For most people, the forearms are the skinniest part of their body, and contain very little in the way of shapely muscle mass. If you happen to be a long limbed and naturally thin individual, this tends to be even more noticeable.
Building big forearms is easy. In fact, anyone who regularly uses their hands to grip and lift anything of weight will develop their forearms to some extent. I remember when I began training, I never directly hit my forearms, but people began commenting on the fact they were now ‘big’. This happens because, as I said, gripping works the forearms – because grip strength comes from the forearms.
Another function of the forearm – and the one we’re going to exploit to really build them up – is to tilt the wrist backwards and forwards. It is this simple movement we are going to use to work them.
Known as wrist curls, or forearm curls (and, as you might have already guessed – reverse wrist/forearm curls) they can be performed two handed with a barbell, or singularly with dumbbells. The movement is exactly the same. I’ll talk you through the dumbbell movement…
Holding a dumbbell in one hand, palm up, forearm across the thigh (parallel to the floor) or bench, have the dumbbell and wrist hang over the edge, so you have the ability to lower unobstructed. Now, from the lowest position your wrist can go, curl up the dumbbell to the highest – ensuring the forearm does not leave the thigh. Then, slowly lower.
The reverse movement is performed in precisely the same way, only this time, an overhand grip is used.
I recommend always working the reverse curl first. The reason is, the under-forearm is the one responsible for gripping. By fatiguing this muscle first, it makes it very difficult to grip properly for the reverse curl.
I recommend doing between 3 – 5 sets of 10 – 15 reps.
It won’t take long at all for your forearms to gain a great deal of strength and a good amount of size.