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brachioradialis avoidance
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Author:  MikeF [ Fri May 11, 2012 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  brachioradialis avoidance

Hi,

Abridged background:
I seem to have a lingering issue with my brachioradialis on my left arm. I think it was an overuse or strain type injury that has been around over a month and won't go fully away. I rested it for two weeks whilst I had a chest cold and it does seem a little better, especially since going back to low volume training (fullbody 2 or 3 times weekly with 1 or 2 working sets each body part).

I think I've worked out each lift that was giving me problems including barbell bench press (which was the lift that alerted me to the problem when I epically and unexpectedly failed with only 60kgs on the bar), curls, pulldowns, and one armed cable upright rows.

I have worked out substitutions for chest (dumbbell bench presses seem alright) and shoulders (dumbbell lat raises) however can't find a decent lift to substitute for curls (which I will simply skip I think), and the pulldown. I substituted an underarm grip on a plate loaded seated row.


Questions:
Is there any lifts for my back and/or biceps that will give my brachioradialis as much a rest as possible?

If I skip biceps, should I skip triceps for balance?

Thanks.

Author:  MikeF [ Fri May 11, 2012 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

Further thinking has led me to decide to drop any lifts that may aggravate the injury. I might "focus" my lifts back to SLSB DL, DL, Leg Press, Lat raises, flys, and crunches. They all allow me to keep my elbow relatively straight and to hopefully progress through the injury until its well healed. Hopefully this will get the seal of approval?

Author:  Dub [ Fri May 11, 2012 2:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

Yep. The simple solution lies within anatomy. Brachioradialis is a relatively small muscle, but in the same time one of the most important muscles in elbow flexion. It starts from the midway of your humerus and ends up in your radius. The muscle also takes part on inner rotation of the arm. And it's more active on isometric effort than dynamic.
SO basically there is not a real curling or rowing exercise that wouldn't activate and piss of the brachioradialis. Be careful with the flies, especially if you're doing chest flies. There's an isometric hold mostly on the elbow and bicep area. You might want to see if straight arm pulldowns or lat pullovers work your back while leaving your biceps alone. The latter is also a great exercise for chest. Also, the Deadlift creates great tension and traction to your elbow, which might be either a good thing or a bad thing. Go by your feel on that one.

I would recommend resting the muscle, maybe some soft tissue work with a tennisball could help. I wouldn't worry about the triceps right now, they won't go inbalanced that quick. If the problem doesn't go away, then I would reconsider. And go to see an actual expert. Like a Physiotherapist.

Author:  MikeF [ Fri May 11, 2012 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

Dub wrote:
Yep. The simple solution lies within anatomy. Brachioradialis is a relatively small muscle, but in the same time one of the most important muscles in elbow flexion. It starts from the midway of your humerus and ends up in your radius. The muscle also takes part on inner rotation of the arm. And it's more active on isometric effort than dynamic.
SO basically there is not a real curling or rowing exercise that wouldn't activate and piss of the brachioradialis. Be careful with the flies, especially if you're doing chest flies. There's an isometric hold mostly on the elbow and bicep area. You might want to see if straight arm pulldowns or lat pullovers work your back while leaving your biceps alone. The latter is also a great exercise for chest. Also, the Deadlift creates great tension and traction to your elbow, which might be either a good thing or a bad thing. Go by your feel on that one.

I would recommend resting the muscle, maybe some soft tissue work with a tennisball could help. I wouldn't worry about the triceps right now, they won't go inbalanced that quick. If the problem doesn't go away, then I would reconsider. And go to see an actual expert. Like a Physiotherapist.


Hey thanks heaps for that! I had no idea that it is more active on isometric effort than dynamic - and that does lead to a rethink.

I already do SL SB DLs for my hamstrings and the gripping of the bar doesn't seem to mess with my elbow which is what lead me to DL (my favourite lift though I haven't done it for years). I will put the lat pullovers in instead of the flies as I know it works both back and chest pretty well (at least the poster at the gym shows its for chest and the exrx website shows its more for back).

I only hesitate to see a medical person because I've had a lot of other injuries (mostly out of the gym..work related impact injuries) that have had multiple diagnoses depending on which person I saw that day and inevitably heal themselves just as well without intervention.

Author:  Dub [ Fri May 11, 2012 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

Okay. Just for the note that I just noticed that I got mixed with Brachialis and Brachioradialis. I talked about brachialis when your problem was brachioradialis.Still, the fact remains the same, the muscle goes pretty much the same way, and it's functions very similar. Brachioradialis is even more active with pronation and supination. So it definately crosses out all kinds of curls.

Author:  Ironman [ Fri May 11, 2012 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

The primary rule for you should be no neutral grip rowing/pulling/curling of any kind....at least for now. Maybe later add a little neutral grip pulling, but no hammer curls. I would avoid pronated versions of all that stuff for a couple weeks, or maybe 3.

For upright rows, only do dumbbell, and keep your wrists loose, and the dumbbells fairly far apart. I would also advise not doing any barbell press since your wrists seem to be sensitive to the stress.

I would also avoid underhand curls with a straight bar. EZ curl and dumbbell can be added back when your brachioradialis is feeling ok again.

Author:  MikeF [ Sat May 12, 2012 12:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

Ironman wrote:
The primary rule for you should be no neutral grip rowing/pulling/curling of any kind....at least for now. Maybe later add a little neutral grip pulling, but no hammer curls. I would avoid pronated versions of all that stuff for a couple weeks, or maybe 3.

For upright rows, only do dumbbell, and keep your wrists loose, and the dumbbells fairly far apart. I would also advise not doing any barbell press since your wrists seem to be sensitive to the stress.

I would also avoid underhand curls with a straight bar. EZ curl and dumbbell can be added back when your brachioradialis is feeling ok again.


Yeah, I'm finding neutral grip with seated rows of any kind painful as well as overhand grip on lat pulldowns and cable upright rows. Overhand grip on the other hand is no issue with SL SB DL's...(I figure because the elbow is not contracting at all?) I think it may have all started with overhand grip curls on an EZ bar and/or excessive chest presses with light weight to promote vascular development (whether that is true or works I dunno - it was an experiment).

I'm pretty sure its the correct muscle as its the one running along the top of my elbow and onto my forearm as I sit here typing in a normal typing position...

I never do underhand curls with a straight bar. Had bad wrist tendonitis several times from weights so I tend to use dumbbells and EZ bars for any curls and upright rows (when I use a bar). This time my wrists are good and have been for a long while.

I think maybe keep my routine simple. Say SB SL DL, lat pullover, leg press, lat raises, DL, straight arm pulldowns, & crunches until it heals? (Not ideal I know, but keeps me lifting while hopefully healing).

Author:  MikeF [ Wed May 16, 2012 1:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: brachioradialis avoidance

I tried the routine today and it didn't make any difference :( I'm going to lay off any weights involving my arms for a month or two and re-evaluate. Really only leaves me the leg press and crunches. Seems like I can't go much more than 6 months at a time without getting an injury of some kind.

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