Why Do I Feel Bicep Curls In My Glutes? Get To The Bottom Of Issue Here
Have you ever felt a muscle you weren’t working on while doing a certain exercise? Well, you’re not crazy.
When most people do bicep curls, they feel the sensation in their biceps, but there’s also activity happening in their glutes.
It can be strange to feel bicep curls in your glutes, but why is this happening?
What can you do to avoid it and get back to doing bicep curls pain-free?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why this occurs and how to work around it.
Why do I feel bicep curls in my glutes?
The main reason why you feel bicep curls in your glutes is due to the leveraged point. The greater the leveraged point on the front of your body, the more your posterior chain is having to stabilise and take over during the exercise. If you’re trying to lift too heavy, your form can be thrown off and cause tension or strain throughout your body. Common culprits of why you feel bicep curls in your glutes are due to elbows flared, shoulders rounded, hips thrusting to shift the load, bent over too much, feet too narrow (resulting in decreased stability), a weak core, pulled muscle(s) from lifting improperly and going on the tips of your toes to shift the load. Another issue can be due to having too wide a grip on the barbell or dumbbell you’re using. Ultimately, why you feel bicep curls in your glutes is due to incorrect form and/or overstraining when lifting. To avoid this, focus on proper form while doing the exercise, taking breaks in between and using lighter weights.
Feeling bicep curls in other places, other than your biceps are quite common but also generally a quick fix. Let’s take a look at the reasons you are feeling bicep curls in your glutes (bottom or booty) and why it’s occurring.
The greater the point of leverage on the front of your body, the more your back muscles have to work.
When we talk about leverage points, try thinking of your body as a pair of scales. With the elbow joint being the mediant point (middle).
When you tip the balance one way, on this occasion it’s a heavy barbell your trying to curl, your back muscles are working harder to stabilise the load and your body will fight to remain in an upright position.
When this happens your body will recruit other muscles (including your glutes) to prevent the load from failing. This can result in strain and tension throughout your body, which can also lead to pulled muscles.
The goal is to keep a neutral spine and a stable core, but when you’re trying to lift heavy weights or if your form is off slightly, then your entire posterior chain is having to work extra hard to keep the load steady and your form in check.
Trying to lift too heavy
It’s ok to challenge yourself, but when you’re trying to lift too heavy it can cause your form to be off and then your entire posterior chain is forced to stabilise the load instead of just your biceps.
This is why it’s important to start off light and work up to a heavier weight. This will help you focus on perfecting the form and keep your body in a neutral position.
This is normally the case if you are new to lifting weights, or if you have been out of practice for a while and are trying to go back into it.
The thing is, you might be able to curl the weight to some degree but not to the point of being able to do it properly by correctly isolating the biceps.
If you are really throwing the weight around, it’s no wonder your glutes are going to be feeling it way more than they should.
So, make sure you reduce the load you are trying to lift until you can properly do the bicep curls with the correct form.
Your form needs work
Having poor posture or incorrect form can be another reason why you might be feeling bicep curls in your glutes.
Most of the time, this is due to not engaging the core and back muscles when doing bicep curls, which can result in your posture being all over the place.
When you do a bicep curl, you want to make sure that you are keeping your back straight, shoulders pulled down and back, with a slight bend in your knees.
Also, make sure to grip the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and keep your elbows close to your body.
These small changes will make a huge difference in the way your form looks, and how effective the exercise is.
What we are going to do next is look at some of the main reasons your form might be off when doing bicep curls…
If you are tense for any reason during a bicep curl, your body will be holding tension due to the load.
This can cause you to unconsciously recruit other muscles to shift the load, such as your glutes. You need to stand firm when doing the exercise, but not to the point of being completely rigid and tense.
Aside from reducing the weight you are lifting, try to make sure that you take regular breaks throughout your workout to reduce tension and fully relax.
A lot of people hold their breath when working out, so be conscious of your breathing and remember to breathe correctly while doing the exercise to save any unnecessary strain on your body.
When trying to lift a heavy load, it’s natural to hold our breath so that we are braced better to shift the load. However, this is not good for form and can lead to injury if done too often.
Also, at times we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders with the things that life throws our way. But when it comes to lifting weights, make sure to let go of the tension and focus on the job at hand.
I tend to find that I subconsciously raise my shoulders without realising, I have to make a conscious effort to keep them down and not let any tension creep in.
Correct breathing and being conscious of the tension in your body can help you stay in the correct form and head space to do bicep curls correctly and effectively.
