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Complete Your Arm Development with Forearm Training

There are many articles that devote a lot of focus and attention to the biceps and triceps and discuss how following their principles will help you develop big and complete arms. What they tend to forget is that half of the arm resides below the elbow. If you want your arms to look “complete” then you need to commit time and effort to your forearms. Your upper arms will look disproportionate when you have small forearms connected to them.

Some lifters may say that you only need to focus on holding your weight with a strong grip and not use straps to help develop forearms but this argument is like making sure your feet are planted firmly when training legs to focus on your calves. At the end of the day, adding specific forearm exercises to your plan will help you successfully target the forearms and completing that look you desire your arms to have.

Barbell Wrist Curls

As simple as this movement is, it will torch your forearms in a hurry. Simply sit on a bench with your forearms resting on your thighs and your hands hanging off of the knees while holding a barbell with your palms facing up. While holding the weight, roll your wrists back like you’re trying to get your knuckles to touch your wrists. Roll the weight and your hands up and curl your wrists. Squeeze the bar as tight as you can while you do this. Repeat for the desired reps.

Reverse Barbell Curls 

This movement is performed the same way as the traditional barbell curl, only your hands are in the opposite position. Hold the bar with an overhand grip. Keep your upper arms to your sides as tightly as you can and curl the weight up while keeping a straight wrist. Lower and repeat for the desired reps.

Dumbbell Static Hold

This one is pretty simple. Stand with a pair of heavy dumbbells and hold them with the strongest grip you can for as long as possible. Your goal should be to hold them for at least 60 seconds without dropping them. If you can do this, perform another set with heavier weights. Your goal should be to find a weight that you can’t hold for more than 60 seconds without your grip giving out. If you can do this with the heaviest dumbbells in your gym then perform this exercise with a barbell.

Sample Forearm Routine

Reverse Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 15-20 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Barbell Wrist Curls – 3 sets of 20 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Dumbbell Static Hold – 3 sets of holding weight for as long as possible up to 60 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds between holds


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