T Nation

Forearms Tingle With Curls


When I do curls with a barbell my forearms get extremely tight, specifically the bone on the pinky side. It feels very tender, very tight, and by the third set my forearms even start to tingle. What's this about?


Do you roll your wrists at the top of the movement? I don't know if that bothers your forearms, but it does for me. However mine gets to be a sharp pain up and down the bone of my forearm, pinky side. But more so, when I let all the pressure off. Then it kills. I've learned to just work through it though I still don't know what it is.

My other thought would be how tightly you're grabbing the bar. I think this is a better solution to your problem. Try relaxing your grip since you probably don't need a death grip on whatever weight you're using.


Barbell curls are 'ok' if they don't bother you. I personally think they do more harm than good to most people because of the locked position of the wrists/elbows/shoulders alignment. I would rather work with dumbells and this seems to avoid most of these problems.

Yah--you use less poundage, just try and make up for it with your rows and wide grip deads.


Try a little test:

Stand up straight with your arms to your side.

Start with your palms touching your thighs, than rotate them out to the front of you until you can't rotate them any more.

If when you're finished your pinkys are pointing towards your body, or towards eachother (meaning your palms are parallel with the wall in front of you)than you might do better using an EZ-curl.

The farther your pinkys point away from your body, the easier it'll be to work with a straight bar.

*This is of course only one possibility.


Have you been squating and/or benching heavy? It may be tendonitis. I know I feel pain in my bones at my elbows when training heavy for a powerlifting meet. That is tendonitis and it will go away when the heavy squats and benches stop.


I suffered that as well, and i thought it was nothing so i kept training but it went from tingling to a sharp pain. I had to stop training in the gym because the pain became intense.

I asked my doctor and a sports medicine coach, they both agreed that my forearm muscles were not strong enough for the load i was putting on them on different exercises such as bicep curls and reverse curls etc.

So when i was better i started strenghtening my forearms and i have not had pain since. Also if you grab the curl too tight (i did this becaue i wanted to improve my grip on Judo) you worsen the situation, and if you have it too weak your wrist suffers so try to find somewhere in between and keep your wrist stright.

I would look fowars to working those forearms because my best bet is that as you increase weight on the curls the pain will increase, or the tingling, so work them forearms.

hope this helps.


You guys probably hit the nail on the head. I've been lifting as heavy as possible with hacks and bench with Big Boy Basics, also incorporating tricep PULLdowns for the first time. I haven't paid specific attention to my forearms for some time. Thanks for the heads up. I'll let you know if there's improvement in 3 or 4 weeks.