Pain in Wrist during Bicep Curls?

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    Oct 13, 2011 7:30 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I've just recently started going to the gym and for some reason it is becoming painful to lift anything with my left hand (primarily curls)

    I can do tricep pull downs and still do presses (for chest), but when it comes to curling or just lifting something with my palm faced up, it hurts the right side of my left wrist!

    Anyone know what the problem might be and how I can fix it?
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    Oct 13, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    PaintDude saidHey guys,

    I've just recently started going to the gym and for some reason it is becoming painful to lift anything with my left hand (primarily curls)

    I can do tricep pull downs and still do presses (for chest), but when it comes to curling or just lifting something with my palm faced up, it hurts the right side of my left wrist!

    Anyone know what the problem might be and how I can fix it?


    Like you said, you're new to the gym. Take it somewhat easier for now and give it time to heal. Perhaps a combination of slightly lighter weights and at least a few days rest between those specific exercises that cause the pain. Pace yourself. Within time always increase the weights you curl/lift. Delayed muscle soreness (D.O.M.S.) will often occur a day or so after a workout. That's actually a good sign (as long as you eat properly, enough protein and water, and enough sleep to encourage repeated healing and growth).
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    Oct 13, 2011 9:56 PM GMT
    Just lay off the curls for bit. Your grip/forarms sound too weak for the weight you are using at the moment. Things should balance out soon enough.
    Pulling lifts(rows) can tide you over in the meantime.

    Also, have you tried hammer curls(same as a "normal" curl but you hold it like a hammer)? It doesn't have the external rotation of the wrist like most types of curls so it might do the trick until your wrist feels better.
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    Oct 13, 2011 10:13 PM GMT
    effen saidJust lay off the curls for bit. Your grip/forarms sound too weak for the weight you are using at the moment. Things should balance out soon enough.
    Pulling lifts(rows) can tide you over in the meantime.

    Also, have you tried hammer curls(same as a "normal" curl but you hold it like a hammer)? It doesn't have the external rotation of the wrist like most types of curls so it might do the trick until your wrist feels better.


    Yes on the hammer curls, they're pretty much just as good. If you've been using a straight barbell switch to an EZ curl bar or similar, not a straight bar, after your wrists have healed that is. . Much less chance of reoccurance.
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    Oct 13, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    I agree with what's been said, but I had a left wrist fracture as a kid and gripping a straight bar palms up causes pain for me but en ez-curl bar does not. Use that if your gym has it.

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    Oct 13, 2011 10:32 PM GMT
    You can change the direction of your curls, start by going up in a hammer curl position. When passing the middle slowly turn the weight flat as you squeez your bicep. That may help to reduce the pain instead of going flat all the way.
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    Oct 14, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    PaintDude saidHey guys,

    I've just recently started going to the gym and for some reason it is becoming painful to lift anything with my left hand (primarily curls)

    I can do tricep pull downs and still do presses (for chest), but when it comes to curling or just lifting something with my palm faced up, it hurts the right side of my left wrist!

    Anyone know what the problem might be and how I can fix it?

    It's probably because you're not used to it. My wrists used to hurt when I first started doing push-ups, but now I'm used to it.
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    Oct 14, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    Use a curl bar and lower the weight, just do more reps.
  • ryno

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    Oct 14, 2011 4:18 AM GMT
    It'd be helpful to check your form. Your wrists should be in a relatively neutral position throughout the entire motion. It's common for some individuals to flex the wrists at the top of the curl which typically causes pain. But since you said your wrist is painful with lifting anything, it would be wise to let it rest for awhile; if it persists, I'd get it checked out.
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    Oct 14, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    adam228 saidI agree with what's been said, but I had a left wrist fracture as a kid and gripping a straight bar palms up causes pain for me but en ez-curl bar does not. Use that if your gym has it.



    I was going to say...sounds like an old injury resurfacing? I screwed up my right wrist a few years ago when I ran an atv into a hidden irrigation ditch. Took two years to work that out.

    One word: dumbbells. You can do bicep curls on a preacher bench or you can do them freestanding. They are the best at allowing for natural range of movements. Make sure you get a trainer to take a look at your form once in a while.
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    Oct 14, 2011 4:23 AM GMT
    I read your post a second time and it sounds almost exactly like the injury I was dealing with. This is what I did and it helped me work most of the way through it in about three months:

    I took a 20# weight, and gripped it in my hand. Stretching my arm out and downward, with palms faced up, I slowly released my fingers and let it roll down my palm and fingers, but then curled the end of my fingers to stop it, and then curled my whole hand to clasp the weight again. Repeat.

    The best way to work through and heal injuries is very low weight, work on full extension through your muscles and tendons, and high reps. Consult a trainer and maybe a physical therapist.
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    Oct 14, 2011 6:17 AM GMT
    Not much to add to what's been said, except to say I experienced the same thing. In my case, the tendons where overworked. A few days' rest and a more measured approach to the resistance took care of it. I'd adapted in a few weeks.

    Hope this helps!
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    Oct 14, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    it happened to me before. it was because i was using too much weight. also i wasn't gripping the bar properly. reduce the weight and get a proper grip.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 14, 2011 7:07 AM GMT
    adam228 saidI agree with what's been said, but I had a left wrist fracture as a kid and gripping a straight bar palms up causes pain for me but en ez-curl bar does not. Use that if your gym has it.


    ^ this or bring your own french bar (old school name for it.)
    Straight bar puts more pressure on your wrist -->III------III<--
    where you described.