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How to increase your forearm strength

Posted by: John

The forearms are one of those sadly neglected muscle groups that a lot of gym goer's forget about in favour of training their abs and biceps. This is a strange phenomenon however considering that your forearms are the only muscle group that are on display 70% of the time. If you want to show someone your biceps you have to roll up your sleeve and tense, if you want to show someone your abs you need to go topless... but to show off your forearms you only need to be wearing short sleeves. People will know you're made of tough stuff. Furthermore, training your forearms will effect the rest of your training in fantastic ways, improving the strength of your grip which can be a weak link in any exercise. The strength of your grip will also help you with all those little impressive feats of strength on a daily basis - opening a jam jar or having a powerful firm handshake.

Despite all this, most people don't even know what the muscles in the forearm are called . That's also because there's loads of them though and because they don't have catchy names like "lats". Generally the forearm muscles can come under "forearm flexors" or "wrist flexors" (of which there are six) or the "main" muscle the "brachioradialis" (though there are more surrounding these). Few people also train their forearms specifically, partly because it doesn't occur to them because they don't know what the muscles are called, and partly because the forearms get trained in every workout anyway. So do your abs but that doesn't mean you don't do anything extra for those!

There are several ways you can train your forearms specifically. One is with wrist curls, which work in much the same way as bicep curls except you pivot at the wrists. Get a light weight and rest your arm on a flat surface such as a weights bench holding the weight in your hand. Now let the weight drop as you bend your wrist back, then curl it back up to the starting point in a controlled fashion. You can do this with either an overhand or underhand grip to train the posterior or anterior sides more. Alternatively this can be performed by holding two dumbbells by your sides and curling your wrists upwards and inwards. This has the added benefit of offering resistance during 180 degrees of the movement.

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