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Weird tendon(?) issue when lifting freeweights

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  • Weird tendon(?) issue when lifting freeweights

    So, I'm by no means a fit person, so I started off slow with the weights: 5pounds for lateral lifts, 10 pounds for most everything else. I was feeling great, feeling some burn, but I was never hefting or in pain.

    A few nights ago however, I noticed that while doing hammer curls (with tens, I'm a 6foot tall 23y/o male btw), that it felt, and sounded as though a tendon at the far right of my inner elbow skipped out of its place while the weight was near my shoulder, then "snapped" back into place with corresponding tingle when the weight was brought down to my waist.

    Now, I looked up at which point one needs to see a doctor in these cases, and considering that I experienced no numbness, cold fingers, or really any pain at all, I'm just waiting it out, but I'd like your advice as to what this may be and if I actually should go to a doctor. It was a bit scary to feel my tendon snapping around like that (or wrist flexor, or muscle) so I haven't dared lift any weight since it happened. Thank you!

  • #2
    It could be your ulnar nerve.


    It goes from your shoulder, through a groove in your inner elbow, and down to your pinky/ring fingers.

    The "snapping" can happen sometimes, and isn't in itself something to worry about. Inflammation and the "pump" during/after lifting weights can put pressure on the tunnel in your inner elbow and squeeze the nerve, sometimes helping it to pop out of place. Plain bad form can cause it as well. I see a lot of terrible form with curls. Numbness/cold fingers you mentioned would definitely be a symptom of irritating the nerve, if you do find yourself experiencing that.

    I would suggest, however, making sure that you have good form (are you swinging your shoulders or elbows while you curl, or are your arms perfectly still?) to reduce any problems you might have. If it happens consistently, you should consider stretching/icing, staying away from curls for a bit, or possibly consulting a doctor.

    And a note on curls... They're not as useful as other exercises at your fitness level. Bench presses (incline/decline/flat), squats, deadlifts, clean & press, pullups/chinups (assisted or not), rows.. those kinds of things will give you better muscle. The curls are an isolation exercise, and you typically only need that if you've already got a good muscle base. You can do curls until the day you die, and your arms will never look as good or be as strong as if you did other lifts instead.

    My two cents.


    • #3
      I second that Makael. I used to do curls with barbells and dumbbells, preacher style, standing, sitting, incline, the works. Same for tricep exercises such as tricep extensions and kickbacks. Now that I focus on pullups, pushups and dips, my arms are bigger and stronger than ever.