I get intense pain in arm when I do biceps curls either with dumbbell or bar, I am fine with exercise of other part of body u.e. triceps back , chest etc, Is there any exercise of biceps which does not involve curls but give sufficient benefit to increase biceps?

3 Answers 3


Any sort of rowing motion with a barbell and chin-ups.

  • 1
    Are you suggesting a reverse grip with the palm facing towards the body? If so, I don't see how that's any different from a standard curl.
    – rrirower
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 12:58
  • Neutral or curl grip would work, the main muscle worked is the back anyway.
    – John
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 13:54
  • I'm still confused as to how a curl grip would not cause the problem 'murmansk' is complaining about. And, a neutral grip will provide a minimal amount of work for the biceps especially as you said, the main work is to the back.
    – rrirower
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 14:22
  • The question is: "Is there any exercise of biceps which does not involve curls but give sufficient benefit to increase biceps". My answer points to 2 bicep exercises that are not curls.
    – John
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 15:28
  • 1
    Yes, you are working the muscle, it will grow. Not as fast as other, more direct, stimuli but its not like I'm saying squats will make him have great lats.
    – John
    Commented May 31, 2017 at 15:34

Have you tried curls with an ez curl bar, maybe that will help. Also pull ups wit a reverse grip or a neutral grip. Hammer curls should take some stress off your forearms.

  • Not that there's anything wrong with this per say, but it's a little short and more like a comment than a fully written answer.
    – Eric
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 5:59

If you can do pullups, that would be my recommendation. In general I frown on isolation work because it's not natural and a good way to get tendinitis and other overuse injuries.

With pullups, you have some options that hopefully won't hurt: palms towards you, palms away, and palms towards each other (if you have that piece of gear).

I'm not sure what part of your arm is bothering you, but another option is ring or suspension pullups. Those are a bit tougher because you have to stabilize on them, but they're somewhat more forgiving on your joints because you can freely move into a position that's more comfortable.

The good news is that regardless of the particular technique you use, you'll get a terrific upper body pulling exercise, with ~85% recruitment of your biceps.

If you got tendinitis from doing curls (typical), it's a great learning moment to switch to compound exercises. And in particular, a proven strength training program.

  • problem is with flexis carpis ulnaris, so anything which does not strain it would help
    – murmansk
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 17:12

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