T Nation

forearm problems

okay, i performed a search on this one but still have some questions. after doing dips yesterday, i got a sharp pain on the underside of my left ulna. it hurt (and hurts) to the touch and while under tension. is this what people call “forearm splints?” besides going light and icing, etc., does anyone have any advice on dip form that might help? thanks for any feedback.

Uh, you’re going to have to be a little more specific (and even then we might not be able to help you). Are we talking proximal or distal ulna? What movements aggravate the pain?

Do you do a lot of curls? I stopped experiencing forearm pain when I stopped doing curls. Probably the best training decision I ever made. Dips have never caused me any pain.

I’m guessing that you’re like me; you grip dumbbells, barbells, handles, etc unnecessarily hard while lifting. Next time you’re doing any pressing movements, when you start to get stuck, take notice of how hard you’re gripping.

With dips, you should not be squeezing the handles that hard, there simply is no reason. When I get stuck on a pressing movement, I tend to squeeze very hard.

When I noticed that I was doing this, I made an effort to keep in mind how hard I was gripping during the lift. Since then, my problems with forearm splints have been much more infrequent.

I should note that I somehow seem to have a predisposition towards “splints”. I used to get them (shin splits) very easily when I ran Cross Country in High School. Also, in the past few years that I have been somewhat serious about lifting, my forearms often had problems, until I noticed my unecessary effort in gripping.

I think it was mostly from dips, but I also did curls and some other arm work. CMC, I was trying to get away from arm-only work alltogether, let the chins and other back movements take care of them. Have you replaced curls with anything specific?

Good decision, Benzo. Chins and rows will take care of your forearms and biceps. I also did static hangs, farmer’s walks, and Captain of Crush gripper work on “off” days. I stopped doing direct arm work a few months ago and had nice success. That was with an inconsistent diet and losing a lot of time due to sickness.

Thanks for the insight Derek. In any sport I’ve played I’ve understood that grip tightness should be inversely proportional to the force of the movement you’re doing, like in golf, rowing, etc. Why I haven’t carried this knowledge over to weight lifting, I have no idea. To tell you the truth, I’ve never paid attention to my grip tightness when lifting, but I sure will now. Thanks for pointing that out.