T Nation

Forearms

Any suggestions on a good “routine” to add size and (especially) strength to the forearms?

Wrist curls, reverse wrist curls. These next few exercises I will describe as I’m not sure what to call them because I’ve never seen them in a book or magazine just something I thought up when I was in school(is possible they are in a book somewhere but I’ve never seen them before). Get yourself one of those mini sledge hammers, they are like a fourth the size of a regular sledge hammer and have a normal hammer handle(sorry unsure of the exact name)basicaly just like a regular hammer but with a much larger head. Preferably do these in a chair with arm rests, hands past the arm rest so they can be rotated. Now hold the hammer straight up in your hand as if your going to pound a nail, next let it extend forward and down almost like driving a nail except that your only moving from the wrist, then bring it back up to the starting position. For the next variation start in the same position(all of these start from the same position)rotate the wrist out(if in right hand to the right, if in the left hand to the left) to a range that is comfortable, then rotate it back up to the starting position. The final variation is exactly the same except that you will rotate in the oposite direction(inwards). These exercises worked excellent for me, I got very good hand strength from them, and excellent developement in my forearms. You might want to try pushups on your finger tips also. The hammer exercises I eventually modified to using an old iron dumbell bar except that I had,I put the two collars on one end, plates in between. If you really want to get extreme you could get a longer bar, and then move to a thicker bar. The grippers never seemed to give much in developement, holding heavy partial deadlifts in the rack did ok for strength but also never produced much developement for me. Hope this info is of use to you, enjoy.

If you want huge forearms, eat spinach. Preferably suck it through a corncob pipe.

Try searching through the t-mag archives. Poliquin wrote a great forearm specialization workout you might be interested in.

Heavy static holds and farmer’s walks are my personal favorites.
For the static holds, load up a barbell with enough weight so that you can only hold it for a set amount of time (shoot for 20-45 seconds for set - I usually go in the 30-45 range) Just grab the bar out of the rack, hold it in a deadlift lockout position until it feels like your hands are going to rip from your wrists from the burn, and set 'er back down. Wait a few minutes, do it again! Usually 3-4 sets and I can’t even hold a toothbrush afterward. Farmer’s walks I’m sure you know about. Set it so that you’ll be covering a distance of about 100 feet. For me, if I don’t make it the full length, I set the DB’s down, wait only a few seconds, and pick them up and continue until I’m done. I’d suggest 2-3 sets of each of the exercises I mentioned, doing the static holds first, and you’ll obviously develop some great holding strength in your forearms. My theory is that straps are for chumps - if you can’t hold the weight, you shouldn’t be picking it up in the first place! Grip strength was the key to knocking my deadlift up from 225 lbs. when I first began doing them to 400 lbs. only 4 months later, so I suggest that you give these things a try!

Later,
Flax

For Hockey training I used to attach one end of a rope to a bucket full of sand or pucks and the other end tied to a hockey stick or metal pipe. I would hang the bucket off my 6th floor apartment balcony and roll away using a overhand and a underhand grip. My forearms got very thick.

do sets heavy wristcurls reverse wristcurls hammercurls are good to use dumbells or ez curling bar straightbar 7 sets of 12 heavy but do this after biceps not before …

I like hanging from a pullup bar until it burns, (then longer!), as I read somewhere in the archives. I get a super pump every time.

Also, I built a forearm trainer to use at home while in front of the tube. I used a 36" long piece of wooden closet rod and screwed and eye hook into one end. I tied on a half-gallon milk jug and filled it halfway with water. I hold it like a hammer from the other end, rest my elbow on my leg (while sitting) and raise and lower it by flexing my wrist. Verrrry challenging. Adjust the amount of water to change resistance to suit you. When I get to a full gallon jug, I should surely see some results. Good Luck, Mark