Forearm Pain When Doing Dips? 11 Tips To Help Fix
If you’re familiar with weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, then you know how important it is to have strong arms. But did you know that forearm pain when doing dips is a common issue among many fitness enthusiasts?
Whether it’s regular gym-goers looking for a good upper body workout or advanced athletes strengthening their shoulders and triceps, feeling soreness in your forearms after performing dips can be downright irritating – but before you give up this effective exercise altogether, we’ve got some tricks to help alleviate discomfort and improve performance!
Read on to learn more about preventing forearm pain from occurring while doing dips.
Why Do I Get Forearm Pain When Doing Dips?
The most common reasons why someone may experience forearm pain when doing dips are due to poor form, weak forearms, tight muscles and fatigue. For starters, it’s important to keep your wrists in a neutral position while executing the dip. This will help ensure that all the force is being put on the chest and shoulders instead of on the forearms. Additionally, make sure to grip the bars firmly and keep your elbows tucked. This will help you maintain proper form during the exercise and reduce strain on your forearms. Weak forearms can also be a cause of forearm pain when doing dips since they are not able to support the weight being lifted. To combat this issue, incorporate forearm exercises into your routine like wrist curls and extensions. Fatigue from the amount of volume or tight muscles from a previous workout while doing dips, could be a sign that you need to take a break. Forearm splints, which are similar to shin splints are also a possible cause of forearm pain when doing dips or it could be due to a trapped nerve or medial epicondylitis (or tennis elbow/ golfer’s elbow). Forearm issues like these should be addressed by a medical professional as they can cause serious, long-term damage.
Forearm pain while doing dips can be frustrating but is quite common, so don’t worry as there are steps you can take to help prevent, or at least reduce, the pain. Taking the time to understand why forearm pain may be occurring and then taking the necessary steps to address it is key to a successful and enjoyable workout experience.
1. Wrist extension
One of the most common causes of forearm pain when doing dips is because of “wrist extension”. Wrist extension is when your wrist is pulled back so that the back of your hand is closer to your forearm. This can put strain on the tendons and muscles of your forearm, leading to discomfort or pain. To prevent this from happening while doing dips, make sure to keep your wrists in a neutral position (i.e. not flexed or extended) throughout the entire exercise by gripping the bars firmly and keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body.
You’re probably aware that when doing dips, you are lifting your entire body weight which could cause considerable stress to your wrists and forearms if they don’t remain neutral but instead are extended.
Whether you perform seated dips off a box or with your feet raised holding bars/handles, pay attention to the angle of your wrists and ensure that they are kept as in line with your forearms as possible. This will help reduce strain on your forearms and prevent discomfort or pain when doing dips. Although this is harder to achieve with a seated dip, it is still possible by focusing on keeping your elbows tucked in and pushing from your chest instead of from your wrists.
2. Strong Grip
Having a firm grip is crucial when it comes to doing dips. Make sure that you grip the bars with authority in order to maintain proper form and reduce strain on your wrists and forearms. This will help ensure that all of the force is being put on your chest and shoulders instead of your forearms.
However, make sure you aren’t gripping the bars “to death” as this will quickly burn out your forearms and cause discomfort. Similarly, if you aren’t gripping the handles enough and your grip is limp, then you might find that your wrists start to extend and cause pain. You see a lot of people pushing with the palm of their hand as opposed to using a full grip and this can cause wrist extension.
Make sure to push with your knuckles as much as possible and that you keep your wrists in line with your forearms. You need to find the correct balance between the two in order to reduce the risk of forearm pain when doing dips.
3. Elbows flared out
Elbows flaring out during dips is another common issue that can cause forearm pain. When your elbows flare out, the weight is placed on your forearms instead of your chest and shoulders. This can result in forearm discomfort as they are not designed to support this amount of weight for an extended period. To reduce the risk of forearm pain, make sure to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body throughout the entire exercise.
Tucking your elbows tight to your side will allow you to push your weight more effectively as you will have a solid base of support.
It is also important to focus on pushing through your chest as opposed to your arms while doing dips. This will help ensure that all of the force is being placed on the chest and shoulders instead of on the forearms.
4. Weak forearms
Weak forearms can also be a cause of forearm pain since they are not able to support the weight being lifted. To combat this issue, incorporate exercises into your routine that specifically target strengthening your wrists and forearms like wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, farmers’ walks and kettlebell swings. Doing these exercises regularly will help build strength in your Forearms, making them better able to support the weight while doing dips.
You may also have weaker forearms due to not having much experience with dips because they are new to you. In this case, start off with a smaller number of dips and gradually increase the amount as your forearms become stronger. You could also use resistance bands or use a dip machine to help reduce the amount of weight you are lifting.
