Everything you need to know about deadlift forearm strains (2023)

Throughout his strength training career, this advice was passed down through decades of training experience: "Develop a strong grip."

I haven't seen this tip backfire yet, as there really is no harm in developing a strong grip.

A strong grip also means you increase your deadlift potential, something all lifters strive for.

However, have you ever experienced forearm strains while deadlifting?

They suck, but what can you do about it?

Forearm Strains During Deadlifts

It is common to have a sore forearm pump from the deadlift. However, pulling, squeezing, pressing, poking, popping followed by pain, tenderness, and restriction are not normal and should be consulted with a physician.

If pain and immobility persist after days off, consider evaluation.

Although this is not normal, it is necessary that you take care of your body.

The deadlift is a great exercise to help you build your strength.And yesYou're sane enough to do it.

However, what if the deadlift gives you "forearm pain" because too much blood is being pumped to your forearms?

Your grip and forearm are extremely tired.

Your forearms will feel very tense and almost unbearably tender.

This is a normal reaction, since you are training your grip strength with the deadlift.

And when you use a challenging charge on your forearms, they'll swell and bulge with blood.

At this point, there isn't much you can do since you've reached the limits of your grip strength.

curing your forearms

There are several methods you can use to de-escalate and prepare for the next session:

(Video) Flexor pronator strain: Signs, symptoms and treatment of this elbow injury

i) Foam rolling down your forearms

If you have large forearms, you can try rolling them with a foam roller to relax the muscles.

Set aside 5-10 minutes after your workout as you can still have a great forearm pump during that time.

If you can't hit specific spots, using a tennis ball can be a great substitute, since it can target a small area of ​​your forearm.

ii) Myofascial release

If your symptoms do not improve, you may want to see a physical therapist or massage therapist and have them evaluate whether or not myofascial release would be beneficial.

If you are a serious competitor and athlete, you know that you need the best treatment to take care of your body.

Breaking down adhesions and scar tissue in your muscles can be very effective in helping you recover better and more efficiently.

train your forearms

Your forearm strength and endurance will always be tested when deadlifting.

This is a rule that all lifters must accept. In addition to adding more working sets to the deadlift, here are some other exercises you can do to build your grip strength:

  • See also: How do I train for bigger forearms and wrists?

i) Hanging totes

In this exercise, you hang from a hanging bar.

This is usually the precursor to pull-ups, just before the movement begins.

One way to continually train your grip is to make more stops and longer periods of time.

See if you can hang dead for 30 seconds.

45 seconds

60 seconds.

90 seconds

Go ahead and watch your grip strength increase.

(Video) How to Fix Forearm Pain and Tightness (QUICK STRETCH!)

ii) farmer loader

Sometimes this powerful yet simple exercise can be overlooked when searching for good exercises.

Grab a pair of heavy dumbbells and walk around the gym.

You will be surprised how effective this exercise is.

If you have the equipment for it, take dumbbells and barrels and go with those weights as well.

How do you know if you are overexerting your forearms while deadlifting?

Tight forearms can be painful.

Grade 1-3, a milder forearm strain would not imply loss of strength, while a more severe forearm strain will have swelling, pain, and loss of strength and may require surgery to repair.

Most deadlifters did not experience severe forearm loading where pain, swelling, and loss of strength occurred days after the deadlift.

What you are probably experiencing is a forearm pump, where much more blood than normal is rushing up the forearm.

This often leads to overexertion and limits your ability to grasp objects (or dead weight).

You will also notice that after a few hours your grip strength has decreased a bit, but your grip is still a bit tired.

This is not a cause for concern, as all strength athletes who need to train their grip will experience these symptoms.

What you need to focus on is whether or not your grip is limiting your deadlift.

When deadlifting, the forearms give out quickly.

Rapid flaring of the forearm when deadlifting is a common sign of poor grip strength.

This is especially common among gym newbies.

This problem usually only occurs in beginners to strength training.

Lifters with a few years of training experience won't notice their grip fading until the end of their workout, if at all.

(Video) What Happens to Your Body if You Do Deadlifts

Factors limiting deadlift grip strength

So let's look at some reasons why deadlift grip strength is limited.

Why do our forearms weep and tense up when we deadlift heavy?

Yo adorable

With more moisture between you and the bar, your hands will want to slide off the bar.

ii) Weak fingers

One of the most important factors affecting grip strength is the ability of the fingers to grasp the object.

If your fingers are weak, your grip will be weak.

iii) thickness of the beam

If the bar is a thicker variety, your hand will not be able to completely enclose and cover a large area.

As a result, your grip will be restricted.

iv) stamp technique

handshakeit is considered the weakest trace. Using a hook grip or a mixed grip is generally more stable and can lift a lot more weight.

v) Time under tension

As you do more sets and reps, your grip strength will tire.

