T Nation

Deadlift and Bicep Pain?


I did deadlifts today, after taking a week of recovery. I didnt go very heavy, maybe 80%, but noticed a weird "pain" in my right bicep. It wasn't severe, but was something new. It didn't stop me from completing the workout and actually went away mostly as the workout went on.

My question is, that i remember reading in the deadlift thread that a common error during deadlifts, is to have "taut" elbows. Im not completely clear on this, but im assuming you want to have your arms just hanging. I never had a problem with this, but maybe its because ive been doing snatch lately instead of deadlifts, and am subconsciously contracting my biceps.

Any suggestions on how to avoid this? Could i just contract my triceps a bit?


when I personally pull off the floor, my arms are relaxed. But I do OL and thats how I have to do it to clean/snatch it. Doing deadlifts, I always make sure my elbows are locked either by gravity or keeping the tricep slightly flexed, because its heavier weight.

is your right hand the hand thats facing out if you use a mixed grip?


You really don't want your biceps flexed at all when DLing. That's a good way to have your bicep release itself from your elbow and roll up like a burrito into your shoulder. To fix that problem focus on keeping the triceps flexed and make sure that you start with the arms locked out before you pull.

Could also be nerve impingment from the ulnar nerve or soft tissue fibrous lesions. In this case, a crapload of forearm mobility, static stretching, hard foam rolling of forearm and bicep, and/or ART done daily will help fix it.


Thanks for that mental image.


Try flexing your triceps hard as u grasp the bar. Keep that flex throughout the movement.


Pretty common problem in kids we teach to DL that have done primarily cleans at sports practices..

Two things. You need to think of your arms as hooks and relax them. Also, before you pull contract your lats. My observation has been the motion you are describing actually originates in the upper back because your body has learned a pattern of motion that makes it want to prepare for the clean.

If your lats are contracted (pull shoulder blades down and lock it in like this) you really can't bend the arms. You should be doing this anyway b/c it will shorten your stroke and go a long way towards tightening your upper body.


good info guys, i'll try it next time i dl. Never had a problem with this before, but is probably caused by doing a lot of snatch.


Yep that's an early warning for a biceps tear. Keep your mainly locked out to avoid bending the elbows. Any slight bend in the elbow can cause the bicpes tendon to rupture. This sucks beyond all belief, because sometimes they can't fix it w/ surgery, and you look deformed like what was described above.