T Nation

Uncontrolled Grip Spasms


Ok I'm having a strange problem with my grip. It started mostly when I was doing bicep curls but now it is happening when I bench and other lifts as well.

Basically my left hand keeps opening up on me, almost like a spasm. It starts with my pinky which will feel like its fluttering and I am unable to squeeze it hard down. Then the ring finger will loosen and so forth. I have not lost my grip completely yet.

When this spasm happens I usually have a severe tightness in my forearm on the flexor side.

Could this be caused by an imbalance in strength of my forearm extensors vs.. Flexors?

I believe I remember reading that an imbalance of the protagonist and antagonistic muscles can actually cause the muscles to fail.

Any ideas on specific exercises I can do to help this? its really starting to mess up my lifts.




ask Roberston


Or Cressey.


I've had this happen for two reasons: overworking the grip and dehydration while moderately working the grip.


No response from the pros yet.

Its definatly not from dehydration, I drink alot of water through the day.


I have a similar problem:

Whenever I bench 225lbs and above, my forearms get so tight and by the time I let go, my hands are gripping the bar for additional few seconds after I rack the weight. My hands are just stuck until they loosen up.

Hopefully some authors can help me and the Original Poster out




Jbodzin - maybe a nerve impingement? I dunno, but it sounds almost like the signal from your brain to the muscles is getting shut down. Stretching the tight muscles is the only thing I can suggest. This is a good thing to go to a physio about.

Wolbarret - I get that too, but mainly with stiff legged deadlifts. I wouldn't worry about it. It's different from what Jbozin's reporting.


This is a response from Eric Cressy

Thanks everyone for your help, and if you have had this happen to you any other advice would be appreciated.


Well I did a little research based on Eric's response and my syptoms are a closer match to Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, actually its an exact match.

Here is link with a good description:


Thanks, and again if you have had this condition please feel free to educate me.



This is what my Dr is thinking i have. Right now hes just thinking its impingement and gave me some anti inflamatories. been a week though and havent noticed much improvement...that site is helpful, going to try keeping my arms straight at night


Yeah I have already rearanged my desk so my elbows are straight.


Did he give you any stretchs or exercises to do?


Yeah im in the process of doing the same thing..soon as i saw that diagram i looked at my arms...
ive lost 20 lbs since march, i dont have any padding on my arms now hehe


hey hows the impinged nerves...mine is as as bad as ever. :-/ ive stopped lifting for now even


I have problems with muscle cramps. I take Magnesium and my problem disappears. You may also try Calcium Glucinate, my second favorite Supplement


Hey, Mine is clearing up.

I've been doing these forearm stretches:

as well asworking with the forearm roller.

Also I bought a thick gel pad that I have on my desk where my elbow is. And I arranged my keyboard so that my arms are straight with very little bend.

And I try not to leave my arm bent for long periods of time.

Since I have started doing all of this I have not had the numb feeling or a failed grip. I started to improve in just a few days.

Hope this helps.