Your muscles are working hard and you don't have enough time to recover and do a few more sets.

What should I not do if I want to limit forearm loads when deadlifting?

Deciding on grip training is one thing. Emphasizing it and making it a priority will take your grip strength to another level.

Surely you know some strategies to increase your grip strength.

So here's a list of what not to do if you want to limit forearm stress on future deadlifts:

i) Use of seat belts

If you are a weight lifter, usebeltit may not be a good idea, as you may be spending this time building your grip strength.

While some powerlifters use the belt deadlift as their core movement, they also make sure that grip is not a limiting factor during competition and have also programmed in plenty of compound exercises and planks to strengthen their grip.

ii) Avoid grip training

Skip grip training? Are your forearms very inflated and you don't see immediate results?

(Video) Fix Forearm Pain (Extensors Release)

By making sure grip training is done correctly, you will prevent future forearm strains that will prevent you from training.

Some lifters may only deadlift as their only grip training exercise.

For some lifters with a naturally strong grip, this may be enough of a training boost.

However, many more lifters need extra practice and guidance to make up for their lack of grip strength.

iii) Rely solely on mixed grip

You should spend as much time as possible at the double stops.

If you choose a mixed grip, using it only for your working sets is the way to effectively warm up for the deadlift.

Otherwise, you will leave a lot of unused grip training potential.

In general, you will continue to experience intense forearm movements if you are always challenging yourself with the deadlift.

If your grip is a weak link, you can always try forearm pumps after your deadlift sessions.

At least you know that your training will benefit you.

  • Related: What is the best accessory for deadlifts?


In general, forearm strains are not a concern when deadlifting.

Most of the time, lifters are just training their body and their grip is almost at the limit for this workout.

Give your forearms a good massage and make sure they are well taken care of before your next session.

After all, we don't want nagging pain to interfere with our next heavy deadlift session.

If your forearm strain is causing persistent pain and restricting your range of motion, it may be time to see a specialist for analysis.

(Video) Wrist and Forearm Pain with Curls (AX JEFF!)


Why does my forearm hurt when deadlifting? ›

Muscular Tension Build-up

When we lift weights, they put a lot of pressure on the muscles in our forearms. This pressure can cause muscular tension and tightness to build up gradually over time.

What is the fastest way to heal a forearm strain? ›

Fix Forearm Strain
  1. Employ dynamic rest. Avoid activities that engage the elbow and forearm, which includes hard gripping. ...
  2. Ice it. Apply ice to the area for 15 minutes 4–6 times a day for the first two days.
  3. Massage. ...
  4. Recondition your forearm. ...
  5. Cable Overhead Triceps Extension. ...
  6. Standing Dumbbell Curl (Reverse Grip) ...
  7. Inchworm.
Feb 2, 2017

How do you treat a severe forearm strain? ›

Home remedies
  1. Rest. Give your forearm a break. ...
  2. Ice. Wrap an ice pack (or even a frozen bag of vegetables) in a clean, damp towel and press it gently against your forearm for about 10 minutes at a time a few times per day. ...
  3. Compression. Try a compression sleeve or wrap to help relieve some of your symptoms. ...
  4. Elevation.
Oct 23, 2018

How long does a forearm flexor strain take to heal? ›

It depends on the player and the severity of the strain. Some players are back on the field after 2 weeks of rest; for others it can take 6 to 8 weeks. The important thing with flexor mass strains—and indeed, all sports injuries—is not to do too much too soon.

How do I stop my forearm from hurting? ›

Bend your hand downward and gently pull it toward you using your other hand. You'll feel tension in your forearm and elbow. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and return to the starting position and repeat the stretch with your other hand.

How do you fix forearm pain? ›

RICE therapy: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation in the affected muscles and tendons of the forearm. Pain medications: Over-the-counter medications may relieve symptoms of forearm pain.

Should you massage a sprained forearm? ›

Massage can help a range of injuries including sprains, strains, broken bones and muscles tears. Using a variety of massage techniques, massage can stretch out tightness and loosen scar tissue. Using massage as part of injury rehabilitation can increase healing rate and shorten recovery time.

How do you rehab a forearm strain? ›

Standing upright, extend the injured arm in front of you with palm parallel to the floor. Using the opposite hand, pull the wrist back toward the body. Pull the wrist back until feeling a stretch in the forearm but without feeling any pain. Hold the position for 20 seconds.

How long does a sprained forearm last? ›

A sprain is when ligaments (bands of tissue that hold bone to bone at the joints) stretch too far or tear. A sprain may can take 4–6 weeks to heal or sometimes longer.

