Q: I get an unusual kind of soreness and I don’t know how to avoid it. It’s happened for years, but now that I’m going heavier in all movements, it’s getting too painful to keep training on a regular schedule throughout the week. The day after doing legs, I have an incapacitating soreness in my forearms. How can I stop this?
A: This is actually more common than you think, and it’s usually to do with how you hold your hands during work in a bar-related movement. Squats, but especially deadlifts, are the most problematic for this. You may also hold a ton of stress in your wrists and hands, anticipating increasing weight in your workouts. Using straps and incapacitating wrists and hands during exercise is also to blame for this. A couple of things can help, other than assessing “how” you hold a bar. First, drink a lot of water on a regular basis – this clears out soreness much, much faster. Second, stretch your forearms and upper body before heavy lifting days. Third, try changing the way you grip a bar. If you grip over, grip one over and one under on stiff-legged deadlifts. Use a Smith machine instead of a squat cage and free bar, and do front squats for a few weeks, or alternate front with regular. This all should help.
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