Why Do I Feel Bicep Curls In My Triceps? Problem Solved For Rapid Results
When doing bicep curls, you may find that you feel the exercise more in your triceps than in your biceps.
There are a few potential reasons for this. It leaves some people wondering why this happens and how to fix it.
Normally it’s down to a few tiny things that need slight adjustments to make the exercise feel more in the biceps.
Why do I feel bicep curls in my triceps?
There are a few potential reasons why you might feel bicep curls in your triceps. It could be that your form is incorrect and you’re actually using your triceps more than your biceps. Or, it could be that the weight you’re using is too heavy for your biceps and your triceps are kicking in to help complete the curl. Additionally, the muscles in your triceps may be simply more engaged than those in your biceps, making them feel more worked. If you are gripping the bar too tight or if you have trained your chest previously that day, this could also contribute to feeling your triceps more than your biceps. Ultimately, if you feel like you’re using your triceps more than you should be, focus on reducing the weight and improving your form. This will help ensure that you’re properly isolating your biceps and getting the most out of your curl. If you’re concerned about your form, seek out the help of a certified personal trainer or other fitness professional. Otherwise, experiment with concentration curls/preacher curls, different weights and levels of intensity to see what works best for you.
Trying to lift too much weight
One of the main reasons people have issues with bicep curls is because they are using too much weight. When you use too much weight, your form starts to slip and you start recruiting other muscles to help complete the curl.
This is why it’s important to start light and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
If the weight you are using is too heavy, your triceps will engage to help lift the weight.
As a result, you will feel the exercise more in your triceps than your biceps.
To fix this, simply reduce the weight and focus on using proper form and concentrate on isolating your biceps with the mind-to-muscle connection.
When performing the curl’s concentric phase, you should only use your biceps to curl the weight. This is generally where your form breaks down because the weight is too heavy for your biceps to handle on their own due to a lack of body balance at this point in the lift.
It’s similar to a set of scales; if one side is too heavy, it tips. The same concept applies to your body: if the weight being lifted by your biceps is substantial, your form starts to fail and your body will tilt forward for balance.
Your triceps shouldn’t engage until the lowering phase (eccentric) of the curl, as this is where they help to control the weight on the way down.
If you find that your triceps are engaging during the lifting phase, it’s an indication that the weight is too heavy and you need to reduce it.
Lifting too heavy can also cause a serious injury, so it’s important to be careful when increasing the weight.
Another common reason why people feel bicep curls in their triceps is because of poor form. When your form is incorrect, you are likely using more of your triceps than your biceps.
Let’s look at some of the main culprits of poor form:
This is a common mistake people make when doing bicep curls. They allow their elbows to flare out to the side, which recruits more of the triceps and back muscles.
To fix this, keep your elbows pinned to your sides throughout the entire exercise. Doing this will ensure that you are isolating your biceps and not using your triceps.
If you struggle to curl the weight when tucking your elbows, then the weight is too heavy and you need to reduce it.
Also, if you find your elbows are pointing forwards instead of straight down, then you need to focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. This will help keep your elbows in the correct position.
Having your elbows pointing forward will engage your front delts more, which takes away from the biceps isolation.
Not completing the curl
When you don’t fully extend your arm at the top of the curl, you are likely using momentum to complete the movement. This means that you are not working your biceps as hard as you could be.
To fix this, curl the weight until your inner forearm meets the bicep at the top of the curl. Doing this will ensure that you are getting a full range of motion and fully working your biceps.
Only curl the weight if you can complete the full movement….otherwise, if it is too heavy, you will put more strain on your elbow, back, and shoulders and risk injury.
If you can’t fully extend your arms, it’s conceivable that you don’t have enough range of motion. This might involve utilizing your triceps more to curl the weight, which means you’ll need to concentrate on using a lighter weight until your strength increases.
If you have problems with range of motion when curling the weight, you need to focus on stretching and mobility work to improve it.
Once you do that you may see a huge improvement in your ability to curl the weight correctly.
Not lowering the weight
When you don’t lower the weight all the way down, you are not working your biceps through a full range of motion.
Try to simply lower the weight until your arm is fully extended. Doing this will ensure that you are getting a full range of motion and fully working your biceps.
If the weight is too heavy, you may not be able to lower it all the way down without using momentum. If this is the case, then you need to reduce the weight and focus on using good form.
If the weight is too heavy, you may find your body will try to scoop the weight up. This is a common mistake people make when using too much weight.
To fix this, focus on keeping your upper arm still and only moving your forearm. This will help you keep the weight under control and avoid using momentum.
Related: Why Are My Biceps Never Sore? 21 Crucial Tips For You To Consider
When you grip the weight too tight, you are likely using more of your forearm and triceps muscles to curl the weight.
To fix this, focus on keeping a lighter grip on the weight. You should be able to slide your hand up and down the bar without much resistance.
It can be psychological at times, especially when lifting heavier, to prepare to lift the weight and in doing so tense up your whole body to get ready, when in fact, you should only be tense in the specific muscles required for the exercise.
If you naturally tense up, you will inevitably grip the bar tighter than necessary. So, try and keep your whole body relaxed when gripping the bar, especially your hands, and focus on using your biceps to curl the weight.
If you are still struggling with this, then try using a thicker bar. This will help you keep a lighter grip on the weight and isolate your biceps more.
Too much wrist flexion?
