Forearms are much like calves and abs, too: They’re a muscle group that should get routine work almost every day of the week. That means you don’t need to take a “rest” day from training forearms. Don’t be afraid to inject them into 5 to 6 days a week of training; your grip strength will benefit and it can be trained with that kind of frequency.
One easy way to think about this then: “Choose one forearm exercise from the list below, and do 3 sets of it once a day at the end of your workout. It’s a guaranteed arm pump at the end of every single day. (And there’s never anything wrong with that)”.
You don’t need to work through marathon forearm training workouts, of course. Instead, inject light forearm training into every session. It’s easy to do 1 or 2 forearm exercises at the end of a standard workout. Just do 2 to 3 sets of each move.
Forearms are the under-loved siblings of the bis and tris. The majority of people think that training biceps will automatically build their forearms. The said overlooking is why most people limit their forearm training to a couple of sets at the end of their arm workouts.
If you feel that your forearms are lagging as compared to your upper arms, it’s time you stop treating them as accessory muscles. A pair of beefed-up forearms can add to the symmetry of your arms and make them look bigger.
- Reverse Grip Barbell Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls- 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Preacher Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Towel Cable Rows – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Behind the Back Barbell Crush – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
Since the forearms are a small muscle group, you don’t need to dedicate entire workouts to training them. If you have weaker lower arms as compared to your bis and tris, you should begin your arm training with them.
“We would recommend that you train bis and forearms or tris and forearms on a single day. Targetting the three muscles together on the same day isn’t going to be as effective as focusing on two”.
If you don’t already carry a hand towel to the gym, you should get used to bringing not one but two wipers. Using the hand towels recruits all the muscle fibers in your forearms as it makes holding onto the weight harder.
- Wrist Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Close Grip Bench Press – 5 Sets 10-8-6-5-4 Reps
- Cable Kickbacks – 5 Sets 10-8-6-5-4 Reps
- Barbell Skullcrushers – 5 Sets 10-8-6-5-4 Reps
- Farmer’s Walk – 5 Sets 1-Minute Walk
The second week’s workout will be a triceps and forearms session. In the first and third weeks, you can club the tricep workout with your chest session. Train your biceps with your back in the second and fourth weeks.
You’ll be performing a lower number of reps in your tricep exercises as compared to the bicep exercises. Triceps are mostly formed of fast-twitch muscle fibers and respond better to lower reps and heavier weights.
In all the exercises you perform, “make sure you’re focusing on your forearms and maintaining a mind-muscle connection. While doing the farmer’s walk, hold onto a heavy pair of dumbbells so that you have to struggle past the 30-second mark”.
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- Towel Kettlebell Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Reverse Grip 21s – 5 Sets
- Zottman Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Behind the Back Cable Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Wrist Rollers – 5 Sets 10 Rolls Up 10 Down
If you don’t have access to kettlebells in your gym, you can use the good-old dumbbells instead. You might have performed the 21’s but the reverse grip 21’s are a whole new game.
Zottman curls are one of the most underutilized arm training exercises. The Zottman curls are arguably the most brutal exercise on the list and you’ll have to keep your ego in check while performing it.
- Cable Pressdowns – 5 Sets 10-8-6-5-4 Reps
- Reverse Wrist Curls – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Single Arm Overhead Tricep Extensions – 5 Sets 10-10-8-8-8 Reps
- Grip Crush – 5 Sets 20-20-15-15-12 Reps
- Dead Hangs – 5 Sets 1-Minute Each
Most people make the mistake of lifting too heavy when it comes to forearm training. “Going overboard with the weights while training your lower arms can result in an injury as the wrists are relatively smaller joints and aren’t meant to take the constant tension produced by exercises like the wrist curls”.
In forearm training, your aim should be to go after the pump rather than trying to kill the muscles with heavier weights. You can push the envelope with the intensity in lower arm training with exercises like the grip crushes as there isn’t any wrist curling involved.
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