5. Trapped nerve
This is a rather extreme case but it is something to be aware of. Forearm pain when doing dips can sometimes be caused by a trapped nerve, which will require medical attention. If you feel sharp or burning pain that radiates from your shoulder down to your wrist and hand, then it might be an indication that there is a trapped nerve. In this case, you should seek medical advice.
Trapped nerves are very rare and are usually caused by direct pressure on the nerve, such as during a heavy lift or fall. It is important to take caution when performing any strenuous exercises and to immediately stop the exercise if you experience any sharp or burning pain that radiates from your shoulder down to your wrist and hand.
Fatigue is another common cause of forearm discomfort while doing dips. Your forearm muscles are small compared to other muscles in your body, so they can easily become fatigued. To reduce the risk of fatigue and forearm pain, make sure to take regular breaks during your workouts and give your muscles time to recover.
Think about reducing the amount of volume and intensity of your workout, so that you are not pushing yourself too hard. Maybe think about changing the order of your routine if you are doing dips closer to the end of your workout, so they aren’t tired from other exercises.
Don’t forget your forearms need rest just like the rest of your body, so make sure you are taking the necessary time to rest and recover.
7. Forearm splints
Forearm splints, which are similar to shin splints, are a condition caused by inflammation in the forearm muscles due to overuse. Forearm splints can cause severe pain when doing dips and other exercises that require grip strength. To help ease the symptoms of forearm splints, make sure to rest your Forearms and give them time to recover.
Additionally, you can try using a forearm brace or forearm compression sleeve during exercises that require grip strength. These tools will help support the forearms and reduce any pain or discomfort associated with forearm splints.
8. Tight muscles
If your Forearm muscles are tight due to overuse or a previous workout, this can also be a cause of forearm pain. To combat this issue, foam roll the muscles in your forearms before and/or after you exercise which will help relax them and reduce tension. You could also consider stretching the forearm muscles before and/or after exercise which will help to lengthen them and reduce pain.
Tight muscles can also restrict your range of motion (ROM) while doing dips, so make sure to take the time to stretch before and/or after exercise.
Many people overlook forearm muscles when it comes to exercise, but they are important for stabilizing the wrist joint and controlling grip strength. If you experience forearm pain during dips, make sure to take the time to stretch and strengthen them. This will help improve your form while doing dips and reduce any discomfort that may be associated with Forearm pain.
9. Forearm conditions
Tennis elbow and golfers’ elbow are other conditions that can cause forearm pain when doing dips. Tennis elbow is an inflammation of the tendon on the outside of your forearm, while golfers’ elbow is an inflammation of the tendon on the inside of your forearm.
Both of these conditions can cause lengthy periods of pain and can be difficult to treat. Rest, stretching, and physical therapy are the most recommended treatments for these conditions, so make sure to consult with a doctor if you feel that either of these is the cause of your forearm discomfort.
These issues usually occur due to improper form or overuse, so it is important to take the time to learn proper technique and practice regularly. If you feel any pain in your forearm during dips, stop immediately and consult a medical professional.
The most important factor when it comes to reducing forearm pain while doing dips is proper form. Whether you are doing box dips or the regular dip, make sure to keep your back straight, elbows tucked in close to your body, and wrists neutral. Additionally, make sure to grip the bar tightly so that all the force is put on the chest and shoulders instead of on the forearms.
If you have problems balancing while performing dips, this too could be a cause of forearm pain, as your body is trying its hardest to balance and your forearms will have to work harder. If this is the case, you may want to try doing dips with your feet elevated on a bench or chair as this will help to reduce strain on your forearms.
To help improve your balance, make sure to practice regularly and use a support bar or spotter if needed. These steps will help ensure that you are doing dips properly and reduce any pain or discomfort associated with forearm pain.
11. Heavy load
Another factor that can lead to forearm pain when doing dips is if you are using too much weight or you are on the heavier side. Pressing your entire body weight with your arms can be tough, and if you are not used to that amount of weight it can cause forearm pain.
If this is the case, make sure to start with bodyweight dips and slowly increase the resistance as your forearm muscles get stronger. You could try doing negatives, which is where you slowly lower yourself down in a controlled manner and then use your legs to push back up. This will help build strength in your forearm muscles without putting too much strain on them.
If this is still too much stick to seated dips until you build up the strength in your forearms. Additionally, you can use wrist wraps which will help to support your wrists and reduce strain on your forearms.
Forearm pain when doing dips can be caused by many different factors, such as poor form, weak forearms, tight muscles and fatigue. It is important to take the time to learn proper technique and practice regularly so that you can reduce any potential discomfort in your forearms.
Additionally, make sure to stretch thoroughly before and after exercising, do the seated version or use resistance bands to lighten the load if needed and gradually increase the resistance as your forearm muscles get stronger. Following these steps will help to ensure that you are doing dips properly and reduce any forearm pain.
Do your forearms hurt when doing dips and have these tips helped? Let me know in the comments below.