A bruise on the biceps develops when blood vessels beneath the skin burst, allowing blood to collect inside the damaged tissue. The pooled blood then forms a blue or black mark on the skin. A bruise as the result of pushups can be due to injury and bad exercise habits. Because it can sometimes signal a serious injury, it is important to understand why a bruise can occur on the bicep after pushups and how it is treated.
A bruise on the bicep as the result of pushups can vary from mild skin discoloration to a severe black and blue mark. It can be accompanied by inflammation, dull to sharp pain, tightness, cramping in the bicep muscles, stiffness, tenderness and warmth. A popping or snapping can sometimes be felt or heard at the time of injury. You also might notice the formation of a dent or lump beneath the skin and suffer instability or complete loss of mobility.
A bruise can develop on the bicep if you do pushups excessively or do not take breaks between workouts. This can place extreme or repetitive pressure on the muscles, cartilage, bone, tendons and ligaments in the arms. You also can develop a bruise if you fall or jam against the floor or another object while doing pushups. A bruise also can be the result of sprain or strain of the bicep, which occurs when the muscles or ligaments in the bicep area tear or pull with sudden changes of direction or improper form.
Rest your biceps and avoid pushups and other strenuous exercise for about 48 hours. Compress your bicep by wrapping it lightly with an elastic bandage or wrap. Hold an icepack or ice enclosed in a towel to the injured area for about 20 minutes at a time. Elevate your arm, holding it above your heart to encourage fluid drainage and reduce pain and inflammation. In severe cases, a doctor can drain the bruise to speed up the healing process.
Seek medical attention if your bruise worsens or does not show signs of improvement after 48 hours. In addition, see a doctor if the bruise is painful, unusually large, develops for no apparent reason, you have no history of bruising, or if you experience head pain, bleeding in your nose, eyes, gums, urine or stool. These could be symptoms of a serious medical condition such as a blood-related disease or blood clotting problems.