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Forearms Working Too Much

On about every exercise I do, my forearms work. Pullups, DB press, pulldowns, deadlift (obviously), almost everything.

At first, it was ok, my forearms have gotten bigger and very vascular, and are now one of my strong points. But it has become a problem now, probably because my poundage keeps increasing.

The most troubling is with DB press. I know the forearms are used as stabilizers for this lift, but for me it feels almost like they are doing all the lift. My forearms get really tense and pumped, veins everywhere, but eventually, this is what stops me. They are exhausted and they give up, so my chest and tris could do more work, but I simply cannot…

I started working them directly, I incorporated reverse curls in my training. It’s all good and fun, but I feel it has not helped me a lot.

What can I do to stop that?

I thought about some very heavy dumbell holds, like just lift them from the rack and hold them for as long as I can, to improve forearms endurance. Do you think it will help? Any other ideas?

Thats a great problem to have.

Use wrist wraps when you bench, wrap them up high.

How about trying Vince Gironda’s grip. It was supposed to reduce forearms usage. Instead of wrapping your thumb around the grip like normal, you have it out to the side, by your index finger.

Do Cable work or Hammer Strength if it’s that big of a problem.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
How about trying Vince Gironda’s grip. It was supposed to reduce forearms usage. Instead of wrapping your thumb around the grip like normal, you have it out to the side, by your index finger.[/quote]

Thanks, I’ll try that

Seconding: Wrist wraps and “false grip” advice

Basically, don’t hold the bar or dumbbell so tight, and emphasis will shift away from the forearms.

I’ll veto the wraping for pressing and the false grip, its more dangerous than its worth. What if something happens and you have to bail? all of a sudden you have a 100 pound DB straped to your body… not cool. As for the false grip, you risk droping said 100 pound DB on your face much more than if you wrap your thumb. Both options just arn’t worth the risk.

my advice, just dont squeeze the bar so tight, if you’re really worried about your forearms and all…

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
I’ll veto the wraping for pressing and the false grip, its more dangerous than its worth. What if something happens and you have to bail? all of a sudden you have a 100 pound DB straped to your body… not cool. As for the false grip, you risk droping said 100 pound DB on your face much more than if you wrap your thumb. Both options just arn’t worth the risk.

my advice, just dont squeeze the bar so tight, if you’re really worried about your forearms and all…[/quote]

I’m not worried, it’s just that I’d like to work my chest and tris on DB presses!

Anyway thanks, I’ll try not squeezing the bar so much, that migyt be the problem

It’s a human relfex to grip something harder the more weight it has even if you don’t necessarily need to. For deadlifts and such you DO need to grip the bar like a mofo so it doesn’t slip out. However, on most pressing movements you don’t need to grip tightly.

The body will do what it wants though and if you’re DB pressing 100 in each hand instead of 80 or something you’ll grip harder. Just because the forearms are stabilizers doesn’t mean they won’t be worked a lot if left to their own devices. You have to focus a little bit on going against instinct and loosen your grip a bit.

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
It’s a human relfex to grip something harder the more weight it has even if you don’t necessarily need to. For deadlifts and such you DO need to grip the bar like a mofo so it doesn’t slip out. However, on most pressing movements you don’t need to grip tightly.

The body will do what it wants though and if you’re DB pressing 100 in each hand instead of 80 or something you’ll grip harder. Just because the forearms are stabilizers doesn’t mean they won’t be worked a lot if left to their own devices. You have to focus a little bit on going against instinct and loosen your grip a bit.[/quote]

I disagree with this. Generally, the harder you grip the bar or the dumbbells, the stronger your press will be.

Try to bench heavy with a wet-fish grip on the bar and see what happens.

To the OP, however, I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve never heard of forearms being the limiting factor of pressing movements.

I think it’s a good thing that you’re in the habit of squeezing the fire out of the bar when pressing.

Maybe give it a little time and see if your forearms can catch up.

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
I’ll veto the wraping for pressing and the false grip, its more dangerous than its worth. What if something happens and you have to bail? all of a sudden you have a 100 pound DB straped to your body… not cool. As for the false grip, you risk droping said 100 pound DB on your face much more than if you wrap your thumb. Both options just arn’t worth the risk.

my advice, just dont squeeze the bar so tight, if you’re really worried about your forearms and all…[/quote]

I thought he said wraps… not straps… if he just used a set of wrist wraps and casted his wrist up tight it seems like it would help his problem.

I agree that you have gotten pretty much all good advice here. You use wrist straps which will definately help. My only issue is that they will probably mask the problem you have.

If you are a powerlifter, then so be it, your goal is to lift a heavy weight regardless of what muscle does it. If you deadlift 600 with Jacked Forearms, then so be it.

However, if your goal is bodybuilding/physique enhancement, then I think you have to start training more according to that goal. That means periodically, if not always, lightening up the weights and focusing on using the targeted muscles. You will obviously find this easier with isolation movements (which you should be using to work out your weak points anyway and to provide symmetry and balance).

With the compound movements you are going to have to just suck up some lighter weights. For example, with an exercise like lat pulls, focus on pulling with your elbows and not your hands.

I hope this helps.

Mike

[quote]SamuraiWannaBe wrote:
I’ll veto the wraping for pressing and the false grip, its more dangerous than its worth. What if something happens and you have to bail? all of a sudden you have a 100 pound DB straped to your body… not cool. As for the false grip, you risk droping said 100 pound DB on your face much more than if you wrap your thumb. Both options just arn’t worth the risk.

my advice, just dont squeeze the bar so tight, if you’re really worried about your forearms and all…[/quote]

wraps. not straps.

I would wrap on presses some then. False grip sucks though. Also try some reverse and neutral grip stuff.

Thank you all for your advices, it is very appreciated.

Just for the record, I’m lifting for bodybuilding purposes. I’ll try some lighter weights with more focus on hitting the right body part.

As for grip change, won’t a neutral grip make the press target the triceps a lot more than chest? I’d like to put my focus on chest with presses.

Try pressing with your fingers opened up so the bar or DB is just in the palm of your hand. That should teach you to relax the hand as you press, not great for strength but it can help relax the forearm and perhaps make you focus on the chest more.

Opps! I miss read! Wraps are cool, and that might help for sure! But believe it or not i have seen guys Strap up to do presses… with not so good results when the mess up…