When your wrists are positioned wrong, you are likely using more of your forearm and triceps muscles to curl the weight.
You will know your wrists are positioned wrong if you feel pain in your wrists when curling the weight.
Once again, if the weight is too heavy for you to curl correctly, your body will try any means necessary to get the job done. In this situation, one of those methods to finish the curl will be to flex your wrists towards your chest.
To address this, concentrate on keeping your wrists straight during the whole curl movement. This will ensure that you utilize your biceps to their fullest extent.
If you find it difficult to keep your wrists straight, then try using a thicker bar. This will help you keep your wrists in the correct position and isolate your biceps more.
If you have weaker wrists, then you could use wrist straps. These attach to the bar and go around your wrists, taking the pressure off them and allowing you to focus on curling the weight.
Using momentum to swing the weight
One of the most common mistakes people make when curling is using momentum to swing the weight up.
This often happens when the weight is too heavy or when people try to curl too fast.
Focus on using a slower and more controlled movement as this will help you keep the weight under control and avoid using momentum.
When you use momentum to swing the weight you may find that you aren’t actually curling the weight at all, but rather rocking the bar backwards and forwards like you would imagine someone rocks a baby (only figuratively speaking of course).
Remember to keep those arms tucked in close to your sides as you curl, and try and avoid using your hips and lower back to generate momentum – the biceps should be doing all the work.
Are you doing biceps after a chest workout?
If you are doing biceps after a chest workout, then you may find that your triceps are still fatigued from the previous exercises.
This is because the triceps are used in chest exercises such as the bench press and they may not have had enough time to recover before you start your biceps workout.
To avoid this, do biceps exercises first, and then finish with chest exercises. By doing so, your triceps will be fresh for the chest exercises, which in turn won’t wear out your biceps during their workout.
Maybe consider splitting your workout routine differently so that you aren’t doing chest and biceps so close together.
Having a well-planned routine will help to ensure that you are making the most of your time in the gym and getting the best results.
If you have muscle imbalances, then this could be the reason why you feel biceps curls in your triceps.
Muscle imbalances can occur when one muscle is stronger than the opposing muscle. For example, if your triceps are stronger than your biceps, then this could lead to your triceps taking over during biceps curls.
The best way to fix muscle imbalances is to strengthen the weaker muscle. In this case, you would need to do more biceps exercises and/or use lighter weights with higher reps to help build up the strength of your biceps.
It is also important to focus on good form when doing any type of exercise. This will help to ensure that you are using the correct muscles and avoiding any type of injury.
Related: Why Is One Arm Stronger Than The Other? (All The Answers For Perfect Symmetry)
Isolate the bicep
One of the best ways to ensure that you are using your biceps as much as possible is to do concentration curls or preacher curls.
Both of these exercises help to isolate the biceps and ensure that they are doing all the work. This is because you are not using any other muscles to help lift the weight.
Preacher curls are a great exercise for targeting the biceps, and they can be done with either a barbell or a dumbbell.
To do a preacher curl with a barbell, first set the weight so that it is light enough to lift without struggling. Then, place your elbows on the pads of the preacher curl bench and hold the barbell with an underhand grip.
From here, curl the weight up until your biceps are fully contracted and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
Concentration curls are another great exercise for targeting the biceps. To do this exercise, sit on a bench with your feet flat on the ground.
Then, hold a dumbbell in one hand and place the other hand on the bench for support. From here, curl the weight up to the side of your shoulder and then slowly lower it back down.
Another way to do preacher curls is by using a dumbbell and propping your tricep on an adjustable gym bench at an incline as if you were going to do a bench press.
Place your armpit on top of the bench, and let your whole arm drape over it until only your tricep is resting against the pad. From here, curl the dumbbell upward in a standard fashion.
Doing either of these exercises with good form will help to ensure that you are targeting your biceps and not your triceps.
Identify agonist and antagonist muscles
The contracting muscle is called the agonist and the relaxing or lengthening muscle is called the antagonist. Here’s an easy way to remember which muscle is the agonist – it’s typically causing pain, or agony, during movement since it’s doing all the work.
The antagonist muscle is the one that is opposite to the agonist. So, for example, if you are doing a bicep curl, the agonist muscle is your bicep and the antagonist is your tricep.
This is why it is important to focus on using the correct muscles when doing any type of exercise. This will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout and avoiding any type of injury.
The agonist muscle is always the one that is shortened when the joint is moved. For example, in a bicep curl, the agonist muscle is your bicep and it is shortened when you curl the weight up.
The antagonist muscle is always the one that is lengthened when the joint is moved. In a bicep curl, the antagonist muscle is your triceps and it is lengthening when you curl the weight up.
Remember, you want to focus on using the agonist muscle as much as possible. This means that you should pay attention to the range of motion and make sure that you are contracting the muscle group that you want to work.
If you find that your triceps are doing most of the work, then you can try doing the exercise with a lighter weight, focusing on using a slower and more controlled movement or do one of the isolation variations that was mentioned earlier.
There are a few different reasons why you might feel bicep curls in your triceps. It could be because you are using too much weight, you are not using proper form, or you are not isolating your biceps enough.
If you want to make sure that you are targeting your biceps and not your triceps, then focus on using a lighter weight, using proper form, and doing isolation variations.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout and avoid any type of injury by using the incorrect muscles.
Do you feel bicep curls in your triceps when you workout? Let us know in the comments below.