If you have recently pulled a muscle in or around your gluteal area then it is advisable to take a few days off from doing any bicep curls while your body recovers.
If you don’t want to take a few days off, then you should reduce the weight and focus on doing lighter sets with higher reps.
This will help to keep the load off the affected muscle and will also help you to stay on top of your form, as it is harder to perform reps with correct form when you are using a heavier weight.
If you can feel the injured muscle more when you do bicep curls or any other exercise, it would be recommended that you lay off the weights for a while until the injury has repaired and the muscle is back to a reasonable strength that it doesn’t effect your training session.
Remember, form always comes first and if you want to make sure that you don’t aggravate any existing injuries, then always lift within your limits and focus on maintaining good form.
Keep elbows close
When you do a bicep curl, it’s important to keep your elbows close to your body and tucked in. Flaring the elbows out can be a sign that you are trying to lift too much weight.
It also makes the exercise more difficult, as you are using more muscles to move the weight, which can cause fatigue quickly.
If you are struggling to keep the elbows in, again it is a good idea to reduce the load until you can do the exercise without flaring your elbows out. Make sure you keep those elbows locked into the side of your body as if they were super glued.
When doing bicep curls, the only movement should come from the forearms and elbow joints, no other parts of your body should be involved.
Also, if you have any tension in the bicep area try to loosen it off by shaking your arms out, stretching your wrists and giving the bicep a quick massage.
One way to make sure your elbows don’t go astray is to do either concentration curls by using your inner thigh to hold your arm in the correct position or to do preacher curls by using the bench pad.
These are both good ways of making sure you keep the correct form when doing bicep curls.
If you find yourself thrusting your hips when doing bicep curls, it can be a sign that you are trying to lift too much weight…way too much.
When you in effect “scoop” the barbell as you try to lift it, you are lifting more than you really should be. This sounds like a classic case of “ego lifting”, which can be seen at the gym all too often.
If you find yourself thrusting your hips forward, then reduce the weight immediately and focus on performing each rep with more control and with the correct form.
When you thrust your hips forward, this causes your glutes to contract and can often be why you feel the bicep curl in and around that area.
To make sure that this doesn’t happen, focus on driving the palms up towards you while keeping your elbows close to your body and maintaining your form throughout.
Additionally, if you are still having problems with your form and thrusting your hips forward then why not try a hammer curl standing up with two light dumbbells instead of using a barbell?
If you have any imbalances in your upper body such as a weaker side then this can be why you are feeling the bicep curl more in your glutes.
If you find that you are experiencing more fatigue on one side then why not try adding a drop set to your workout? This will allow you to focus on the weaker side and bring it up to match the stronger one.
If you aren’t used to doing compound exercises that work the posterior chain then why not give them a try? This will help to even out any imbalances you have and in the long term make your workouts more effective.
If you don’t train your backside, it could be part of the reason you feel bicep curls in the glutes, as they aren’t used to the weight.
Exercises such as squats, deadlifts and kettlebell swings are a great way to ensure that the muscles in your back get worked and will help you to lift heavier weights safely.
Finally, make sure that you are warming up correctly before every session. Warming up helps to prepare the muscles for the workout ahead and can also help to prevent any injuries.
If you find yourself hunching over or curling with poor posture, take a moment to pause and reset your posture before carrying on with the exercise.
Many of us walk around with rounded shoulders due to the devices we are always attached to and the time spent hunched over them, so it’s important to make sure that you correct this when doing a bicep curl so that you aren’t engaging your glutes more than what’s necessary.
When doing a bicep curl, you want to make sure your shoulders are back, your chest is up and you are looking forward with a horizontal spine.
This will help to stop your bicep curls from turning into shoulder raises and will help you get the most out of the exercise.
Also, if your grip is too wide or your feet are too narrow this can lead to you rounding your shoulders when doing bicep curls.
Make sure that your grip is wide enough for comfort but not so wide that it forces you to bring your shoulders forward.
Also make sure that your feet are hip-width apart so that when you lower the weight down, you don’t have to hunch over and round your shoulders.
When doing bicep curls, it’s important to focus on the form and technique.
Make sure that your elbows are close to your body, that you are not thrusting your hips forward, and that you are keeping your shoulders back and chest up.
The quality of the reps is far more important than the quantity, so it’s always better to reduce the weight and focus on performing each rep correctly.
Also, reducing the weight and performing more reps with a lower weight will help to prevent your muscles from becoming too sore.
By paying attention to your form and technique, you will be able to get the most out of your bicep curls.
Have you ever felt bicep curls in your glutes/bottom/booty? Let me know in the comments below!