T Nation

Forearm Pain Question

Hi guys, have always got great help from this forum so let’s see if it continues:

Training partner is suffering pain in the left anterior (flexor) compartment of his forearm with any bicep curls. (He is right handed)

Now… the pain lasts for up to a week after one medium-heavy set and will also affect his ability to bench, O/H press etc. which makes me suspect stretching of the flexors irritates the condition.


he can do hammers, reverse curls, pullups, chinups, rows etc etc… all with NO issue. It is only this supinated position that causes grief and changing bars (thick, thin, EZ-curl, straight etc.) makes no difference.

I checked him out for medial epicondylitis but he shows no pain on palpation of the common flexor tendon. There is no neural signs in terms of loss of feeling in the fingers so medial nerve compression seems out of the clincal range.

Any ideas?


The Bastardboy

No idea whats causing it.
Any pain from internal and external forearm rotations? Rice digs?
Could always do those every workout and see if it helps if it doesn’t hurt, or if it does hurt it’ll narrow down what the problem is.

I have had this issue for as long as I can remember. There are two approaches I take to fixing it:

  1. Do not do bar curls in any form whatsoever. Straight or ez-bar, it doesn’t matter. Just stop. Learn to love the dumbbells. I do the following variation of the hammer curl: start the motion as a hammer curl . As you bring the weight up, rotate your arm so that you finish with the dumbbell parallel. Do the concentric in the reverse, ending as a hammer curl. I only get the forearm pain if my palms are upward at the bottom of the movement, not the top.

  2. Lower the weight, increase the reps. Quite simply, the pain only exists for me beyond a certain threshold of weight. Fortunately as I get stronger, this threshold also increases, so I’m not stuck at the same intensity forever.

I don’t know what the cause of this is, but the above methods do work for me. I might also suggest what many others have suggested, not to even bother with curls at all. If you’re doing your deads/rows/pulldowns/etc with sufficient intensity you may be able to get away with it.

Thanks for the tips haploid… in-line with the response I have had from others.


The Bastardboy