Biceps Tendon Rupture

biceps brachiitTendon rupture

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Rupture or tear of the biceps long head is the serious injury the most frequent in sport

This injury usually appears on a muscle weakened by tendinitis caused by a sudden movement of the arm. Sudden arm movements are usually thrown like baseball, tennis, throwing sports and also Olympic weightlifting during the snatch. At this point, all tension transferred to the biceps long head which breaks most often where the tendon passes into the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus.

In bodybuilding, this injury is a little different, especially with the deadlift.

There is a technique in deadlift which consists of having a hand with a pronated grip and the other with a supinated grip to lift heavier weights and to avoid that the barbell rolls in the hands.

This simple technique is at the origin of the rupture or the disinsertion of the lower of the biceps (where the muscle is inserted on the humerus). Fortunately, this injury rarely happens.

During the positive phase of the deadlift, the muscles that work are legs, glutes, back and abs. Arms relaxed but they stretched as cranes cables.

Unfortunately, when a hand is with a supinated grip this shortens the biceps (the biceps is extremely powerful with a supinated grip). The result is that there is tremendous tension due to the heavy weights which cause the tearing or total rupture of the tendon of the radius. The biceps with a supinated grip works more than the biceps with a pronated grip.

In the deadlift, the injury is exclusively on the distal tendon of the muscle. The arms hang along the body, which causes the tension to be distributed at the top of the muscle between the tendons of the short head and the long head. For other exercises when the tension is at the bottom of the muscle, the tension is supported on a single tendon insertion.

biceps brachiitTendon rupture

The rupture of the biceps tendon causes a pain relatively moderate compared to the severity of the injury. If we compare the rupture of the biceps tendon with the major pectoralis or the adductors of the thighs, the pain is different. With a rupture of the major pectoralis tendon or adductors of the thighs, the suffering is so strong that the athlete must stop the effort.

It often happens that during a powerlifting competition, athletes who have a rupture of the biceps tendon during the deadlift, continue until the end of the movement.

When this injury occurs, there is swelling in the forearm because of hemorrhaging. But the most surprising thing is the retraction of the biceps which forms a ball at the top of the arm near to the pectoralis major and deltoid. This biceps retraction causes the brachial muscle in the lower arm to be more exposed.

biceps brachiitTendon rupture

It’s always possible to make a flexion of the arm with the rupture of the muscle, which less powerful than before, thanks to the brachial muscle, brachioradialis, long and short radial extensor of the carpus and the pronator teres muscle. On the other hand to make a movement with a supinated grip is a problem because the end of the movement is only carried out by a single muscle, the supinator muscle.

You have to be careful because this injury should be treated quickly by surgery to restore the brachial biceps tendon to the radius. If this surgical operation is not performed in time, the ball will have a fibrous transformation and retraction will be final. The arm’s mobility will always be possible but the loss of strength in flexion and supination is inevitable.

There is a solution to avoid this type of injury with deadlift with a bicep work to have a tendinous reinforcement. This exercise is to do a flexion only with forearms with a straight barbell. This exercise reinforces the biceps distal tendon but be careful by controlling the movement.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

One Arm Dumbbell Press

one arm dumbbell press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and there is good stuff.

Sitting on a bench with your back straight. Your arms bend with your elbows forward. A dumbbell in each hand in supinated grip (thumbs inwards) and at the level of shoulders :

  • Inhale and press your arm vertically by rotating your wrists at 90° to have your hands in pronation (thumbs outwards).

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise work deltoid muscles, mainly the anterior bundles and the clavicular bundle of the pectoralis major, triceps brachial, trapezius and anterior serratus.

chest shoulder muscles

Variant

We can do this exercise :

  • Sitting with a backrest to prevent excessive arching of the back

  • Standing

  • Alternatively, one arm after other

Note

Train with elbows forward, we limit excessive friction at the elbows joint, which can trigger inflammations than can lead to severe pathologies. This movement is recommended to people with fragile shoulders. This is to replace traumatic exercises like back press or dumbbell press.

-Steph

One Arm Reverse Pushdowns

one arm reverse pushdowns anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and there is good stuff.

Standing in front of the machine, take the handle with a supinated grip :

  • Inhale and make an extension of your arm

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

one arm reverse pushdowns anatomy

This exercise works triceps and mainly the lateral head

triceps muscles long head medial lateral

one arm reverse pushdowns anatomy

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food you’re Do you want a free training program ? Click here.

Reverse Pushdowns

reverse pushdown anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy »  and there is good stuff.

Standing in front of the machine with your hand on the bar with a supinated grip. Your elbows are along of your body. Your arm must be do a « L » :

  • Inhale and make an extension of your arms and be sure not to spread your elbows of your body.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

The supinated grip  doesn’t allow you to work with heavy weights then this exercice is done with light weights.

This exercise  work triceps and the medial head.

When you do the extension of your arms, you work also anconeus muscle and wrist’s extensors.

reverse pushdown anatomy arm

The wrist’s exensors ( extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor digitorum, extensor digiti minimi, extensor carpi radialis longus and extensor carpi radialis brevis) keep your wrist straight by an isometric contraction during the movement’s execution.

-Steph

Pushdowns

triceps pushdown cable

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy »  and there is good stuff.

Standing in front of the machine with your hand on the bar with a pronated grip. Your elbows are along of your body. Your arm must be do a « L » :

  • Inhale and make an extension of your arms making sure not to spread your elbows of your body.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

triceps pushdown cable

This exercise works triceps and anconeus muscles.

Variants

triceps pushdown cable

  • You can use a rope to work more intensely the lateral head of the triceps.
  • You can also do this exercice with a supinated grip to work the medial head of the triceps.
  • You can have an isometric contraction by hold the extension for one or two seconds at the end of the movement to feel the effort.

If you use a heavy weight, bend a little bit forward to have a better stability .

This exercice can be done by beginners to have enough strength to do more complex movement after.

Variant: back in front of the machine

triceps pushdown cable

This variant allow to feel more the effort of the lateral head of triceps.

-Steph

Barbell Wrist Curls

barbell wrist curls anatomy

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy »  and there is good stuff.

Sitting with your forearms on your thighs or on a bench. Hold the barbell with a supinated grip :

  • Inhale and flex your wrists

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

barbell wrist curls anatomy

This exercise work your flexor carpi radialis muscle, palmaris longus muscle, flexor carpi ulnaris muscle, flexor digitorum profundus muscle and flexor digitorum superficialis muscle.

forearms anatomy

flexor carpi radialis muscle palmaris longus ulnaris digitorum profundus superficialis

The two last muscles constitute the essential part of the flexors volume of the wrists.

-Steph

Wrist Pain With Barbell Curls

elbow morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy »  and there is good stuff.

Biceps training with a EZ-bar allow to limit excessive strain on wrists.

ez bar

A) Elbow angle a little bit marked

elbow angle

B) Elbow angle marked in valgus (more common with women)

elbow angle valgus

For biceps training with a barbell, there is important to take care about individual differences in morphology.

Because the elbow opening angle then the angle between arm and forearm can change from a guy to another. Some people in anatomical position (it means arms along the body, hands in supination then thumbs outwards) will have elbow angle very marked. Forearm in valgus significantly extending outwardly. This particularity during arms flex with a standard barbell requires to excessively break wrists inward, making the exercise painful.

It’s recommended to this type of guys (like me) to relieve wrist joints to train with an EZ-bar.

Note : Elbow valgus is in general higher among women but I got it and I live well with.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food. Click here.