is asking for wrist issues. To correct this, simply do one of two things:

-space your grip out to about 12-18 inches, depending on your arm length. Most likely you want your index fingers barely touching the smooth part of the bar in the middle, with the rest of your fingers touching the rough part. This should adequately hit your triceps without causing much pain.

-Do skullcrushers instead. This exercise has the best carryover to the benchpress, and builds massive triceps. Just make sure your wrists are straight while doing them, and don't do them if it hurts at all in your elbows.

If you are swaying your back and really cheating hard to get those final reps, you need to stop doing the exercise. At this point, you're not hitting the biceps, but instead recruiting other parts of your body to complete the exercise. That's not what we want with curls--we just want to hit your biceps. So try stopping before the swaying occurs--don't be afraid to drop the weight if you have to in order to meet the same amount of reps you were doing. You'll be back up to speed in no time.


Best,
Dave
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: wrist pain and curling

Well I did a chest workout 2 days ago and woke up yesterday with a lot of pain in my wrist when bending it in certain positions. Even picking up the 45lb bar with 2 hands causes pain now. I'm thinking I probably sprained something in there. Has anyone ever experienced something like this?

I guess I won't be working out for at least a week. It isn't that big of a deal; I haven't taken time off in a while. I'm just hoping this thing will heal and not keep reocurring once I lift heavy again.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:36 AM   #7
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Re: wrist pain and curling

Take some time off--you'll probably be stronger coming back.


Best,
Dave
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