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My Biggest Complaint About Bicep Bands

Stopping Bicep Sweat At The Source

What the heck is up with those stupid bicep bands that athletes wear? They don’t serve any function; they’re just cosmetic. Recently I’ve watched a lot of football, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why any athlete would want to wear them. Its not like these bicep bands stop sweat. You can’t even wipe your forehead or you hand on them (ala a wrist band), because they are so small. They look like a Lance Armstrong rubber band for the elbow joint. I think it’s just another way for Nike to take people’s money.

Football players wearing bicep bands are like me putting streamers on my tricycle.

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43 Comments

  1. 99% of the guys in the NFL wearing bicep bands also wear gloves.

    Apparently, the sweat is so voluminous that it permeates the gloves and renders them useless. Obviously it is necessary to cut the sweat flow off at the bicep so the gloves don’t get slooshy.

  2. sportsdork,

    Do you have any proof of your statistics connecting bicep band wearers and glove wearers? If so, I’d be curious to see it.

    I can’t imagine that sweat is just pouring down the arm like that, but based on your profile in your avatar, it seems like you have plenty of experience with this.

  3. @mr.squeaky, I’m just thinking out loud as to possible reasons, sarcastically of course. But there is an obvious connection between the bicep band wearers and the glove wearers. I stick by the 99% figure on that one.

    Regarding my avatar, that was taken when I was in shape. I didn’t sweat much back when I was in shape. I didn’t really have to do anything to get that look - it was just kind of a gift, so I couldn’t really say as far as excessive sweat.

    I do have to work to maintain the look now and I sweat doing that. I will say I’ve let myself go a little. I’ve lost a step or two and my 40 yard dash has dropped back to 4.9. I’m only benching about 380. That’s my fault and I admit it.

    And before you ask, no, I do not use bicep bands as part of my current training routine.

  4. The bicep armbands aren’t as bad as Allen Iverson’s burn victim sleeve thing.

  5. I’m not familiar with that tc3. What is it?

  6. I may be missing the boat hear and not have seen what you are talking about, but the bands worn on the bicep that I have seen are actually pulse/heart rate monitors or ipods. Is this bicep band something diffierent?

  7. @Mark, yes the bicep bands are completely different. Imagine yourself in a locker room before a game getting suited up to play. Before you exit the locker room, you need a little something to make yourself look just a bit more tough. You tear off about a foot of an old shirt and wrap it around your arm at the bicep like a heroin junkie tying off before a fix. That’s what the poster is talking about.

    Of course marketing takes over after time and now you can buy something from Nike that simulates the original torn-up-shirt-wrapped around-your-arm look in the form of a arm bicep sweat band.

  8. you gotta look good to play good.

  9. they arent for sweat the prevent tearing of the ligements by taking some of the strain off of the muscle

  10. I think some commenters have mistaken bicep bands for orthopedic devices (which sometimes are wrapped around the arms). Please post some evidence that bicep bands actually apply force to ligaments or muscles and change the mechanics of the muscular system enough to “prevent tearing” of anything…

  11. I say the bands are stupid and serve no purpose other than make the player look gay . dont gay guys accessorize? are the guys that wear two double gay. not that there is anything wrong with that.

  12. OK. I play college football and some of my teamates wear bicep bands. NO, they don’t serve any purpose. But the moto is Look Good, Play Good, Win. Its a proven fact that if you look good in a uniform your play is better on the field. Don’t know if you have more confidence or what but its true

  13. well i ware them for football they just look cool they also make your arms look bigger (but thats just my opinion) they are for looks. i think they look cool

  14. and well you also have to be abel to back the message you are sending up. if ya ware them and you have skiny weak ass arms and you suck or are a pussy then you just look dumb.

  15. Ok lets just end this- the only reason why a lot of people wear bicep bands is because they sweel your muscles to make them appear larger- it doesn’t make the person stronger, it just makes them look the part. it has absolutely nothing to do with sweat whatsoever. I wear them for track and field (throwing shot put and discus) and it might have an intimidation factor but who gives a crap- it makes people look stronger.

