Forearms are the most exposed part of the entire arm.
Squeeze every object you use in the gym with everything you have.
Hammer, reverse, and wrist curls are some great forearm exercises.
Normally when articles about forearm training like this one start, there is some type of Popeye reference. Well, not in this one. We are going to get right into it.
The fact of the matter is that you can train bi's and tri's until your arms are on the verge of falling off. If you don't train forearms, your arm just isn't going to look as symmetric and complete as it would if you do. It is as simple as that.
Click To Enlarge. You Can Train Bi's And Tri's Until Your Arms Fall Off, But Don't Neglect Your Forearms.
Why Do I Need to Worry About Forearms?
Well, unless you walk around constantly in a tank top or long sleeves, the part of your arm that is exposed the most is below your elbow. It is just like when you wear shorts. More people are going to see your calves than your quadriceps and hamstrings. Therefore, you train your calves hard. Doesn't it make sense that you should train your forearms just as hard as you would your bis and tris?
More importantly, training your forearms will improve your grip strength. Your grip strength improving will lead to your strength going up in your upper body lifts. You won't have to use straps to help you with those bent-over rows, deadlifts, or shrugs.
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The first thing I recommend when it comes to forearms regards when you are training the rest of your body. Every set you do, whether you are using a barbell, dumbbells, or if you are holding onto handles of a machine, squeeze the handles with everything you have.
The harder you squeeze the better. Doing that alone will help your forearms tremendously. You will be amazed how much your grip strength will go up in a few weeks just by concentrating on squeezing the handles or bar.
Second, lose the straps. At least do not use them on every single set. Using the straps is great to help you with the super heavy weight. Using them on every set actually deprives you of strength gains.
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Let's say you are going to do barbell rows. Warm up and do your first two or three sets without them at all. Then if you feel you absolutely need them, use the straps on your heaviest set. Also work towards the goal of being able to lose the straps completely. Your forearms as well as your other muscle groups will be better off for it.
Now if you read my article on getting bigger arms, then you saw that I wrote not to train forearms while using that routine for four to six weeks. Once you come off of that routine and go back to a regular program, add this forearm routine to it. I think you will be very satisfied with the results you are going to get.
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In this new forearm routine we are going to cover three exercises.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
I love hammer curls. I feel that hammer curls just pump up the entire arm from the wrist all the way up to the shoulder. Take a pair of dumbbells and stand straight up. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Hold the dumbbells down to your sides. Make sure your abs are tight and shoulders are relaxed. Keeping your thumbs up, curl the dumbbells up as far you can. Keep your shoulders as relaxed as possible. Squeeze at the top for a count of one.
HAMMER CURLS EXERCISE GUIDE
Click Image To Enlarge. Dumbbell Hammer Curls
For a different feel, you can tilt the dumbbells a little (pinkies moving outwards.) Slowly let the dumbbells lower back down until you feel a good stretch and repeat.
If you want to, you can alternate arms. Just make it a priority not to swing and cheat so you can get more weight. You won't truly build your forearms if you do this. You are going to do three sets of 15-20 repetitions with one minute rest in between each set.
You can also use an EZ-curl bar if you choose to. Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bent knees, abs tense and shoulders relaxed. Grab a barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing down) with your hands about 6-8 inches apart and let it hang.
From the starting position, curl up while keeping your elbows snugly against your sides. For extra intensity, pull your knuckles back as you curl up so that the top of your forearms gets a good squeeze. Hold and flex for a second at the top, then slowly return to the starting position.
REVERSE GRIP BARBELL CURLS EXERCISE GUIDE
Click Image To Enlarge. Reverse Grip Barbell Curls
You can also have a partner spot you through these by assisting your lifting when you reach failure, just make sure you are doing the majority of the work. Also for some extra intensity, have the spotter pull as you are lowering the bar and resist the spotter's pulling. You are going to do three sets of 15-20 repetitions with one minute rest in between each set.
Palms-Down Wrist Curl On A Bench
Palms-down wrist curls are awesome to finish off your forearms. Take a pair of dumbbells and kneel down to the side of a flat bench. Let your forearms lie across the bench with your hands hanging off the side. Hold the dumbbells with an overhand grip (palms facing down) towards the floor.
Make sure you are squeezing the dumbbells as hard as you can. Slowly lift your hands up like you are trying to make the back of your hand touch your wrist. Once you pull your hands up as high as possible, squeeze for a count of one. Lower the weight slowly back to the starting position. Do not let your forearms come off the bench.
PALMS-DOWN WRIST CURL ON A BENCH EXERCISE GUIDE
Click Image To Enlarge. Palms-Down Wrist Curl On A Bench
You can also do this with a barbell if you want to, but I prefer to use the dumbbells as they make each forearm work a little harder on their own in my opinion. You are going to do three sets of 15-20 repetitions with one minute rest in between each set.
Bigger Forearm Routine
To recap, here is an overview of the "Bigger Forearm Routine"
You can do this routine twice a week if you choose. I recommend waiting at least three days in between doing the workouts. Although to be honest, once a week for about six to eight weeks should do the trick in helping you develop a pair of forearms you can be proud of.