How To Grow Monster Forearms Muscles

Strengthening and building your forearms isn’t just about aesthetics, although we agree that few things look better than well-developed lower arms in a T-shirt. But strengthening your forearms can also help improve your gripping power on a number of full-body exercises and big movements like heavy back exercises and deadlifts.

Building your forearms, however, is a little more complicated than prescribing three exercises for three sets of 8-10 reps. Like the lower legs, the lower arms require a kitchen-sink approach to training. Unless you have a genetic predisposition for big forearms, you’re going to have to throw everything at ’em.

Forearm-specific training is the recommended way to fully fatigue the various muscles of the forearm and ensure they’re worked through the entire range of motion. After you complete whatever heavy upper-body work you’re doing for the day, you can do specific movements for the forearms.

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If it’s not clear that you should never train your forearms immediately before back or biceps, try it just once and attempt to hold on to a heavy barbell. You probably can’t grip it for very long! For this reason, you should train forearms after back or biceps.

Only when you fully flex and fully extend at the wrist joint do the smaller forearm muscles get worked actively through their entire range of motion. That means doing wrist curls to target the flexors (on the palm side), and reverse wrist curls to target the extensors (on the opposite side).

Not unlike the calves, the muscle groups in your lower arms—the brachioradialis on the top of your forearm near your elbow, and the group of smaller muscles on the top of your arm near your wrist, collectively known as the wrist extensors; and the muscles on the underside, known as the wrist flexors—have a higher degree of slow-twitch muscle fibers than most of the larger skeletal muscle groups like the quads, hamstrings, and chest.

Besides the fact that these muscles are very small, and thus have a limited potential for growth, their higher composition of slow-twitch fibers makes them particularly stubborn to grow.

Some contend that the gripping involved in various exercises like rows, deadlifts, and shrugs provides enough lower-arm stimulation, but Kreipke argues that, with those exercises, you’re holding the bar isometrically—that is, your wrist maintains a near-neutral position throughout the movement—so there’s little actual movement taking place at the wrists.

Forearm-specific training is the recommended way to fully fatigue the various muscles of the forearm and ensure they’re worked through the entire range of motion. After you complete whatever heavy upper-body work you’re doing for the day, you can do specific movements for the forearms.

If it’s not clear that you should never train your forearms immediately before back or biceps, try it just once and attempt to hold on to a heavy barbell. You probably can’t grip it for very long! For this reason, you should train forearms after back or biceps.

READ ALSO: MASSIVE ARMS WORKOUT TO WORK THE MUSCLES TO EXHAUSTION

Only when you fully flex and fully extend at the wrist joint do the smaller forearm muscles get worked actively through their entire range of motion. That means doing wrist curls to target the flexors (on the palm side), and reverse wrist curls to target the extensors (on the opposite side).

GET A GRIP

To build even stronger forearms, Kreipke adds an exaggerated motion to his wrist curls to add grip work to his flexor training. “I like to use a dumbbell and let it roll out into my fingers [on the extension phase]. This allows me to work on my grip as well as working my hand muscles”.

Another way to increase the demand on the forearm muscles and grip is to use a thicker bar, whether you’re using a barbell or dumbbells. Conventional bars and dumbbells have one-inch handles, but many lifters find that using thicker bars makes the forearms work harder, which provides a greater stimulus to grow stronger and larger.

THE GRITTY DETAILS

When it comes to training your forearms directly, Kreipke has three recommendations:

Perform higher reps: 10-20, with an average of 15 per set
Take less rest between sets: just enough time to allow the burn to subside, rather than a full minute
Train them long and hard: 60-plus reps a workout

STRAPS

If you haven’t been using straps, Kreipke stresses that your grip strength should improve alongside other strength gains you make in the gym, so you may never need to use them with enough dedicated forearm and grip work.

However, some lifters understandably opt for straps on heavy back or upper-traps days to better grasp the weight in their hands so it doesn’t slide out, which can happen for any number of reasons.

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