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B.O.O.B.I.E.S. can cause Bicep Pain from Squatting (Video)

by Travis Hlavka

Biceps Overwhelmed too Often Become Injured and Extremely Sensitive

See how BOOBIES can cause bicep pain from squatting? Ok, haha, on to the actual serious stuffs… Oh, but I guess that makes sense… You want to be big and manly when you see boobies and then you try to lift more and BLAMMO, ouch. LOL

Aaaanyways, but seriously…. This is a more comprehensive breakdown of what I’m doing to fix my bicep pain from squatting. Part 1 of Bicep Pain from Squatting wasn’t very thorough. (I included the Do’s and Dont’s from Part 1 at the end)

Be sure to READ THE POST BELOW. Don’t just watch the video. The video will show you some specific things you can do to help fix your bicep pain, but reading will make you smurt so you should read.

Background
I used a narrow grip when squatting because, I liked it, and it kept the bar very secure. Unfortunately, that’s what started my bicep pain. (But originally I had no idea the pain was from squatting). It got so bad that I couldn’t even bench. Think I skipped bench for 4 or 5 weeks.

Once I figured out that squats were causing the problem I did a little research. I widened my grip on squats, and even lowered my weights for a while. I skipped all exercises that really involved biceps, or just used super light weight instead. Plus, I started doing myofascial release, more warmups, and I stopped using the steam room after workouts. Unfortunately, I discovered that heat is a terrrrrrible idea for bicep pain from squatting. (At least for me it is). Finally, the pain went away… for quite a while… BUT, I got lazy about doing warmups and other exercises to keep the ole biceps in shape.

Currently:
Inevitably, now that my weights are getting up there, I gots the bicep pain again. DAMMIT! Luckily this happened to me right before a deload week so I was still able to workout and get some good rest in at the same time. Now I have a strict regimen that I follow pre, during, and post workout.

If you get the pain, you might need to take an unscheduled deload week. Sucks, but it will help. Another thing I do now between almost every set of squats or bench or whatever… I do 20-30 reps of hammer curls with 20lbs to keep the bi’s real warm.

Even now, if I feel just a little pain in my arms I will skip assistance exercises like dips/pullups/rows/etc/etc. Don’t want to aggravate them anymore than necessary. For example, today I did overhead press and afterwards my right bicep was talking quite loudly to me… “Hey you moron, stop!” So I skipped even thinking about assistance work and immediately did some myofascial release, iced it, and then buttered it up with my injury butter.

Also, during the day at my office I will sometimes do myofascial release and icing 2-3 times/day.

Future:
I’m planning to get a TENS unit eventually and experiment a little with electricity to see how it helps the pain and healing process and maintenance. (I may also try EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) since it’s more for rehabilitation.)

Here’s my complete workout S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedure) now…

Pre-Pre-Workout: (Sometimes during the day depending on how my bi’s are doing 1-3 times/day)

  • Foam roller or PVC pipe myofascial release. 30 side, 30 behind, 30 on knot, 30+ inside
  • Ice and muscle balm

Pre-Workout:

  • Foam roller or PVC pipe myofascial release. 30 side, 30 behind, 30 on knot, 30+ inside
  • Hammer curls – 20lb x 20-30reps
  • Warmup set with bar or very light weight.

Workout:

  • I try to do 1 set of 20-30 hammer curls with 20lbs between every set (or at least every other set)
  • Sometimes I will even do some light myofascial release in between sets
  • I wear small elbow sleeves over my biceps for all workouts now to keep them tight and warm

Post Workout:

  • Foam roller or PVC pipe myofascial release. (Watch the video above). 30 side, 30 behind, 30 on knot, 30+ inside (I normally don’t count, so feel free to play with the numbers)
  • Ice for 10 min
  • Apply some kind of muscle rub or my injury butter

Complete ingredient list you’ll need for fixing bicep pain from squatting:

