Large forearms are one of the most intimidating and impressive parts of a man’s physique. You can tell a strong person by the size of their forearms.
Some guys have impressive forearms without doing any direct forearm work, other guys (like me) were born with toothpick forearms and have to give them special attention.
Forearms are unlike most major muscle groups. They are involved in nearly every exercise you do. Because of that, they can be worked more frequently. They can be worked as often as every single day.
Bruce Lee actually worked his forearms every single day, doing wrist curls while talking on the phone or driving down the highway. Lee’s forearms are very impressive in relation to his size. They were almost as big as his upper arm.
Best forearm excercises:
Power Cleans – Power Cleans are actually the best exercise I have found for building the forearms. Not exactly a forearm exercise, power cleans are a whole body exercise that puts tremendous strain on the forearms. If you think about it, power cleans are really just one big heavy ass reverse curl. Power cleans can be performed 2-3 times a week for maximum effectiveness.
Barbell Wrist Curls – Sit yourself down on a bench with the barbell at the edge of the bench. Place hands underneath the barbell in a supinated position using a very close, thumbless grip. Use your knees to push your elbows together. Let your hands hang off the bench holding the bar, in a curling motion move the bar up and down using only your wrists, making sure to squeeze at the top. Use just an empty bar at first. Aim for 50 reps and when you can get 50 reps add 5 pounds and go for 50 more reps. After you do your first set with the empty bar, aiming for 50 reps, you can continually add weight to the bar until you wear your forearms out. This can be done every day.
Standing Barbell Reverse Body Drag Curls – Take a shoulder width overhand grip on a loaded barbell. Let the weight hang in your hands and slowly drag the barbell up your body as high as you can get it and then back down again. Remember to keep your elbows back to allow you to keep the barbell as close to your body as possible. Do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps going as heavy as you can go while maintaining form. This can be done as often as you like.
Farmers Walks – These are killer for your grip, forearms, and traps. Take 2 heavy dumbbells and walk as far as you can while holding the dumbbells. Take a breather and do it all over again. Use the heaviest weight you can manage and going to the longest distance you can manage. Farmers walks can be done anytime you aren’t too sore. Aim for 3 days a week. In addition to building popeye forearms, farmers walks develop entire body strength.
Tips to Remember:
Whenever possible don’t use straps. Straps are great to help you pull some extra weight, but they definitely take away from forearm development. Do all your main exercises without straps unless you absolutely have to.
Use FAT GRIPZ on all your main exercises. Fat gripz are just what they sound like. They are a rubber grip that you place onto a bar to make an extra wide grip. This is killer for forearm developments. You can use these on deadlifts, barbell curls, bench press, farmers walks, and anything else really. Just remember to use lighter weights, the first time using fat gripz will be a shock at how much lighter weight you have to use. I highly recommend these.
Get a pair of Captains of Crush Hand Grippers and put them in your car. Anytime your driving to the supermarket or to work do a quick set of 10 per arm until you get where you are going. Great for forearm development and even better for grip strength. Grip strength = heavier weights = bigger forearms.
One last tip:
Eat more! It’s hard to put on any size if you don’t consume enough calories. Eat plenty of protein and good fats, get your carbs in the form of fruits and vegetables.