Learn how to do biceps curls even if you must avoid gripping due to golfer’s elbow. 

You need not give up biceps-targeted exercises just because you can’t grip due to golfer’s elbow.

There are two ways to perform biceps curls while sparing the medial epicondyle tendon that’s at the center of golfer’s elbow.

The first way is with a dual cable cross machine that has a width adjustment.

I’m a former personal trainer who had golfer’s elbow, and I have figured out the best way to do biceps curls without antagonizing this tendonitis.

You will not be gripping the handles.

Instead you’ll be pulling or tugging at them with your wrists.

So if you have golfer’s elbow only in one arm, both hands must take on identical positioning to ensure equality on both sides of the body/arm/hands.

The biceps can still get plenty of stimulation if you curl with a “wrist grip” rather than a hand grip.

The so-called resistance arm is shortened by placing the force application on the wrist rather than in the palm (as would be the case with a hand grip).

You will thus need to use more weight than you normally would with a hand grip on this particular machine.

The plastic part of the machine’s handle does NOT make contact with your wrist.

You must slide the handle to the side so that only the strap part of the handle comes in contact with your wrist.

Only the straps contact your wrists.

Wrists must be protected with a wrapping; otherwise the tugging of the strap against the skin will be very uncomfortable.

I wrap a full length Ace bandage around my wrists, making sure that the wrapping is evenly over the underside crease in my wrists.

Set the weight a bit heavier than what you normally would (or think you would) for this equipment.

Insert hands into the loop handles, setting the strap portion against the underside of both wrists.

Of course, make sure the machine’s arm bars are low enough so that when you’re standing straight, arms straight, there is tension on your arms. Set the arm bar width accordingly.

Now begin curling, the strap against the underside of your wrist, the bandage between strap and wrist.

Do NOT let the fingers of the golfer’s elbow side bend in or curl (that is, start forming a gripping motion).

You want to avoid a gripping motion at all costs, as gripping stimulates the medial epicondyle tendon.

To leave this tendon completely out of the picture, keep that hand in a palm print position: fingers extended as much as you can throughout the biceps curls.

In fact, try not to let the wrist flex (i.e., palm come towards you as you lift the weight). Keep the palm aligned with forearm.

It’s best to keep the other hand (non-golfer’s elbow side) matched in position, for equality.

You won’t be able to raise hands up as high biceps curling this way, but they’ll go high enough to adequately stimulate the biceps.

TIP: Splint the index finger; this will prevent accidentally gripping with it.The second way to do biceps curls with golfer’s elbow is with a preacher weight stack machine. No bandages are necessary.

Rather than grip the handles, place palms against them, fingers extended, and lift the bar towards you, keeping fingers extended at all times. Do NOT even grip with the thumb.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.