  1. Rest (You might need an unscheduled deload week or just skip anything that remotely irritates the bi’s)
  2. Wider grip when squatting
  3. Willingness to inflict pain upon yourself. (I never said this would be fun)
  4. Myofascial release with foam roller or PVC pipe or … (If traveling, you can use a tennis ball or Lacrosse ball or …)
  5. NO heat after workout
  6. Frozen peas or Frozen fish or some other frozen food or you could be boring and get some of those re-freezable things that are stupid expensive. You can also freeze water in a paper cup, then tear off half of it and rub it on. (That combines a bit of myofascial release and icing. Only do 10 min max to avoid frostbite.)
  7. Ace bandage
  8. Arm sleeves (I just bought some crappy small elbow sleeves at Sports Authority and pull them over my bi’s)
  9. Hammer curls (Yeah, I hate curls too but they help. And yes, your workout partner will probly harass the shit out of you for doing “curls”. haha. At least mine does.) Also, thanks to @Kameron_Ross for re-re-reminding me about hammer curls. I used to do them, and even had a few friends remind me, but apparently I need a LOT of reminders. Doh!
  10. Various muscle balms alone or mixed to create injury butter

I’m not really sure how well the injury butter actually works, and I’m not saying it’s any good. Actually it’ll probly kill you, so you should never try it, but I like it. Check out the original injury butter post for more info.

 

Here is the excerpt from my original bicep pain post Do’s and Dont’s from Part 1 of Bicep Pain from Squatting

DO’S (These are things that have worked for me)

  • Warm up well
  • Myofascial release with a foam roller. This reeeeally hurts if you already have some bicep pain from squatting but wow does it help
  • Warm up well (yes I said this twice)
  • Widen your grip when squatting. You might not like it but you’ll get used to it
  • Start using a safety squat bar until it heals. (Worst case, do some hack squats, or leg press, or even better… do some pistols.)
  • Lower your reps on your top sets. If I do more than 5 or so at my top weight it really causes problems.
  • Try some arm sleeves to keep them thar arms warm. (I personally haven’t tried this yet. Mostly cuz I forgot until right now. HA)
  • Get some kinda muscle rub and put it on before/after your workout. Not sure it actually “helps”, but boy does it feel good at the time you put it on
  • If it’s really bad you might try some Vitamin I (Ibuprofen). BUT…HEAR ME… I AM NOT GIVING MEDICAL ADVICE AND I AM NOT A DOCTOR. But Vit I helps with inflammation and pain. ALSO… I have only taken Vit I a few times for the pain because it is NOT good to just mask the pain. You’re still injuring it even if you can’t feel it. (Plus I hate medicines)
  • After your workout, use the foam roller again
  • Try icing your arms for a wee bit after your workout. (I haven’t tried this yet, but I might.)

DONT’S

  • DO NOT SIT IN A HOT TUB OR SAUNA OR… after a workout when your arms are hurting! Or if you do, don’t let your arms get hot. I found this out the hard way. It just prolongs the healing process instead of accelerating it. Trust me, just don’t do it! (It might be ok to do ice/heat/ice, but I haven’t tried it yet.)
  • Don’t “work through the pain”. If you don’t rest, you’ll never heal and then you’ll really be hurting… Permanently

 

Joe Defranco’s Agile 8

Power House Gym in Wellington, NZ

AND FINALLY….. Your bicep pain from squatting ain’t gonna fix itself so get to work!!

Travis Hlavka (9 Posts)

I may act like a 12yr old a lot of the time, but that's because I have a genetic defect that will not allow me grow up. HOWEVER, I do take strength training and fitness very seriously and I love using what I know to help others reach their fitness goals and avoid the bazillion mistakes I've made in my 25+ yrs of training. Since I don't know everything, I never stop learning. Note: I am no longer a "certified" trainer, but I truly understand more about fitness and health now than I ever did with that official piece of paper.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Luke November 27, 2012 at 23:46

Hi Travis,

Thanks so much for publishing this.

I’ll give this a go and hopefully the pain will go away!

Thanks again,
Luke

Reply

Travis Hlavka March 25, 2013 at 19:28

No problem Luke. Did it help? You may need to just take some time off, or switch up exercises. I actually rotate certain routines now along with doing everything above.

Cheers,
Travis

Reply

Travis Hlavka April 27, 2013 at 17:15

Hey Luke,

Keep me updated and let me know if your bicep pain is getting better. I might actually be shooting a part 3 to this to cover a few other things I do now.

Cheers,
Travis

Reply

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