It has always been known that growing large forearms is one of the most difficult muscles to build. Forearms are involved in almost every upper body exercise, and if you ever hope to build a decent upper body you need strong forearms. As with any body part your muscle size and shape depend highly on your genes. If you happen to have long forearms, you essentially have lots of room to build muscle, which is considered as great genetic potential. On the other hand if you have short muscles in your forearms you are more limited to how large they can grow.
Understand that the forearms are very similar to the calves, they are essentially composed of red muscle fibers and ligaments. For these muscles to grow they require three things:
- Heavy weights and high repetitions.
- Training to failure.
- Good form.
A properly executed forearm workout can take up to 1 months to fully recover. This is a fact not some estimate. For those who train forearms twice a week(without drugs), and you wonder why you have not progressed in your forearm development for ages? And a great forearm workout does not need to take longer than 10 minutes, 30 minutes is just too much and it usually means you are not training then hard enough.
You need heavy weights and high repetitions to make your forearms grow
If you are currently using 27kg for your wrist curl exercise (don’t expect much change), you will need close to 68kg-113kg to make those pipes grow like weeds. Of course, most people can’t use this kind of weight right off the bat, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t put as MUCH WEIGHT AS POSSIBLE on the bar and get as many reps in good form as you can.
Train to absolute positive failure
Many hard gainers have trouble going to positive failure let alone absolute positive failure. Carrying 45kg is scary and painful enough, let alone taking 113kg to the point where completing another repetition is impossible. There are two obstructions here fear and mental inhibition. Fear limits you and your progress-that is why a partner and a power rack is essential for your success since it eliminates the fear that keeps you from generating the effort needed to attain massive forearms.
Use Good form
FAILURE to use good form is another reason people fail to get the results they deserve, they bounce, they jerk and use all sorts of methods to cheat and end a set early-to pretend that they are strong and have reached positive failure. Good form ensures that all the stress is sent to the targeted muscles.
Barbell Wrist Curls
This exercise is more effective from a seated position. Sitting on a bench, take the barbell into your hands with your palms facing upward. Make sure that your hands are together during this exercise, maybe a half inch between them. Also, your elbows should be locked to the insides of your knees. With the weight on your fingertips, your hands should be pointing toward the floor as your wrist forms an angle of almost 90 degrees. Then, roll your hands upward, as the bar gradually rolls into your palms, until your wrists are straight and no longer bent downward. Squeeze the forearms throughout the entire range of motion. Slowly allow the weight to bring your hands back down to the starting position. Repeat the motion, doing 8-10 repetitions for a set of three.
Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls
This exercise is practically identical to the barbell wrist curls (above) with one exception. The palms are facing downward instead of upward. Sit on the bench and lock you elbows inside your knees. The weight should be down at your fingertips and your wrists bent toward the floor. Slowly roll the weight into your palms, lifting the weight upward, squeezing the forearm muscles the entire time. Bring your wrists up as far as they’ll go, and then slowly bring the weight down to the starting position. These should really burn! Try three sets of 8-10 reps.
Take the barbell and hold it down at your thighs, gripping it a shoulder’s length or an inch narrower. Make sure that you have a reverse grip, which means that your palms are facing toward you, and not away from you. Keeping your elbows locked into your sides, slowly lift the bar toward your torso. You should stop when your forearms are completely contracted, which means that your hands should be across from your shoulders. Slowly let the weight bring your arms back to the starting position – down at your legs – while you squeeze your forearm muscles during the negative motion. Try 8-10 reps for three sets.
Reverse Preacher Curls
Place your arms over a preacher bench. Take a barbell and hold it with a reverse grip, place your hands shoulder width apart. Allow the bar to hang so that your arms are fully extended. Curl the barbell upward, starting the exercise by first curling your wrist upward, then bringing the barbell up as far as possible toward your chin. Your position on the bench should be such that, at the top of the movement, your forearms have not come up completely to a perpendicular angle. At the top of the exercise, lower the weight slowly back down to the beginning of the movement.
Incline Hammer Curls
Sitting on a 45 degree incline bench, allow your hands to hang down, a dumbbell in each, with your palms facing inwards. Maintain this forearm position throughout the flexion/extension. Keep the elbow still and behind the body and curl the weight all the way up, then slowly lower it to the starting position.
Reverse Cable Wrist curls
Attach a medium bar to a low cable and hold it with an overhand grip, hands close to each other. Sit on a bench with your forearms resting on the bench or knees. However, your wrists and hands should hang over the end, and your elbows and wrists should be the same distance apart. Bend your wrists and lower the weight toward the floor. When you can’t lower the bar any further, extend the weight back upward flexing hard at the top.