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Rehabilitation

Best technique for bicep curls with back inju

12/04/2007

Question:

I am a lifetime weight lifter age 55 who now has lumbar 4 sacral 5 osteo arthritis. I have given up running, squats, and heavy standing curls. I have excellent core strength and I want to continue bicep curls. I now do back to the wall bicep lifts, balance on 1 leg lifts, and preacher bench bicep curls. I am guessing preacher bench curls are best for my back problems. Any suggestions?

Answer:

We are assuming that you mean that the preacher curls are "best" for your back problems, in the sense that they will not "flare them up." Of the exercises that you mentioned, any are really fine when performed with appropriate posture and without compensation through the back. It is probably more accurate to say that preacher curls are the easiest not to cheat on, at least of the bicep exercises that you mentioned. This is because one is leaning over something, which would presumably control any unwarranted or compensatory back movements. However, there are certainly other movements that can exercise the biceps.

Also, keep in mind that the triceps actually constitute a larger part of the arm; if you are going for arm size, that is going to be the muscle that you want to exercise.

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Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati