Forearm Training

Introduction

When it comes to building a balanced, harmonic physique there are many commonly lacking, stubborn body parts. That is, of course, if we consider that most people do not have exceptional genetics.

Among the most common body parts to lack in development are the forearms, calves, traps and side deltoids.

Today we will give you a workout that will specifically target the forearms- First, with the most famous free-weight bicep exercise, that puts tension on the forearms and second, with forearm isolated exercises under different angles, with different grips.

The goal will be to target the biceps first and then transition into a forearm-priority workout, that will target all sectors of the forearms and the brachialis, which is located between the biceps and the triceps.

Workout Priorities

The workout prioritizes forearm strengthening and growth, which will ultimately give you a look of well-rounded arm development.

Having stronger, bigger forearms will also improve your grip strength and therefore, your ability to execute prolonged, intense pulling exercises like deadlifts and weighted pull-ups will increase too.

The main priority of this workout is a controlled forearm contraction, through the full range of motion of each exercise.

Exercises

Exercise Sets Repetitions
Barbell biceps curl 5 15,12,10,10,10–
First 2 are warm up sets
Barbell reverse grip curl 2 10
Barbell reverse preacher curl 2 8
Barbell wrist curl behind
the back
2 6
Dumbbell hammer curls 1 12

Exercise Map

Barbell Biceps Curl

Barbell biceps curl

Execution

  • Load the barbell appropriately, considering the fact that the first 2 sets are warm-up sets
  • Grab the barbell with an underhand grip at about shoulder width or slightly wider to target the outer bicep head
  • Stand with your feet at about shoulder width stably and keep your back straight
  • Looking forward, curl the barbell up, contracting the biceps up top, with only the forearms moving- Upper arm remains static
  • Hold the contraction briefly and go down slowly, maintaining tension on the biceps and forearms
  • Repeat

Barbell Reverse Grip Curl

Barbell reverse grip curl

Execution

  • Load up the barbell and grab it with a reverse (overhand) grip at about shoulder width
  • Stand with your feet stably, keeping them at shoulder width, while also keeping your back straight
  • Look forward and curl the barbell up, contracting the forearms and upper arm
  • Hold the contraction for a split second and go down again
  • Repeat

Barbell Reverse Preacher Curl

Barbell reverse preacher curl

Execution

  • Load up the barbell with an appropriate weight and grab it with a reverse, overhand grip
  • Sit down on the preacher and place your arms so that the upper arm is tightly stuck to the edge of the pad
  • Sitting stably and keeping your back straight, curl the barbell up, contracting the forearms and upper arm
  • Let the bar go down slowly and fully
  • Repeat

Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

barbell wrist curl behind the back

Execution

  • Load up the bar with a decent weight that will allow you to complete the given number of repetitions and stand with your back against the bar
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip at shoulder width and un-rack it
  • Standing with your feet stably and keeping your back straight, look forward and curl the bar with your wrists, contracting the forearms fully
  • After holding the contraction for a split second, let your wrists return to the original position slowly
  • Repeat

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Dumbbell hammer curls

Execution

  • Pick a decently heavy pair of dumbbells and grab them
  • Stand up straight, stably and keep the dumbbells by your sides
  • Look forward and hammer one of the dumbbells up, without rotating the wrist
  • Hold the contraction briefly and let the dumbbell down
  • Repeat on the opposite arm

Workout Tips

Workout Integration

Due to the fact the forearms are a muscle group that gets worked on during most exercises, it is most adequate to include this forearm workout in your biceps, arm or pulling day, not more than once or twice a week.

Going heavy, without reaching failure is your best bet when it comes to doing the forearm exercises.

Back Days

Other than direct forearm training, it is a good idea to focus on increasing your strength on most pulling exercises, as they greatly engage the forearms.

Doing heavy deadlifts, dumbbell and barbell rows, as well as weighted pull-ups, will greatly increase your forearm strength, mass and grip.

Iso-Tension

Just like with any other muscle group, flexing your forearms will greatly improve them in detail and help you achieve that tight feeling of the musculature, accompanied by visible vascularity.

Flex your forearms in-between sets when they are most pumped and after workout, holding each contraction for up to 5 seconds. Focus on slightly longer and more intense contractions for your weaker arm, as that will put a priority and help you even them out.

Conclusion

This forearm workout can help you improve one of the most commonly lacking muscle groups, if integrated well within the rest of your training split.

It is recommended that you focus more on compound movements, that engage the forearm musculature, such as deadlifts, rows and weighted pull-ups. Focusing on those exercises will allow you to put more tension on the forearms, compared to isolated forearm exercises- You can only wrist curl that much! But you can deadlift hundreds of pounds, which will be a different, more intense tension for the forearms.

Most importantly, it is a key to ensure a balance when it comes to training your forearms- Some compound pulling movements, some isolated movements and some iso-tension (Flexing).

All of that, topped off with appropriate nutrition, adequate rest periods between workouts and a proper amount of rest, will certainly allow you to target and blast your weak points, getting them up to par with the rest of your physique.

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