What does a forearm strain feel like? ›

What are the symptoms of a forearm strain? The most common symptoms reported are aching muscles between the wrist and elbow. They can be painful to touch and may even swell. It tends to be felt during, or soon after, the aggravating activity.

How long do forearm injuries take to heal? ›

Bones have a remarkable capacity to heal. Forearm bones typically take 3 to 6 months to fully heal. The more severe your injury, however, the longer your recovery may be.

How do I know if my forearm pain is serious? ›

See your doctor right away if you have:

A sudden injury to your arm, particularly if you hear a snap or cracking sound. Severe pain and swelling in your arm. Trouble moving your arm normally or turning your arm from palm up to palm down and vice versa.

What are 3 symptoms of a muscle strain? ›

  • Pain or tenderness.
  • Redness or bruising.
  • Limited motion.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Swelling.
  • Muscle weakness.
Oct 11, 2022

How do I know if I strained my forearm? ›

Symptoms may include: Problems flexing the fingers or wrist. Pain while stretching the fingers or wrist. Area feels tender and sore.

How do I know if I tore a ligament in my forearm? ›

Elbow ligament and tendon tear symptoms

Pain and tenderness around the injury. Reduced range of motion around the arm, elbow, forearm or wrist. Stiffness around the elbow. Swelling.

How do you strengthen forearm tendons? ›

Targeted forearm stretching exercises including wrist extension, elbow extension and wrist rotations will help rehabilitation and strengthen the forearm slowly, as well as improve blood circulation through the forearm and into the wrist.

How long does forearm tendonitis take to heal? ›

Tendonitis is when a tendon swells (becomes inflamed) after a tendon injury. It can cause joint pain, stiffness, and affect how a tendon moves. You can treat mild tendon injuries yourself and should feel better within 2 to 3 weeks.

Does forearm pain go away? ›

It can result from many different factors, including overuse, injury, and arthritis. Treatment for forearm pain depends on the underlying cause. Mild forearm pain may go away with home remedies or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Chronic forearm pain, on the other hand, typically requires medical treatment.

What exercises should I avoid with forearm pain? ›

Exercises That Can Agitate Tennis Elbow Injuries

Wrist exercises: It's best to avoid any wrist exercises, especially forearm dumbbell curls or barbell extensions. These moves can cause added stress to your elbow and forearm, potentially worsening your tennis elbow injury and causing chronic pain.

How do you test for forearm tendonitis? ›

The patient's forearm is placed on a table in the palm-up position. The wrist is bent up. The patient is then asked to hold the wrist up while the doctor applies resistance. If wrist pain is felt when resistance is applied it indicates a tendon is inflamed.

Should I wrap a sprained forearm? ›

If you have a minor sprain or strain, you may turn to compression wrapping to help alleviate swelling. Keep in mind that elastic bandages are for compression and provide minimal support.

Is ice or heat better for forearm pain? ›

Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.” If you're dealing with lingering injuries (older than 6 weeks) then it's okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

Is ice or heat better for a sprained arm? ›

Generally speaking, ice therapy is more appropriate for new injuries, like sprains and strains, whereas heat therapy is typically better for treating chronic conditions.

What are the 4 symptoms of tendonitis? ›

The main symptoms of tendonitis are:
  • pain and tenderness in the affected tendon, which is often worse when you move it.
  • swelling.
  • a grating sensation as the tendon moves.
  • a lump on the tendon.
  • weakness in the affected area.
  • decreased range of motion.

Does ibuprofen help heal muscle strains? ›

No, in most cases anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen or naproxen) don't help healing. In fact, in some cases it may even delay healing.

What is the difference between a sprain and a strain? ›

The difference between a sprain and a strain is that a sprain injures the bands of tissue that connect two bones together, while a strain involves an injury to a muscle or to the band of tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone.

How do you tell if a tendon is torn or strained? ›

Tendon Tear Symptoms
  1. A snap or pop at the affected area.
  2. Severe and excruciating pain.
  3. Immediate bruising.
  4. Pain and discomfort that worsens with tendon use.
  5. A “crunchy” sound or feeling (crepitus) with tendon use.
  6. Severe weakness.
  7. Reduced range of motion.
  8. Inability to bear weight, especially in Achilles Tendon Tear.

What does a torn ligament feel like in your forearm? ›

A torn ligament can result in varying degrees of pain and discomfort, depending on the extent of the injury. It may produce heat, extensive inflammation, popping or cracking noises, severe pain, instability within the joint and an inability to put weight or pressure on the joint.

How long does an arm muscle strain last? ›

Typically, discomfort from a pulled muscle will last between three to six weeks. On the other hand, recovery for more severe muscle strains can take several months.

