T Nation

Brachioradialis Pain, Lack of Biceps Flexion in Neutral and Pronated Grip

Hey guys this is a weird one that happened during weighted pull-ups. Two months ago, on the come up I got a very strong pain through my forearm, no pop or anything.

At that time when I tried to flex my bicep in a pronated position I noticed some pain where the distal tendon attached to the muscle belly, some pain where the distal tendon attaches to the forearm, and some pain in the brachioradialis almost inside the elbow. However there was no disfigurement of the bicep. I gave it some rest then slow rehab for a month and now my supinated curls are back to where they were with no issues.

The weird thing is when I curl neutral grip (hammer curl) I can’t go above 20lb dumbbells (normally do 40-50) without immediately feeling like my brachioradialis is taking all the weight and straining under it. With my uninjured arm I can whip that weight around like it’s nothing.

What really concerns me is that I also noticed that it takes a concerted effort to contract my bicep to where it’s anywhere close to as hard as the uninjured arm. And can poke my finger into it a good centimeter whereas the uninjured arm I can barely poke into it at all. This gets worse the more I twist my wrist into a pronated position when compared to the uninjured arm its like jelly. Still contracts somewhat but jelly.

To add to that in a neutral and pronated position I can’t flex my bicep without significantly flexing my brachioradialis. In the uninjured arm the bracioradialis doesn’t flex at all and it’s only my bicep. Also in the injured arm I noticed my brachioradialis even flexes noticeably in the supinated position whereas in the uninjured arm it doesn’t flex at all.

I leaned into this maybe being a brachialis tear? If I grab a 5lb dumbell and hammer curl it for 100 reps with a concentrated effort of contracting the muscles in my upper arm I can avoid the pain in my forearm and feel a soreness on the outside of my upper arm (where I would feel the brachialis). Also my left uninjured upper arm has a noticeable pop of muscle on the outside (brachial probably) whereas my injured arm is almost flat by comparison.

Let me know what you guys think. I’m at a loss with whether I should rest it or rehab it.

Rehab it!

If your brachialas and braciorasialius are doing too much they’ll pull your bones in a weird way, and it’s hard to use the bicep. If your brachialas and braciorasialius are working too hard they can actually pull on your forearm bone (radialus) so it “Bangs” into to your upper arm bone (humerus). This shit hurts!

The fancy name for this situation is Anterior Elbow Impingement. Maybe you can look at these picture and imagine the muscles jamming the head of your radialus into your humerous.

You’re going to need to focus on getting the tension off those forearm muscles and adjust the way your arm is moving.

Take your “Good” hand and rest it on the collar bone of your “bad” arm. This way, if your shoulder elevates or raises, or rolls forward you’ll feel pressure and motion in your clavicle. Avoid this!

From there, depress your scapula. Pull your shoulder blade “down” so it’s against your ribs. Use your back muscles and serratus muscle to lock your shoulder blade into place.

Now use those muscles to pull your elbow forward, like your trying to get your elbow in front of your ribs. Keep touching your collar bone, and make sure there is no pressure or movement up there.

You should feel a lat cramp, not a brachialas or braciorasialius cramp. Now try to flex your bicep. Make a curling motion, keep your shoulder blade depresses and your elbow pushed forward. This should naturally take pressure off your elbow and put it in your back and bicep.

Once you’ve got that working OK start doing some one arm pulldowns, making the same effort to keep your elbow pushed forward and tension on your lat and bicep, Not Your Elbow!


Hey man, thanks for the detailed reply really appreciate you taking the time.

This has been incredibly helpful. I’ve started doing exactly what you suggested and have noticed that it allows me to do hammer curls with little to no irritation with 20lbs. Will program this into my routine for the next few months and gradually up the weight.

Thanks again. I’ve been at a complete loss of what to do, great to have some direction.

1 Like

No problem man, Anytime!

I’m glad you were able to understand what I was trying to say.

Good luck moving forward.