Bicep Curls ... forearm curls?

  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    Jun 14, 2008 11:50 PM GMT
    So this past week I've been doing bicep curls on the machine and with free weights. I think I did something a wee bit wrong ... but I did manage to double the size of my forearms right below my elbow.

    I've been following the videos I found on the the internet and I think I did something wrong.

    Erm help?
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    Jun 15, 2008 1:05 AM GMT
    cspyny saidSo this past week I've been doing bicep curls on the machine and with free weights. I think I did something a wee bit wrong ... but I did manage to double the size of my forearms right below my elbow.

    I've been following the videos I found on the the internet and I think I did something wrong.

    Erm help?


    What kind of bicep curls are you doing? If suppinating (i.e. rotating starting with one head of the weights facing forward and then rotating weight as you curl up) then you are also working your forearms.

    Also...by any chance were you doing hammer curls (heads of weights point anterior to posterior)? If so, that works forearms as well

    Also...if you curl your wrists as you reach the peak of your movement during bicep curls you will inevitably place stress on your forearms
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    Jun 15, 2008 1:16 AM GMT
    So I had to use my secret decoder ring on your post. I came up with the following translation:

    I tried bicep curls on the machine and with free weights and I somehow strained my forearms just below the elbow and now they're all swollen.

    Is that the right translation? If not can you try that one again?

    Also, you didn't specify what type of free weights. Straight bar? EZ curl bar? Dumbbells? What type of machine? Preacher? Cables? One of these weird Rube Goldberg contraptions? Also, how many reps/sets are you doing? How much weight? Is this the first time you've done bicep curls in... how long? Do you have a prior history of elbow or joint issues? Did you do any warm-up? Did you just grab the heaviest weight you could lift and start swinging? Did you start with low weights and work up to higher ones? Have you watched any of the RJ instructional vids or other online thingies to learn proper form? Did you notice anything hurting when you were working out, or did you get sore after? If it was painful when you were working out, what, exactly, where you doing at the time? If you are in pain now, what type of pain is it on a scale of 1-10? Sharp? Dull? Ache? Throb? Are all these questions moot because I didn't understand your original post?





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    Jun 15, 2008 2:13 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidSo I had to use my secret decoder ring on your post. I came up with the following translation:

    I tried bicep curls on the machine and with free weights and I somehow strained my forearms just below the elbow and now they're all swollen.

    Is that the right translation? If not can you try that one again?

    Also, you didn't specify what type of free weights. Straight bar? EZ curl bar? Dumbbells? What type of machine? Preacher? Cables? One of these weird Rube Goldberg contraptions? Also, how many reps/sets are you doing? How much weight? Is this the first time you've done bicep curls in... how long? Do you have a prior history of elbow or joint issues? Did you do any warm-up? Did you just grab the heaviest weight you could lift and start swinging? Did you start with low weights and work up to higher ones? Have you watched any of the RJ instructional vids or other online thingies to learn proper form? Did you notice anything hurting when you were working out, or did you get sore after? If it was painful when you were working out, what, exactly, where you doing at the time? If you are in pain now, what type of pain is it on a scale of 1-10? Sharp? Dull? Ache? Throb? Are all these questions moot because I didn't understand your original post?


    Yep...this set of questions should help elicit more pertinent info for sure!





  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 15, 2008 2:39 AM GMT
    When you are training you need to learn a thing or two about the physiology and biomechanics of muscle movement

    The biceps are a pretty simple set of muscle that bring the hand AND forearm up toward the shoulder

    The forearm on the other hand
    are a more complex group
    with more complex motions
    they mostly are responsible for movement at the wrist
    and think of all the ways your wrist can move
    flexion/ extention
    supination/ pronation
    abduction and adduction

    SO... if you want to see bicep growth and not growth in the forearms
    you need to keep all motion at the wrist down to Zero
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    Jun 15, 2008 10:02 PM GMT
    GQjock saidWhen you are training you need to learn a thing or two about the physiology and biomechanics of muscle movement

    The biceps are a pretty simple set of muscle that bring the hand AND forearm up toward the shoulder

    The forearm on the other hand
    are a more complex group
    with more complex motions
    they mostly are responsible for movement at the wrist
    and think of all the ways your wrist can move
    flexion/ extention
    supination/ pronation
    abduction and adduction

    SO... if you want to see bicep growth and not growth in the forearms
    you need to keep all motion at the wrist down to Zero


    True...although it looks kind of funny when you have big guns and forearms not proportional to bicep size
  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    Jun 15, 2008 10:14 PM GMT
    Not swollen there is more muscle. Very lean and muscly area now ... wish the rest of me could be like that

    The machine I was using was at the gym. Similar to one of these http://www.fitness-equipment.com/acatalog/507m.jpg except the one i used had weights on a pulley system.

    2 years ago when I used to this more often, I had no problem and the biceps got bigger.