What are the two most common forearm injuries? ›

Top 5 Forearm Injuries – Austin Orthopedic Doctor
  • Recent Trauma. One of the top reasons for forearm pain is due to a recent trauma, like a fall, that may have caused a fracture, dislocation, sprain, strain, or damage to your ligaments or tendons. ...
  • Overuse. ...
  • Arthritis. ...
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. ...
  • Compressed Nerves.
Sep 1, 2020

Do forearm tendons heal? ›

Tendons cannot heal unless the ends are touching. In most cases, a cut or torn tendon must be repaired by a surgeon. Surgery is usually performed within 7 to 10 days after an injury. In general, the sooner surgery is performed, the better recovery will be.

Should I be worried about forearm pain? ›

You should be concerned about your forearm pain if you feel like the underlying cause of the pain is a bone fracture, damaged joints, or injured nerves. You should seek immediate medical treatment in case of a visible forearm bone fracture or hearing clicking, popping, or crunching related to a forearm injury.

How do you know if you have nerve damage in your forearm? ›

The signs of nerve damage include the following: Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Feeling like you're wearing a tight glove or sock. Muscle weakness, especially in your arms or legs.

Does Deadlifting work forearms? ›

The deadlift works the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, quads, core muscles, upper back muscles and lower back muscles. It also includes the posterior chain which is made up of all of these in addition to your forearms and grip strength.

Why does my forearm hurt when squatting? ›

“When people first start low-bar squatting,” Matt says, “they'll often report having wrist, elbow, or forearm pain after they squat.” The reason? “They're setting up for the low-bar squat incorrectly.” According to Matt, faulty setup is the most common problem people have with the low-bar squat.

Does Deadlifting increase forearm strength? ›

Deadlift. Deadlifts also work lower body, targeting mainly the hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back. Your traps, lats and forearms also work, but not to the extent that your lower body is working. The arms only come into play by simply holding the bar.

What muscles should be sore from deadlifts? ›

You also may feel discomfort in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, which is likely just delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. DOMS is temporary and comes from inflammation in the muscle after you've worked it hard.

What deadlift grip is best for forearms? ›

If you want to potentially improve your grip strength, you should consider using a standard double overhand grip or the hook grip instead. Those two grip variations maximized forearm muscle activation compared to the mixed grip.

Do forearms need high reps? ›

When it comes to training your forearms directly, Kreipke has three recommendations: Perform higher reps: 10-20, with an average of 15 per set. Take less rest between sets: just enough time to allow the burn to subside, rather than a full minute. Train them long and hard: 60-plus reps a workout.

Do strong forearms make you stronger? ›

If you lack forearm strength, your ability to build strength in other parts of your body is indeed compromised. This is essentially due to the fact that stronger forearms lead to a stronger grip with more muscles generating more squeezing force during your workouts and everyday life.

What are the symptoms of a forearm strain? ›

  • Pain while stretching the fingers or wrist.
  • Problems flexing the fingers or wrist.
  • Swelling.
  • Muscle spasms.

How do you relieve forearm flexor pain? ›

Exercises and stretches
  1. Standing upright, extend the injured arm in front of you with palm parallel to the floor.
  2. Using the opposite hand, pull the wrist back toward the body.
  3. Pull the wrist back until feeling a stretch in the forearm but without feeling any pain.
  4. Hold the position for 20 seconds.

Why is my forearm hurting so much? ›

The causes of forearm pain often include sports injuries, overuse injuries, fractures, pinched nerves, or accidents. Forearm pain can also be related to a general infection, such as a cold, which causes body aches, or an infection of the tissues of the forearm itself.

What lifts build forearms? ›

It's important to understand that many of the exercises you're already doing in the gym are improving forearm and grip strength: deadlifts, chin-ups, pull-ups, and others. Lifting heavy things, including your own body, using your hand grip, will build forearm strength.

Does grip strength build forearms? ›

Grippers are a great way to build your forearm size and strength and offer a unique stimulus compared to other exercises. Lifters should look to use a full range of motion with maximal force and incorporate varying protocols such as drop sets, eccentrics, and isometrics.

What is the most common injury from deadlifts? ›

That said, most injuries suffered during deadlifts are non-specific low-back injuries(1), meaning they're usually sprains or strains. However, it is possible to suffer more serious injuries during a deadlift, such as a herniated disc.

How do you heal a strained deadlift? ›

While there are measures we can take to relieve pain associated with the deadlift, such as applying ice for 15–20 minutes every couple hours for the first three days, followed by 15–20 minutes of a moist hot pack beginning on the fourth day, this will do nothing if you do not take time off from physical activity.

What muscle does deadlift hit the most? ›

The deadlift mainly works three muscle groups, your hamstrings, your erector spinae and lower back, and your glutes. Your Hamstrings: One of your prime movers for the deadlift, which means they're going to be doing plenty of most work.


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