T Nation

forearms

Does anyone have any good routines for forearm growth? My forearms really lag behind my upper arms and i don’t use straps either.

Do everything with thick handles & ropes or towels if you can. With the towels, either wrap the handle with it so it’s thicker, or just drape the towel (or rope) over the handle so you can grasp just the towel (or rope). I think wrist curls & reverse wrist curls are really good for forearms too. Plate curls work your wrists better than anything else, they’re like squats for your wrists. Reverse curls, both with dumbells & barbells & hammer curls are good. grippage.cyberpump.com has more stuff if you want. The most impoartant thing to remember is to take grip/forearm training just as seriously as chest or back, legs, bis, etc.

Rope climbing & one hand deadlifts without a hook grip (especially with a thumbless grip), are really good too. See if you can beat 2.8 seconds for a 20ft rope & 463lbs for the one arm thumbless grip deadlift.

Check out the forum routine in testosterone number 51. Best of luck,

-JM

Check out
“Can’t Add Size to Your Biceps?
Try Working the Forearms!”
By Charles Poliquin - Testosterone® | No. 51 | May 7, 1999

DB, these are all good suggestions but for me the absolute best way of increasing arm size is walking around with a wheel barrow full of weights.

DB, you might want to check out my Old School Grip Training article. There is no better set of exercises and methods that I have ever come across for building size and strength.
I don’t give you a cookie cutter program but I give you all the tools to build your own program. Just follow the parameters and let me know how it works for you.

Drax, what is a plate curl?

Here are a couple pics of plate curls www.cyberpump.com/gallery/album01/aba www.cyberpump.com/gallery/album03/aag Have the plate facing letters-up, hook your thumb over that rim that goes around the edge with your fingers on the smooth side and then curl it to your chest. It sounds a lot easier than it is, a guy at work thought he could do a 45 easily becuase he can curl a 45lb dumbell. What he forgot is that all the weight is far away from your hand & the plate wants to bend your wrist back & you can’t let that happen or you’ll mess your wrists up. There are some who think curlling a 45 at least once is the ultimate feat of hand strength, so start with something like a 25, or 2 10s pinched together.

OK Drax, got the idea from the pics, thanks. Seems like you could just rest your arm on a bench and remove the bicep from the exercise, flexing at the wrist only. Gonna try some today.

I find that plate wrist curls work the forearm more towards the elbow. Regular plate curls work the forearm down near the wrist.

i do chins with 2 pairs of pliers gripping 2 towells.try that one.

Try doing wrist rollers. You can roll them either way and work extensors or flexors. I made one with 2 pieces of pipe, slid one over the other and welded a hook on to tie the rope. Then slid the inside longer one into a power rack. You can really work the forearms hard with this setup. By using different sizes of outer pipe you can add variety.

to fully develope your forearms, you will have to do both wrist flexion and extension and then work all three types of grip/hand strength. by this I mean pinching strength, gripping strength and crushing strength. pinching strength will require you doing holds of weight plates between your thumb and fingers for timed periods. griping strength ( hands isometric endurance) will be developed by griiping on to bars etc, considering you should be getting a reasonable amount of work for a partial closed hand from all your pulling movements you will want to train with gripping both thicker and thinner items. thick bar holds can be accomplished through wrapping a towel around a weighted bar and again holding for timed periods. for working your gripping strength in the fully closed hand position get hold of a pair of lifting straps and loop the closed section around the handle of some dumbells which should leave you with a tail like cord section, take a hold of this with a dumbell dangling from each hand and do farmers walks. lastly for crushing strength buy yourself a set of hand grippers (i.e captains of crush) and do a set to failure after all the other work.

I disagree with a lot of your answers to this question. I train grip strength frequently and heavily and have all my athletes do so. If the original poster was asking about grip strength, your answers would be right on the money. But to increase forearm SIZE, all this grip training is not that important. Reverse curls, Hammer curls, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, wrist curls holding the weight behind the back, and maybe a few sets of towel chinups or hand grippers at the end is what you should do for forearm hypertrophy. Thick bar curls and reverse curls are good too, if a thick bar is available.

All those exercises work the grip, but they also build forearm size. It’s similar to heavy bench press lockouts. You might do them for bench press strength or chest size, but the wrists get worked as well even though that’s not the intent. Thick bars are good for the grip, but they also build big forearms, same with the towel & rope stuff. I agree that the stuff with grippers & plate pinching aren’t really good for forearm size though.

what good are big forearms with a wimpy grip? you need to train both forearm and grip.

I agree with Raphael. Also something to remember regarding the forearms: like the calves, forearms are a “tough” muscle, as in you use them quite a bit, so by the time alot of us incorporate forearm/calf training you have to do one of two things to really “shock” them into growth: train heavy (with proper form, of course) or train high volume. Or a combination of the two.

I like reverse wrist curls and regular wrist curls. Try supersetting the two - you'll get a unbelievable pump. But I also believe that heavy bag training is assisting in building my forearms as well.

I’m sorry, I misspelled Rafael. Spelt it as Raphael - got art on the brain today.

in reality alot of pure gripping excersises build the forearm better for some people than just wrist curls. what works for rafael doesnt work the same for everyone.