  16. Answer Wrist band are for sweat; however during activities such as tennis, baseball, or football; stress puts a good deal of stress on the elbow, thereby causing the tendons of the elbow slowly and painfully begin to pull away from the bone of the elbow. This is where the pain in your elbow originates. The tendon-bone connection continues to weaken and the pain in your elbow steadily increases. By placing continual pressure on the tendons connecting the Flexor and the Extensor muscles to the Medial and Lateral Epicondyles, will significantly reducing the tension at the point of connection to the bone. This will reduce the chance of exacerbation of Tendinitis.

  17. WRONG. The devices in questonare NOT orthopedic devices. I quote the Nike website where these are sold: “Gun flaunters. Show off great guns with these 1″ sweat stoppers.” Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself at the link below. They are all about looking like you have big arms. True, there is a condition called lateral epicondylitis for which orthopedic devices do exist, but this condition occurs most commonly in the tendon of the extensor carpi brevis muscle at approximately 2cm below the outer edge of the elbow joint or lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone. These braces are worn below the elbow joint, not above.

    Check out Nike’s website:
    http://www.nike.com/index.jhtml?l=nikestore,pdp,_pdp,gid-110404/pid-110403#l=nikestore,pdp,_pdp,gid-110404/pid-110403

  18. this is just for fashion: New York Times has an article about it:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/sports/football/18bands.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  19. Great stuff

    I agree

    This cosmetic accessory has worked its way into youth sports and it makes me crazy

  20. The arm bands cover up a nerve behind your elbow where players often receive ’stingers’. That nerve getting hit right can make your entire forearm and hand go numb for minutes even hours.

    Don’t forget that it also helps covering the back of your elbow for turf burns.

  21. I think theres gonna be more coming from NIKE after this bicep band success.

    NIKE DICK BAND FOR PORN STARS!!!

    NIKE BLIND FOLD BAND FOR ATHLETES WHO WANTS A CHALLENGE!!!!

    NIKE NECK BAND

    NIKE BARACLAVA FOR THE FASHIONABLE THEIF!!

  22. I don’t know about the Nike product some people are refering to but our trainers (top 5 college team) which are physical thearapists use those on us to provide additional tension on ligaments to reduce the chance of tendinopathy and lateral and medial epicondylitis as well as rupture injury. They say they will keep us healthy longer. From the trainer mouth……….

  23. Andrew,

    And just how much are those trainers charging you for them fantastic arm bands? I remember when my trainer told me it would relieve potential medical stress injuries to the groin ligaments if felatio were provided at $50/half hour. I turned him down for that but got the bicep bands for providing him half an hour of exploratory therapy in my rectal cavity.

    Hey, to each their own.

  24. Not a whole lot different than you wearing a Nike Shirt, Nike Shoes, Nike Shorts or whatever else has the Swoosh symbol on it. Thats what you’re paying for. It’s the luxury not necessity

  25. During activities such as tennis, baseball, or football; stress puts a good deal of stress on the elbow, thereby causing the tendons of the elbow slowly and painfully begin to pull away from the bone of the elbow. This is where the pain in your elbow originates. The tendon-bone connection continues to weaken and the pain in your elbow steadily increases. By placing continual pressure on the tendons connecting the Flexor and the Extensor muscles to the Medial and Lateral Epicondyles, will significantly reducing the tension at the point of connection to the bone. This will reduce the chance of exacerbation of Tendinitis.

  26. Eric, Andrew, and others.

    If you are correct, this would mean that the devices in question, bicep bands, are medical devices, which are, oddly, sold by Nike and Rebok. And, that there must be an epidemic of tendinitis in football players that is occurring in both arms simultaneously; to men playing positions that are not associated with repetitive motion; have increased dramatically in the past 2 years; and are not reported on NFL injury reports.

    Your explanation simply doesn’t support your arguments about bicep bands having medical purposes.

    Andrew… your trainers don’t know what they are talking about.

  27. They are strictly for looks and advertising. They have no physical benefit to the player at all. According to this NY times article, players in the NBA choose to only wear them on one arm rather than both, which would support the argument that it is strictly a fad.

    If anyone has trainers or other “professionals” telling them that wristbands worn at the elbow or above are going to help them keep from injury or enhance their performance based on anything other than psychology, they are mistaken.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/sports/football/18bands.html

  28. Why do basketball players wear shooting sleeves on their none shooting arm? It makes no sense to me. I think its all about the look.

