5 Reasons Your Forearms Hurt When You Curl

 5 Reasons Your Forearms Hurt When You Curl

Why do your forearms hurt when you curl?

Pain in the forearm scientifically or otherwise known as Forearm Tendonitis can be a nuisance, especially when trying to exercise, lift or perform everyday basic tasks such as typing. Inflammation is the most common symptom of forearm tendonitis.

It feels and looks like pain with redness and swelling in the forearm. Forearm tendonitis may cause symptoms in or around your elbow, wrist, and hand.

Other signs of forearm tendonitis include a weak grip, pulsing, stiffness, extreme pain when trying to use your wrist, elbow, or forearm.

Inability to support weight on the forearm, hand, or elbow, numbness of the forearm, hands, fingertips, or elbow and a lump on your forearm are also other signs.

Forearm tendonitis is made worse, especially when you curl. Some people think it’s a basic muscle cramp while others feel that it has everything to do with the lack of minerals or vitamins in the body and bones.

Still, some claim that this discomfort is due to the abuse of the curling bar. Then what are some of the reasons your forearms hurt when curling?


 5 Reasons Your Forearms Hurt When You Curl


Overexertion could be the reason your forearms hurt when you curl.

Over-use occurs when weight lifting exercises frequently strain the arms. It is usually seen in people who do curls with heavyweights.

The primary cause for this disorder is tearing in the muscles, which results in your forearms hurting when you curl. When too much stress is given to the muscle to raise heavyweights, the muscle can be torn and respond by swelling and inflammatory conditions.

If you’re going crazy with total weight and you’re not doing your curls with proper textbook structure at all times, it could be the reason why your forearms are hurting when you curl.

Always make sure that you use a weight that helps you to do at least 5 perfect reps by keeping your elbows pinned on your sides at all times, shoulders stationary, back reasonably straight and minimal to no momentum as you curl your weights up and down.


Another common reason why your forearms hurt when you curl is ageing. The muscles of the human body get more rigid at older ages, and their fragility is increased.

So when curling tension and forced pull on the tendons, there is a muscle injury that causes pain.


If you feel just forearm pain during your workout or the last few reps of each set, it may be the product of your forearms getting exhausted before your biceps.

Experiment with curl variations, such as focus curls or cable curls, to find a motion that helps you really feel the contraction in your biceps and avoid forearm pain when you curl.


According to studies, depending on your elbows’ anatomy, you might be predisposed to pain in your wrists and lower forearms while curling using a barbell.

This is particularly likely if you’re a woman. If there is a noticeable angle called a carrying angle at your elbow between your forearm and upper arm.

When your arms hang relaxed, the barbell curls will put too much tension on your wrists. When doing barbell curls, use an E-Z bar instead of a straight bar, or replace the exercise with a dumbbell variant.


Also, another reason your forearms hurt when you curl could be the way you grip the bar. The proper grip width for a straight bar curl should be at about shoulder-width apart.

If you’re going too wide (several inches or more outside shoulder width) or too narrow (several inches or more inside shoulder width), you’ll put your wrists in an uncomfortable, unnatural position that will significantly increase your chances of wrist and forearm pain.


Your forearms are also used in a lot of workouts that you might do in the gym. If you lack forearm power, the ability to create strength in other parts of your body is potentially impaired.

This is due, in essence, to the fact that stronger forearms contribute to a stronger grip with more muscles, producing more squeezing power during your workouts and daily life.

When you have weak or underdeveloped forearms or wrists, those muscles will be the first category to get exhausted when you do anything like pull-ups or rows. That means you’re never going to tax the actual pulling muscles seriously during your workout because your forearms are giving out too easily.

Some of the exercises that one can do to strengthen your forearms include; forearm hammer curls, forearm inward curls, and the dumbbell carry.


Keeping in mind that prevention is better than cure, here are some tips to help you if your forearms hurt when you curl.

If you have been away from exercise for a long period of time, keep going slowly. It will take some time for your body to adjust to exercise stress. Also, always warm-up, stretch and cool down while exercising.

If you are weight training, don’t exert your muscle if it is still in pain from your previous workout. Avoid, if you can, all activities that put undue stress on the forearm.

It is also important to note that once you have forearm tendonitis, the problem is likely to re-occur down the road. Therefore an intelligent approach to exercise should be pursued. This is so to avoid future causes of forearm pain when you curl.


It’s not easy to get rid of forearm tendonitis. There are a lot of ways you can use to get rid of the pain.

In some cases, you may need to consult your doctor for good treatment. There are several ways to treat yourself if your forearms hurt when you curl.

These include RICE therapy (i.e. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). It works to slow blood flow to the site of injury and promote recovery. You can use of Over The Counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medications

Stretch the extensor muscles, the flexor of the forearm and strengthen the forearm extensor muscles and massage


For mild cases of tendonitis when curling, you may need to rest your arm for a couple of days. Inflammation should go away after two or three weeks of primary treatment.

Extreme or long-term tendonitis cases also involve a complete rest of the forearm for a couple of days. You may also need to stop things that have been irritating the tendon for several weeks or months to prevent you from hurting when curling.

If you need a tendonitis operation, you will need to rest your arm several months after surgery. You may also consult with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to learn rehabilitative exercises.

Anything that stimulates the tendons will make tendonitis worse. Certain movements like pulling, texting, typing, lifting, hitting and throwing are more likely to cause or increase the symptoms.

Some lifestyle practices, such as smoking and consumption of unhealthy food, may also worsen inflammation. A well-balanced, nutritious diet can improve your recovery.

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