T Nation

Building Forearm Size

I’m looking for a workout to build forearm size (pref barbell or dumbell). Thanks alot!

Try this program:
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459981

It’ll work for you. Also, try doing some grip work. I’ve noticed that can help build up some of the smaller muscles in your forearm, but they add to the overall “look”.

I don’t know any full routine for forearms, but mine grow extremely well whenever I add reverse BB curls to a routine.

Sweet :slight_smile:

Thanks for showing this article and thank you to Mr. Alessi for writing it.

I’ve been using straps for a long time now and it seems like my grip is getting weak. It has always been weak, but I just made it weaker with straps and no direct forearm work :frowning:

Superman,
I suppose it depends on how much time, for a limited ?get them growing? period, you?re willing to invest. If they are stubborn I?d suggest a specialisation period of 6-12 weeks followed by a similar period where little direct work is done. In the down period you can assess if you lose much or, like many, you keep most of your gain due to using the new muscle in your other training (i.e. enough stimulus to maintain your gains). For the initial period or two stick with the higher rep protocol, then try a reduction to 12 reps or even 8reps on the wrist curls. Leverage bar work is difficult to use low reps on but it can be done if you can micro-load.

Suggestion 1, twice per week:

Wrist curls; flexion (these, palms up, can be done on the thighs or bench while seated, or behind the back or bent over- similar position to bent over rows) whichever method keep elbows still! Do not roll the bar out to end of fingers, as this turns it into a grip exercise.

warm up set (light!) ~25 reps, rest 1 to 2 mins
(add another w/u if you need to of 15 reps)
then 3 sets of 12-15 reps with top weight, rest 1min between these. Add weight when you manage 15reps for all three sets.

Reverse wrist curls; extension (palms down, forearms resting on knees or a bench) again keep elbows still and ensure all movement occurs through the wrist joint, forearms remain in contact with thighs / bench throughout.

warm up set (light!) ~25 reps, rest 1 to 2 mins
(add another w/u if you need to of 15 reps)
then 3 sets of 12-15 reps with top weight, rest 1min between these. Add weight when you manage 15reps for all three sets.

Reverse curl; take a shoulder width false grip i.e. thumbs over the bar and away from hands (this stops ?cheating?- using the thumb to help index finger to grip the bar). Elbows again must stay still, with controlled full range movement with the wrist locked in line with the forearm.
3 sets of 15-20 reps with top weight, rest 1min between these. Add weight when you manage at least 20reps for all three sets. Last set go to near failure, just short of dropping the bar.

Suggestion 2, three or four times per week:
Alternate day 1 with day 2, to do three or four days per week,

Day 1
Wrist curls 3x15 as above.
Reverse wrist curls 3x15 as above
Reverse curl 3x20 as above

Day 2
Leverage bar work; Ironmind?s Heavy Hammer II is ideal but a DB bar with weight loaded on one end will work, just grip the unloaded end in the same place every time. Start off light and work up in small increases.

Horizontal Figure of Eights; Stand up and keeping the elbow still move the loaded end of the bar to describe a large figure of eight laid on its side (like the infinity symbol). One full figure = 1 rep. Hold forearm horizontal. I alternate sides to save time. Do 3x12-15 with 1-2 min rests.

Front raise; Lay your forearm along your thigh and making your wrist do all the work, lower the weighted end so the bar is parallel to the floor the raise the bar until it is perpendicular, this one rep. Careful with these and start with light weights. Do 3x12-15 with 1-2 min rests

Rear raise; Stand up and hold the unloaded end with the loaded end pointing rearwards and parallel to floor. From here lower the weight to point downwards as far as possible. However do not allow the fingers to open, we want to use the wrist for all the movement, it is very easy to open the fingers a little and grip the weight up, don?t do
Do 3x12-15 with 1-2 min rests

You should check out the book “Mastery of Hand Stregnth” by John Brookfield. It is a great book and a fun read. He’s got lots of ways to stregnthen your grip/forearm stregnth.