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Some arm/bicep pain while squatting

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  • Some arm/bicep pain while squatting

    I've been getting some pain in my left arm / bicep area while squatting. It's not a sudden sharp pain but but one that grows as the sets go on and it's distracting nonetheless, messing with my workout a bit. Any ideas what that might be and what I could do to help it? Flexibility issue? I've been trying some stretches which make it feel slightly better (but only temporarily) Then it comes back when I do the squat again. I tried moving my grip out further on the bar which helps but only slightly. It actually feels better after I do some bench pressing. The right arm feels fine.

  • #2
    It's most likely from your arms supporting some of the weight. I went through the same thing when I did Starting Strength. Your back should be supporting everything, with your arms there just to steady the bar. Make sure that you're putting your thumbs over the bar, not around it, and widen your grip as much as you need.

    When it happened to me, I skipped a workout to let my arm heal and then deloaded about two weeks worth of progress from all my lifts. I was back on track after the two weeks. I hope that helped.
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

    This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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    • #3
      OK thanks Ill try to see if I'm doing that. I definitely have my thumb over the bar and I've worked hard to make sure I keep my wrists straight as well. In fact I think I only end up gripping the bar with middle, ring, and pinky fingers because of my wide grip (I have long arms).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sandra jone
        are you sure >>?
        He's sure. Very common issue.
        The Champagne of Beards

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        • #5
          Definitely read this post and watch the video in the seventh entry on this thread. I had this same problem and after watching this video and being careful about form for about a month, I no longer have pain in my elbow. My problem wasn't so much during the squat but when I was unracking the weight. The video was absolute gold for solving my problem.

          Debilitating bicep/arm pain and numbness after squatting

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          • #6
            Aha excellent thank you very much. I think this is spot on. Yesterday when I worked on getting elbows higher I noticed that it helped.

            Even though I watched that video before starting to squat not all of it absorbed at the time.

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            • #7
              Jefferson what you wrote made me think...that it could possibly be due to how I rack the bar. The squat rack in my gym has only a few levels, and the one I use is actually slightly too high for me. When I put the bar back I have to do it one side at a time, and really strain myself to lift one side up higher. I do believe I always put the left side in first.

              Anyway I'm considering skipping squats tomorrow in order to let it heal. A bit worried it is tendonitis and I don't want it to become chronic.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
                Jefferson what you wrote made me think...that it could possibly be due to how I rack the bar. The squat rack in my gym has only a few levels, and the one I use is actually slightly too high for me. When I put the bar back I have to do it one side at a time, and really strain myself to lift one side up higher. I do believe I always put the left side in first.

                Anyway I'm considering skipping squats tomorrow in order to let it heal. A bit worried it is tendonitis and I don't want it to become chronic.
                When in doubt about how high to set the bar, go low. There are some funny videos on Youtube where guys try to put the bar back on the pins while on their tiptoes . The ideal setup would be where you could walk the bar into some uprights and then just let the bar slide onto the pins. Not all gyms offer that, though, so we just gotta try to make do.

                As far as taking a day off, that's fine. Training for strength is a long journey, and a missed workout isn't going to make much difference in the long run. Do what you need to get your arm back to 100%.
                In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
                  When in doubt about how high to set the bar, go low. There are some funny videos on Youtube where guys try to put the bar back on the pins while on their tiptoes . The ideal setup would be where you could walk the bar into some uprights and then just let the bar slide onto the pins. Not all gyms offer that, though, so we just gotta try to make do.

                  As far as taking a day off, that's fine. Training for strength is a long journey, and a missed workout isn't going to make much difference in the long run. Do what you need to get your arm back to 100%.
                  +1. And get those damn elbows up!!!
                  The Champagne of Beards

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                    And get those damn elbows up!!!
                    +1. This is a great cue.
                    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

                    This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
                      There are some funny videos on Youtube where guys try to put the bar back on the pins while on their tiptoes .
                      I've been guilty of that one, too...

                      I am going to try putting some rubber mats under the rack and if that doesn't work then I'll make something out of plywood, b/c he next rung down on the rack is way too low.

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                      • #12
                        Hmmm...Seems like this is a more common problem than I realized:

                        Low bar - bicep tendonitis

                        Squatting Arm Pain

                        I'm going to see if I can make the upper back tighter and raise the bar position slightly next time I squat. My arm is thanking me for skipping them today. I was still able to do the BP and DL without too much discomfort.

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                        • #13
                          I though I had this solved but I wasn't paying attention and had one sloppy re-racking yesterday. Pain came back right after that. It wasn't as bad as previously, thankfully. I may have to lay off the squats for a bit longer than one workout.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit View Post
                            I've been guilty of that one, too...

                            I am going to try putting some rubber mats under the rack and if that doesn't work then I'll make something out of plywood, b/c he next rung down on the rack is way too low.
                            Too low really isn't the same kind of problem as too high. Put it a notch lower.
                            The Champagne of Beards

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                            • #15
                              Thanks. I tried this today and I think it helped. It allows me to get my back in a tighter position. The pain still came back but not as bad. I limited myself to 1x5. I am going to have to force myself to drop squats for two workouts at least and hope it heals up 100%.

                              I read on the SS forums that a lot of guys with smaller arms ran into this same issue.

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