  29. It’s obvious that they are used for vanity purposes. Low self-esteem permeates the NFL, NBA, NCAA and the posers who wear bicep bands might as well wear a purse and justify it by calling it a “fanny pack”…oh, wait, they do. There is no medical purpose whatsoever to wear these things. Gay is gay and if you wear them, just stop or admit it!

  30. I told my doctor about pains in my elbo and he recommended that i wear bicep bands when i work out, idk if he meant something made for that specificly or just sports bicep bands. They do look cool.

  31. When I think pro football player, the term individuality does not come to mind. They follow fashion trends just like most other celebrities. Do the bands serve a functional purpose? Not much of one. Is that OK? Sure. Fashion is part of almost every sport, like it or not. If people want to follow a trend, let ‘em. As long as you make the catch, I don’t care what you wear.

  32. They wear them because chicks think they’re hot and it helps them get laid. duh

  33. I just bought myself a cock ring thinking is was a fashion statement. My boss kindly asked me to put my pants on.

  34. The biceps band is something I wish I wore about 8 years ago when I went out to hit some baseballs at the batting cage. I tore my right biceps tendon at the elbow after hitting a ball off the end of my bat and had to have a very complicated and nasty surgery. I now have a scar right across my arm where it bends at the elbow and it is about 5 inches long. It hurts all of the time to this day. It gives me problems due to adhesion’s and scar tissue along with strength issues all of the time. Then, I later needed an additional surgery on my tendon which required a graft of my hamstring to repair the first repair. Nice job by that first Doctor right..? I now have to wear the arm band and without it, I would have aching pain in my distal biceps region. I recommend that those who question these Pro Athletes as to what their reasons are to wear the band, to consider the fact they cannot risk an injury such as mine and jeopardize their careers.

  35. opusbar1,

    So you are saying that a bicep band (as pictured above), which is a glorified version of a sweatband that Billy Jean King used to wear in the 70’s, would have prevented your major bicep tendon tear and is what the doctor told you to wear post surgery?? Seriously, if that’s what you doctor(S) told you, you need some new doctors.

  36. Well, i use mine to hold the headphone wire in place. I have an armband for my itouch, i use it while i work out, the wire hangs loose, but the band keeps it straight.

  37. Hmmm…Holdover from ancient Rome, perhaps-Infantry wore such bands around each arm, just below the shoulder-They were tourniquets, and was a good place to keep them, because it’s harder’n heck to tie something one handed…

  38. I found this thread while searching for info on bands to help with pulled bicep tendons, and these cloth ones, in my opinion, are definitely for looks. I don’t play football, so maybe there’s something I don’t see. As far as preventing sweat from going into your gloves, I don’t think so. In motocross, you sweat every bit as much as in football, and I’ll tell you that your gloves will be wet inside even if you wrap your whole upper body in a towel.

    The only reason for wearing a band at the base of the bicep would be to prevent further tendon damage, and a terrycloth band will do nothing for that. It has to be tighter, and not be so stretchy. Usually a vel-cro band with a flattened rubber ball over the tendon is the best, at least as I’ve found. But if someone wants to wear these other ones, go for it. Nike shareholders will appreciate your help!

    Charles

  39. I personally think that they look cool, but agree that they serve no purpose. I don’t even have a choice of wearing them in my league. In the GISA, bands above the elbow are illegal.

  40. something to do with helping your circulation

  41. You guys are overlooking the obvious answer. They’re all old-school WWF fans - fans of the Ultimate Warrior.

    http://www.glogster.com/media/2/2/96/51/2965172.jpg

    Duh. ;)

  42. I read that the arm bands are for Wide Receivers and Corner backs to prevent sweat from running down their arm to their hands because they try to catch the ball. BUT, I also read on Wikiepdia that “players will wear tight bands around their elbows because the tendons of the elbow slowly and painfully begin to pull away from the bone of the elbow during stress. This is where the pain in your elbow originates. With continued repetitive use of the elbow, the tendon-bone connection continues to weaken and the pain in your elbow steadily increases. By placing continual pressure on the tendons connecting the Flexor and the Extensor muscles to the Medial and Lateral Epicondyles, thus significantly reducing the tension at the point of connection to the bone. “

  43. The bigger the ball the dumber the athelete. At least they can remove arm bands, but they are stuck with thoses stupid tatoos for life.

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