How to Get Bigger Forearms
Specialized forearm development is often neglected in strength training programs. Usually it’s because more attention is given to the “showpieces” such as bulging biceps, a chiseled chest and thick thighs, or because many weightlifters feel they get sufficiently worked out through the various exercises that build those massive muscle groups.
However, the forearms consist of a complex, tightly knit group of muscles and should be specifically targeted several times a week (the same as calves and abs). Giving attention to forearm training will help to balance out the symmetry of your arms and overall look as well as strengthen your grip for greater workouts on the other body parts.
Exercises That Target Specific Forearm Muscles
In order to properly develop the forearms, you should target the specific muscles which make up that body part. Since the forearms consist of brachioradialis, flexor and extensor muscles, certain exercises should be included in your weightlifting program to target these groups.
The following exercises should be performed to build the mentioned muscle groups. You can mix them up to provide forearm training variety as well as to stimulate better forearm muscle growth.
Brachioradialis – The brachioradialis is the large cord of muscles which is located on the top section of your forearm and run from the elbow to the wrist. Develop the brachioradialis with these forearm exercises:
- • Dumbbell Hammer Curls
- • Reverse Cable Curls
- • Reverse Preacher Curls
- • Reverse Cable Preacher Curls
- • Reverse Barbell Curls
Wrist Flexors - This group is the big boy of the forearm muscles which run from the wrist to the elbow. When developed, the wrist flexors are the group of muscles located on the underside of the forearm which provides an impressive bulge. Develop the wrist flexors with these forearm exercises:
- • Cable Wrist Curls
- • Barbell Wrist Curls
- • Dumbbell Wrist Curls
Wrist Extensors – This group of forearm muscles allow the wrist to extend up and back. The wrist extensors run along the outside of the forearm from the wrist to the elbow and are the most difficult to develop. Use these exercises to develop the wrist flexor muscles:
- • Dumbbell Reverse Curls
- • Cable Reverse Curls
- • Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls
More Tips for Maximizing Forearm Development
Besides specifically targeting the forearms with strength training exercises, you can also maximize their development in other ways.
Tip #1 - Provide an extra workout to both your extensors and flexors by using a wrist curler. This simple exercise tool consists of a cord connecting a small bar and a weight plate with a piece of cord which should stretch to about chest level when all tied together. Hold the bar with both hands and extended arms out in front of your chest, roll the weight up to the bar and then roll it back down to the floor.
Tip #2 - When doing other barbell and dumbbell exercises wrap a towel around the bar to supply an expanded grip. Not only will you develop greater forearms by practicing this, but your grip strength will be significantly increased as well.
Tip #3 – Only wear straps or gloves when lifting maximum or near maximum loads. When you lift bare-handed, it forces you to
develop forearm strength and a stronger grip.
Tip #4 – Every time you lift a barbell or dumbbell, concentrate on squeezing the bar as tightly as possible. By focusing on this one thing, you can develop both forearm size and grip strength during your daily weight training sessions.
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