T Nation

Reverse Curls - Help

Sorry if there is already a similar thread somewhere…

I tried reverse dumbbell curls on a preacher bench for the first time yesterday and I felt a strange sharp pain shooting up my arm each time I did the movement. I tried using a fairly light weight, and changing my seating and arm position a few different times, and it still felt more than awkward. I felt like I was going to injure myself.

What was I doing wrong?

What are you doing wrong? Prb nothing, sounds like a nerve impingement 2 me. Translation -it’s just you. You can try physio or ART etc, but I personally would just avoid that movement from now on.

I’m the same (sorta) with squats, if I go beyong 90 degrees my hamstring tendon pops out and moves over my knee to a new position. Which isn’t too good under heavy load. My incredibly scientific solution? I don’t squat over 90 degrees. Yeah it sucks, but i think the tendon popping over load thing is gonna do damage if i keep on doing it eventually so I avoid it.

My point is, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. If you really want to hit your brachialis, try reverse curls with a dumbell, or pronating hammer curls (pull up & rotate your arm so your palm is down, pinky out). Preacher curls have a reputation for causing elbow injuries, so it’s a good idea 2 stay away from them if they don’t feel good.

In the first place why are you performing reverse dumbbell curls? What motivated you to perform this inferior isolation movement?

it almost sounds like a bicepital tendon irritation. I second what the before guys said and would like to add another movememnt, Lay face down on a 45-60 degree incline bench and do hammer curls keep the upper arm as stationary as possible, but moving the wrist around a bit to find the right groove.

Hope that helps


Thanks for the help guys. The reason I was trying them out is because I read about them on this site; I can’t remember which article now. It said to start your set with reverse curls, where you will be the most weak, do as many as you can, then switch to regular curls where you will be stronger, and then finally hammer curls.

Work your wrists.

If you’ve been building bicep strength the standard way all this time, it’s conceivable they’re a hell of a lot stronger than your wrist extensors. Attempt too much weight and you may tear something.


The exercise she is talking about was described by TC a couple of weeks ago as one taught to him by Charles Poliquin. The portion she is having trouble with is designed to hammer the brachialis and I will guess that her brachialis is underdeveloped. I’ve been doing these 3 curls since TC described them and I can vouch that they pound your brachialis if you give them good, direct and honest effort. (Poliquin has said a number of times that many people have underdeveloped brachialis.)
An effective exercise? Yes.
Worthless? Hardly. Try them.
As a solution to her problem, I would suggest several weeks of reverse curls with an EZ-curl bar, emphasizing control of the weight on the eccentric.

The brachialis is capable of producing some strange sensations, like a primitive dull ache about halfway up the humerus (upper arm bone). If that’s present, make friends with it.

I’m thinking about doing reverse curl and forearm work since I dont work biceps directly at all.

Whenver I felt a pain go through my arm I would just stop shake my arm out and try to loosin my grip some then proceed.

I tried these the last arm workout I had too, and I felt the same thing. Guess I’m a little under-developed. Gotta start somewhere!

[quote]Sxio wrote:
I’m the same (sorta) with squats, if I go beyong 90 degrees my hamstring tendon pops out and moves over my knee to a new position. [/quote]

I’ve got one of those tendons on my left wrist. If I turn my left hand outward just beyond the thumbs-up position, a tendon pops over that knob of bone on the outside of the wrist. Doing that with the hand flexed forward causes a real “thump” feeling. Repeating the motion only 50 times or so will irritate the tendon.

As for the original question, I know quite a few people who can’t do any kind of reverse curl with any significant weight. I would guess that this is related to elbow structure, since these people are otherwise strong.

Stick to full body “natural” movements to avoid these sorts of injuries.

I had the same problem the first time I tried those. I got rid of it by warming up for a bit longer before I started them.