How to Get Big Forearms
Forearms, along with abs, neck and lower back, are one of the most neglected body parts
by the average gym-goer. Even worse, professional bodybuilders, who are supposed
to present the total package of musculature, often don't work forearms. Why is
it that nobody seems to care about this extremely important body part? Hopefully
I will be able to convince you that forearms are just as important to exercise
as chest or legs.
Two bones make up the forearm area: the ulna and radius. When the arm is at
its side and the hand is supinated (palm facing forward), the ulna is the bone
running along the inside of the arm (the medial bone) and the radius is running
along the outside (the lateral bone). The proximal (close to the body) joint of
the ulna is at the upper arm bone (humerus) at the medial epicondyle (the bony
prominence at the end of the humerus on the inside of the arm), and the radius
connects at the corresponding lateral epicondyle (the outside prominence) of the
humerus. At the distal (far from the body) joint of the forearm, the ulna and
radius connect through a series of ligaments to the eight carpal bones of the
hand (Lunate, Triquertrum, Pisiform, Hamate, Scaphoid, Capitate, Trapezoid,
The musculature of the forearm consists of an amazing amount of muscles. The
main pronators (turning palm from facing forward to facing backward) of the
forearm are the Pronator Quadratus and the Pronator Teres. The major supinating
muscles (turnng palm from backwards to forwards) are the supinator and the
biceps brachii muscles. The forearm also contains abductor and adductor muscles
(laterally moving the hand outwards and inwards), flexor and extensor muscles
(flexing the hand inwards and extending it outwards), and flexors and extensors
of the fingers and thumbs.
Forearm Training and Exercises
Take the barbell and hold it down
at your thighs, gripping it a shoulder’s length
or perhaps an inch or two narrower. Make sure that
you have a reverse grip, which means that your palms
are facing away from you, not toward 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.
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.
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