Forearms are one of the most underrated muscle groups, and most people overlook training them. If you’re someone who prefers wearing t-shirts, your forearms are more exposed than your biceps.
Muscle symmetry can add to your body aesthetics and can make your arms look bigger than they are. Training your forearms as accessory muscles isn’t enough to add muscle mass. You need to treat them as you would treat any other muscle group.
Do These 5 Exercises For Big Forearms
1. Barbell Wrist Curls – 4 Sets 30 Reps
Barbell wrist curls are one of the most common forearm exercises and yet most people perform them incorrectly. Don’t let your ego get the better of you while doing this exercise and use weights you can maintain a full range of motion with. The barbell wrist curls work the brachioradialis and flexors.
The best way of performing the barbell or dumbbell wrist curls is to kneel down at the side of a flat bench with your forearms placed on the bench. Grab a barbell with an underhand grip and curl it as high as you can and while lowering the barbell, let the barbell roll down to the tip of your fingers. Doing so will help in recruiting all the muscle fibers in your forearms and hands.
2. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 15 Reps
Barbell reverse curls is another common forearm exercise but is a little harder as compared to the normal wrist curls. Use a wrist curl machine if you have access to it at your gym, or use a flat bench. You will be lifting lighter weights in this exercise as compared to the normal wrist curls. Grab the bar with an overhand monkey (thumbs over the barbell) grip. A monkey grip helps in better targeting your forearms better. The reverse wrist curls work the extensor muscles.
3. Behind the Back Cable Wrist Curls – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Behind the back cable wrist curl is a great exercise to isolate your forearms. Using the cables will help you maintain a constant tension on your forearms and will fill your muscles with lactic acid. Stand with your back towards the cable pulley machine and grab a straight bar. Curl the bar and hold the movement at the contraction for a couple of seconds. This exercise focuses on your brachioradialis and flexors.
4. Reverse Grip Barbell Curls – 3 Sets 12 Reps
Reverse grip barbell curls are a compound exercise and will help you in developing muscle mass and strength in your forearms. Holding the barbell with an overhand monkey grip will make your forearms work harder to hold onto the bar. Keep your elbows pinched to your sides and curl the barbell. Keep the reps slow and controlled and squeeze your forearms and biceps at the top of the movement. The reverse grip barbell curls work the extensors.
5. Farmer’s Walk – 2 Sets of 1 Minute Walk
Farmer’s walk helps in building forearm size and grip strength which can carry over to other exercises. The farmer’s walk is also one of the easiest exercises to perform. Grab a pair of dumbbells and walk around until you can’t hold onto the dumbbells anymore. Another variation of this exercise is the pinch carries. In pinch carriers, you need to pinch together two plates so they don’t slip. Pinch carries activate your forearms by forcing you to squeeze your fingers so the plates don’t separate.
Tip: Use a Thick Bar
Another way to increase the muscle fiber recruitment of the forearm muscles and grip is to use a thicker bar. Conventional barbells and dumbbells have one-inch handles, but you can use thicker bars to make the forearms work harder. Thicker bars also provide a greater stimulus for your forearms to grow stronger and larger.
6. Dumbbell Wrist Twist
Grab a pair of medium to lightweight dumbbells. Curl dumbbells up until your elbows are bent 90-degree. Palms facing up. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides and chest out. Forearms should be parallel to the ground. Begin exercise by rotating your wrists inward so that your palms end up facing down. Rotate back to palms up. Back and forth until you can’t handle the burning felling. Yes they will burn!
Repeat as necessary.