T Nation

Forearm Training


How do I get my forearms to grow? (Pretty broad question, I know) Even with heavy lifting that truly challenges my grip, I never seem to have much in the way of improvement with my forearms. Would adding direct forearm work at the end of training sessions help me? If so, what exercises and rep ranges.


About 18 months ago I got into heavy deadlifting… My forearms have grown a ton from pulling heavy weight… Heavy is a relative term… When I started concentrating on heavy pulls my PR was only around 285 at 160 pound BW… My PR now is 435 and I’m 190 pounds… I get lots of questions about how my forearms grew… I do zero forearm specific work…


Gaining overall size helps other than that thick bar training helps and also direct work like sledgehammer levering or simply hitting a tyre .


If you decide to use direct training for your forearms, you’ll want to pre-exhaust your biceps first so they don’t help. Like doing bicep curls with a straight bar for your biceps and then after those sets turn your hands over and do the same motion again for your forearms. It doesn’t have to be a straight bar but something about my structure is more comfortable doing forearm curls with one.


Currently getting a lot out of Hammer curls and reverse curls with fat grips orange and hammer curls with kettlebells. Start off very light


Reverse curls for multiple sets of 10-20…burn em up and embrace the pain!


3x12-15 and progressively increase weight/volume?


Yeah start off with something like that and build up volume to 5x20. 20 -30 secs rest to maximise pump.
Weight progression I would be conservative with as your hands and wrist/joints can get beat up and also not necessary as even low weight will light up your forearms once you get in the swing of things


I know its kind of stupid, but when I was growing up I had a piece of board I would screw screws, tighten bolts and hammer nails into all the time. My dad has been a mechanic for 30 years and his forearms are around 16.5 inches at their bases and his wrists are massive as well. He told me to that when I was younger, and it worked really well tbh. He also brought home a high grade vice grip from work and closed it turned all the way and told me when I could close it and open it like that, I’d have big arms. My forearms have grown a good bit from training like that.


RB, thanks for the info! Forgot to ask about frequency though. 2x a week sufficient?

old, that’s not stupid at all! Any mechanic or carpenter I know has big forearms, come to think of it. Have you ever tried the rice bucket thing? Was wondering how it stacks up compared to what you did.


I like the rice bucket for maintenance and recovery work. I know people who live it for strength and size, but every time I tried for those my hands would be so beat up for the next few days because I would push so hard. It does work though, just gotta try and see. I’m currently using sand for rehabbing the torn tendon I had in my left wrist and that is working really well


beat up as in sore ligaments/tendons?



Once a week even is fine actually, (presuming you push it on back days/bench etc) No more than twice or can have neagtive carryover to other upper body stuff


Maybe at first, but when I was working toward closing a 2.5 CoC, I trained grippers 3-4 times a week and closed it in a few weeks doing that.


You just have to remember you can’t start that way. You have to build up work capacity first. And that goes for anything in lifting really