The forearm is a very visible muscle group, comprised of many smaller muscles with different functions, such as generating the actions of the hand and fingers, wrist flexion and extension, and much more. Every lifter who knows what he’s doing would like to have massive forearms, not only because they add a new dimension to an already great physique, but also because stronger forearms mean more power in all pressing lifts.
In order to grow, forearms need to be trained just as often as any other muscle – the problem is, most lifters don’t know how to efficiently target their forearms and they usually aren’t very consistent with their forearm training, performing only a couple halfhearted sets of wrist curls once a month. The end result? Weak forearms and wrists and less than optimal performance at exercises that can maximize your biceps, triceps, back and chest growth.
To solve this problem, it’s crucial to devote more time and energy to your forearm training and start taking these important muscles more seriously. Read this article to discover the path to adding impressive size to your forearms!
The muscles of the forearm are responsible for controlling the whole hand. The forearm is made up of 20 different muscles, of which the flexors and the extensors are of key importance since they regulate the movement of the wrist, fingers and thumb. In order to strengthen these small muscles, you need to target them with functional movements. Here are 5 common training mistakes and how to avoid them for stellar forearm development.
#1. Not training them enough
The belief that you can get enough forearm activation by simply training everything else is a terrible misconception. While the favorable genetics of a few pro bodybuilders may give them that luxury, the rest of have to put in more effort to get there. Because of this myth, most bodybuilders don’t do direct forearm work and seem to neglect that fact that they aren’t experiencing any forearm development at all. The others think that performing only a few wrist curls gets the job done, when in reality, they’re only wasting their time.
How to fix this
Start training your forearms regularly. A good time for this is at the end of a workout, after you’re done stressing your biceps. Or even better, hit them after quads or chest, so that they will be less pre-exhausted. Perform 6-12 sets of wrist curls and reverse wrist curls to ensure equal activation of the flexors and extensors.
For a complete, optimally effective forearm training, add farm walks, hammer curls and dumbbell rows in the routine. Another great way to hit your forearms is by deadlifting heavy weights without straps, which can improve your grip and help you develop huge forearms.
#2. Weak grip
A lack of grip strength will harm your performance in all upper body movements and essentially every pulling movement is going to fall short with a weak grip, so it’s no wonder that grip training can increase the amount of weight you can lift. And since forearm strength directly affects grip strength and vice versa, having a weak grip will also limit the effectiveness of your forearm training.
How to fix this
Unless you’re lifting your max, avoid using wrist straps because you want your grip strength and forearm strength to progress along with your ability to pull big weights. There are several pieces of gym equipment that you can use to improve your grip such as a plate-loaded gripper and spring grippers. If your gym doesn’t have any of these, try hex dumbbell holds by grabbing two hex dumbbells at their ends and holding them for as long as you can, then take a short rest and repeat, or practice plate pinching by putting together two Olympic plates with the smooth side out, squeeze them together with your fingers and hold for as long as you can, then rest and repeat.
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