    On the machine, I did 5 sets with the weights on 70. And with the free weights I had the weights straight up and down doing various sets with 25 and 30 pounds.

    Before I had biceps and no forearms.
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    Jun 15, 2008 11:26 PM GMT
    So Cspytoons,

    You've been working biceps for one week, and you've gained noticeable muscle in your upper forearm, "doubling" them in size?

    This is why I had so much trouble parsing your post and assumed you meant swollen from soreness. I rejected the notion you could put on noticeable muscle mass in one week as fantastical.

    You're apparently working them 3 times a day for every day of that week, with local steroid injections and and using HGH?

    As for what to do now: I guess I'd say drop that machine, since it's obviously a forearm exercise for you, and maybe switch to standing ez-bar curls or some other exercise that keeps your wrist as motionless as possible, as GQJock suggested. Better yet, ask someone who seems to know what they are doing (a stray trainer?) to look at your form. I suspect something is awry in that area.

    And drop the steroids and HGH ;)

  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    Jun 15, 2008 11:52 PM GMT
    Well not double, but bigger. If I end up getting to the gym when they have trainers I'll ask one quick. There is a difference in appearance on my forearms. There was nothing there.

    And no steroids or drugs for me.
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    Jun 16, 2008 12:08 AM GMT
    GQjock saidWhen you are training you need to learn a thing or two about the physiology and biomechanics of muscle movement

    The biceps are a pretty simple set of muscle that bring the hand AND forearm up toward the shoulder

    The forearm on the other hand
    are a more complex group
    with more complex motions
    they mostly are responsible for movement at the wrist
    and think of all the ways your wrist can move
    flexion/ extention
    supination/ pronation
    abduction and adduction

    SO... if you want to see bicep growth and not growth in the forearms
    you need to keep all motion at the wrist down to Zero


    I generally agree but it's not only stabilizing the wrists at zero degrees to isolate the biceps, it's also the type of grip you use. Pronation of the forearm (reverse grip) with a curl will activate the brachioradialis muscle (muscle of the upper forearm). Using a neutral posture (seen in fundamental position, basically a hammer grip) with a curl will activate the brachialis (muscle closest to the elbow on the upper arm). Supination of the forearm with a curl will activate the bicep brachii. So cspyny, you should ensure that your forearm is supinated throughout the entire range of motion and at the peak, slightly rotate the arm so that the pinky is close to your face. Have you played around with concentration curls on a preachers bench? or just standing dumbbell curls?

    On a side note, I would avoid dumbbell wrist curls/extensions. It's somewhat counterintuitive to forcefully extend or flex the wrists when it can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome (compression of the median nerve). On another side note, the hand segment moves at the wrist joint with the following movements: flexion, extension, hyperextension, radial flexion/deviation, ulnar flexion/deviation, and circumduction (sorry...i'm a stickler when it comes to biomechanics :p).
  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    Jun 16, 2008 12:31 AM GMT
    Could you kinda reexplain that one? Should I Try the other machines they have?

    And I already have carpal tunnel.
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    Jun 16, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    Well, if you have CTS, it's pretty important to keep your wrists at neutral angle. If you begin to flex or extend at the wrists with weight, you are working out the forearm extensors or flexors. Hypertrophy of the forearm muscles may increase the compression of the carpal tunnel and the structures within, leading to friction, inflammation, and damage to the flexor tendons and median nerve. You may feel pain relief initially, but this is very short-term, due to increased circulation, but long term effects outweigh the initial benefits.

    Have you consulted with your doctor or physiotherapist before you start exercising the arm/forearm? The last thing you want to do is reaggrevate your injury.

    If you keep your wrists stabilized, I would look into concentration curls using a preachers bench. It's a great isolating movement that prevents rotation of the forearm. If you don't have a preachers bench use the curl machine you were using but with a dumbbell instead of the pulley machine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2008 5:03 AM GMT
    Yeah. What he said.

    *stares at bcpm's arms*

    Bcp, can you move to SF after you get your degree and train here at Gold's Castro?

    *stares at bcpm's chest*

    It's always nice to have... *gulp* ...qualified people at the gym to... *wipes sweat from brow* ...watch and learn from.

    *stares at bcpm's abs*

    We're really nice here, and not creepy at all. No really. So not creepy. Just nice.


    Well, sometimes we seem creepy until you get to know us better.

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    Jun 16, 2008 10:30 AM GMT
    *peeks over iguanaSF's shoulder at bcpm's body*
  • CSPYNY

    Posts: 187

    Jun 16, 2008 10:17 PM GMT
    Not creepy at all ... just friendly, right?
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    Jun 17, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    *blushes*

    ..but back to the original topic (LOL)...good luck cspyny!
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    Aug 01, 2008 11:54 AM GMT
    The better way that i gotta have do some any big bicep, absolutely, the bar and pullups everyday, a little.. Your arms grow ups and explode them, less than one mouth..

    Try this!


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