It seems everybody is concerned with shoulder muscles, biceps and triceps but nobody really makes much effort when it comes to the forearms. Ok, so they’re not exactly show-stoppers… but, they are an important muscle group, and, unless you want to look a total imbecile as your large upper arms taper off into threads of cotton at the bottom, I strongly suggest that you get with the program, and start to hit your forearms as hard as you do your biceps. Agreed?
Training the forearms is a relatively simple affair. There are two basic movements you can do to train them, wrist curls, and reverse wrist curls. Wrist curls are what work the underside of the forearm, seen when your arms are in the supine position. Reverse wrist curls are what work the outside of the forearm, when your hands are in the prone position.
I like to do wrist curls using dumbbells rather than a barbell, so, I work one wrist at a time. It’s done like this: Load up a dumbbell, and, sitting with your forearm either wresting on a flat bench with your wrist hanging over the edge, or your forearm on your thighs with your wrist hanging over your knee, palm facing up with the dumbbell in your hand, forearm stationary, use your wrist to curl the weight up as far as you can – keeping your forearm flat and still.
Then, slowly lower the weight, and repeat until the reps and sets are done. I’d recommend around 10 – 12 repetitions, and 3 sets, and, would train the forearms no more than twice a week – as they tend to get an indirect work out from other exercises as we’ll soon see.
Reverse wrist curls work in the exact same way, except this time you are holding the dumbbell with an overhand grip. Same amount of sets and reps here, too. Although you will undoubtedly find that you are much weaker in this position, so, may need to use less weight to get the reps and sets done.
Hammer curls also build forearm muscle. When a person lifts something in front of them, or to the side of them, the natural way to do so is by having the palm in the supine position: facing up. With hammer curls, the palm is facing inward, which puts the forearm muscles at a mechanical disadvantage.
If you’ve tried regular dumbbell bicep curls before, and then suddenly try hammer curls, you’ll notice just how much more they effect the forearm muscles, and give them a good workout by proxy.
Reverse curls work in much the same way – by putting your grip and forearm at a mechanical disadvantage, it forces the muscle to work in a way in which it was not designed to work optimally in. The result? Muscle growth, baby.
Now… go work those forearms before they look like twiglets!