Increase the Size of Your Forearms

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After the amazing feedback on the Calves Growth Training article, and an important amount of readers asking for a similar article on forearms, here you have a sure way to make your forearms grow.

 

I’m not going to give a detailed anatomical explanation of the muscles of the forearm because this body part is composed of about 20 muscles and I prefer to address the functions, which are:

Wrist extension
Wrist flexion
Wrist abduction
Wrist adduction
Pronation
Supination
Crushing/gripping/pinching/extension

I won’t address elbow flexion directly in this article, but keep in mind that the brachioradialis being a large muscle on the forearms, is also an elbow flexor, wrist extensor, and assists with pronation and supination.

As an interesting side note, grip strength has been found to be protective of the upper body joints, and improves the activation of several muscle groups, also in the upper body. Obviously, it also has effect on the lower body development, given that the grip strength won’t be a limiting factor, allowing you to carry more weight in your hands (strength), or for longer periods of time (endurance).

How to train forearms for growth

The forearms can be trained every day AS LONG AS you don’t repeat the exercises during the week. Changing the exercises on a daily basis will prevent overtraining and will ensure better progress and growth.

The program

This program is for people that train 3 times in 5 days, as in 2 days on, one day off, one day on, one day off.

The notation of the exercises will be on the form X, as I don’t know the program that you are currently doing.

Day 1:

X1. Wrist Extensions Flat with EZ Bar Narrow Pronated Grip, 4 x 10-12, 2-1-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
X2. Wrist Flexions Flat with Straight Bar Mid Pronated Grip, 4 x 15-20, 2-1-1-0 tempo, rest 90 seconds

Day 2:

X1. Pinch Drill Small Milo Hub, 5 x 1, 8 seconds isometric hold, rest 60 seconds
X2. Pinch Drill Thick Block, 5 x 1, 8 seconds isometric hold, rest 60 seconds
Note: Do X1 with the left hand, X1 with the right hand, X2 with the left hand and X2 with the right hand

Day 3:

X1. Hand Supination Thor Hammer, 4 x 10-12, 2-2-1-0 tempo, rest 10 seconds
X2. Hand Pronation Thor Hammer, 4 x 10-12, 2-2-1-0 tempo, rest 75 seconds
Note: Do X1 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X1 with the right hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the right hand, rest 75 seconds.

If you train in a 4 out of 5 or 6 days cycle, you can add the following:

Day 4:

X1. Crushing Neutral Grip Iron Mind Gripper, 5 x 1, 10 seconds isometric hold, rest 10 seconds
X2. Crushing Neutral Standing Gripping Machine, 5 x 8-10, 2-1-1-0 tempo, rest 60 seconds
Note: Do X1 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X1 with the right hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the right hand, rest 60 seconds.

If you train in a 5 out of 6 or 7 days cycle, you can add the following:

Day 5:

X1. Radial Flexion Thor Hammer, 4 x 7-9, 2-0-1-1 tempo, rest 10 seconds
X2. Ulnar Flexion Thor Hammer, 4 x 12-15, 2-0-1-1 tempo, rest 60 seconds
Note: Do X1 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the left hand, rest 10 seconds, X1 with the right hand, rest 10 seconds, X2 with the right hand, rest 60 seconds.

If you train in a 6 out of 7 days cycle, you can add the following:

Day 6:

X1. Wrist Flexions Standing Thick Wrist Roller Pronated Grip, 4 x 12-15, 1-0-1-0, rest 10 seconds
X2. Wrist Extensions Standing Thick Wrist Roller Pronated Grip, 4 x 12-15, 1-0-1-0, rest 90 seconds

As you can see, there are plenty of exercises to choose from. As I said in the beginning, you can train your forearms every day PROVIDED THAT you do a different exercise every day.

Elbow flexors training

This is not an article about growing elbow flexors, but you can be sure that a stronger grip and forearms will help in the process, big time! Having said that, and in terms of having bigger forearms, your elbow flexor work should include movements in neutral and pronated grip. When using a neutral grip, the brachioradialis will have to do a lot of work and we know how important that muscle is for forearm size and strength. The pronated grip also adds work to your wrist extensors.

Add an antagonist muscle

As I have mentioned before, working on the antagonist muscles will prevent stagnation in the progress, no matter if the goal is strength or size. That’s why I recommend doing finger extension work. There are plenty of devices out there that will allow you to train those muscles properly.

Fitting this program in your current training schedule

Of course, if you want to put emphasis on your forearms, you’ll have to decrease work on other body parts to some extent.
In the case of forearms, adding them at the beginning of a routine can negatively affect the training of the other body parts. For example, if you train your forearms or grip before a biceps, chin-up or deadlift routine, most probably you won’t be able to use as much weight for these body parts as you’d normally use.
And as the human body loves consistency, I prefer to do all the forearm or grip work at the end of the routine, no matter if the exercises performed won’t use the grip.

For how long should you do this program?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I recommend changing the training programs around every 4 weeks (of course, this depends on your neurotransmitter profile), and forearms are not the exception. So, my suggestion is to change your forearms training every time you change your routine.

Equipment

There are plenty of options in the market and Iron Mind offers a wide variety of options for grip training. In terms of forearm training, my absolute favorite is the Atlantis Multi Forearm Machine, which in one piece of equipment includes wrist extensions, wrist flexions, pronation, supination, gripper, and wrist roller.

Atlantis Forearms Machine
Atlantis Forearms Machine

Include the forearm work in your routine and enjoy the benefits of big and strong forearms and grip.

Coach Carlos Castro

Picture: The great Larry Scott