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If friend can"t straighten her arms after the gym, inflammation and also damage to your muscle structures may be to blame.
Feeling sore after a difficult workout is normal — maybe also to be expected. ~ all, ill muscles space a natural part of the physiological repair procedure that at some point makes friend stronger and fitter.

But some human being experience a weird post-exercise phenomenon the goes beyond simple aches and also pains. After ~ lifting weights — typically a hefty dose of biceps and pulling exercises — they uncover that castle can't straighten your arms. Their elbows simply won't execute it.

Wondering, "why can't ns straighten my eight after a biceps workout?" we don't blame you because that being concerned, irritable or just plain puzzled if friend can't expand your elbow.

Luckily, we're right here to provide answers. Find out why you could not have the ability to straighten her arms after ~ a workout and what you can do to settle the issue. Here's the long and the quick of it.

Doing a challenging workout reasons microtears in ~ the muscle yarn (and their nerves), leading to delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, a job or two after extreme exercise.

"To repair the damage done come the neuromuscular system, blood flow to the area increases," states Todd Buckingham, PhD, lead exercise physiologist because that the Mary cost-free Bed sporting activities Performance Lab. "This create inflammation and edema, or swelling."

Ultimately, the rise in blood circulation is a great thing, due to the fact that your blood carries nutrient that assist with healing. "It regenerates muscle tissue, boosting performance and also overall strength," defines Jonathan Mike, PhD, a professor of exercise science and sports performance at grand Canyon University.

But that can also come with some less-than-pleasant next effects. "The inflammation indigenous extra blood circulation pushes on her nerve fibers, i beg your pardon detect pain," Buckingham says. That's why your muscles feel so tender.

The pain, in turn, have the right to prevent girlfriend from totally straightening your elbow joint. When you with a particular point, the pressure against your nerve yarn is so extreme that your mind tells her arm not to straighten any kind of more. (This every happens in her autonomic concerned system, so it's not something you can consciously control.)

Inflammation can physically border your range of movement by several degrees, according to Buckingham. "The inflammation acts prefer a blockade preventing you from complete extension," he says.

Another potential reason of no being able to extend your elbow: damage to the frameworks supporting your biceps muscles.

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"Each of her muscle cells has a net-like structure surrounding it, dubbed the sarcoplasmic illusion ," Buckingham says. The SR plays a an essential step in allowing you to both contract and also relax your muscles. The releases calcium into your muscle cells, v that calcium acting favor the key that unlocks her muscles and allows them to move. So, to lengthen your biceps muscles and also extend your arms, the SR needs to release calcium.

"But if you damage your SR throughout heavy exercise, it won't release calcium and also so over there won't be any type of relaxation that the muscle," Buckingham says. "This have the right to lead to stiffness and also pain and can protect against you indigenous straightening out the muscle."