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Biceps' Tendons are Hurting Like Mad

Hi everyone !

(Typos and errors are to be expected, I’m not a native English speaker)

I’ve begun recently working on those 100 pounds I’ve put on over the years (bad lifestyle, night shifts, the whole shebang), and while I’ve made quite some progress overall, my biceps are my biggest pain. I’m 6’2", 320ish pounds just for the record. (1.88m and 145kg for the metric people).

I’ve had an hand injury six years back (broken phalanx, right hand), and as a result I couldn’t get to use it properly, and in extenso my arm. Up until lately it was fine, but each and every time I try to go above 20 or so pounds on arm curls, my tendons in my right arm hurt like mad, they just can’t take the load, while my left arm goes on fine. What bugs me is that I can carry pretty much anything heavier than this in my daily life (groceries, other heavy stuff) just fine.

So here’s the question, do any of you know what I could to to strenghen my tendons ? Or have any idea about what is going on ?

Thanks in advance !

Could try getting some ART therapy and/or deep tissue massage on arms and wrists.

I wouldnt worry too much anyway -90% of your work should be compound moves until get weight waay down

The voodoo floss bands help me when mine flares up.

For some reason, wearing wrist wraps on my push movements helps my elbows in general feel better.

Are you doing pull-ups (or some variation)? That could be wreaking some havoc at your current weight if everything isn’t perfect?

Is there a grip you can do (neutral instead of supinated), or maybe a machine where your arm is supported?

Like @RampantBadger said, it probably doesn’t even matter right now for your real goal; we still want to clean up these types of nagging injuries if we can, though. I can get a lot out of 20lbs with curls - most folks probably can if they adjust their tempo and form.

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I wouldn’t be too worried about doing curls for a fair while. More Squats, dead’s working the whole body and lots of walking to keep the blood flowing.
What sort of program are you running?
How long have you been back in the gym?

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Thanks for your feedback guys :slight_smile:

@RampantBadger My first goal is actually getting rid of my dad bod, I’m only 25 so a bit young for this haha
I’m in the middle, or hell beginning, of knowing my strengths and weaknesses so I wanted to address this as soon as I can so I don’t run into issues later

@TrainForPain @I_Luc I’ve been going back for two months, give or take, and at the moment I don’t do pull-ups, it’s too intense given my current weight, my shoulders give me a big fat no if I try. What bugs me is that at the triceps press, I can go as high as 180 pounds without it being painful, hell I can even do 10 push-ups and it’s not a huge deal for me…

I ride my bike for 12km a day (8 miles maybe ?), my job is pretty remote, and I walk all day, one of the perks of being a school IT admin.
When I hit the gym I focus on the upper half of my body, I’m trying out routines and exercises so no clear program ATM, with the biking/walking I do all day I just skip leg day (shame on me) because I’m just exhausted from the day. I know that this is mostly cardio (and sprints for my life if you consider how people drive where I live) but I don’t want to exert too much effort on my legs given the situation.

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Smart guys say that Tendons need high reps because they don’t get much circulation and you want to get blood in there for healing. Also to focus on the “end range” of exercises, to actually work the tendons/joints and give them a reason to repair themselves. An eccentric focus (emphasis on lowering) is supposed to be good for tendons as well.

To cover all the bases (high reps, end range, eccentric focus) do curls against an a stretchy band. Like at 1:00 in this video. As you go through the motion figure out how to position your wrist and elbow properly so there is no pain. Adjust until you find the correct posture and arm angle for it not to hurt.


then don’t go above 20 lbs, at least for now. If used properly, 20 lbs dumbbells should be plenty heavy to get a good biceps workout for most people. Focus hard on the contraction, lower the weight slowly and under control, squeeze hard at the top, and perform relatively high rep sets. This will be good for tendon strength, and it will build bicep size.