Top 5 Forearm-Training Mistakes & How To Correct Them

#3. Lack of variety

If the barbell is the only tool you use during your forearm workouts, your progress is guaranteed to stall once your muscles get used to the consistently reoccurring type of stimulus, which will happen sooner than you think. Muscles need to be challenged by a variety of stimuli in order to grow and by focusing strictly on barbell exercises, you’d be missing out on the muscle activation provided by exercises done with dumbbells or cables.

How to fix this

Instead of always using a barbell, perform some sets in a unilateral way with a dumbbell. Perform most of the sets of wrist curls and reverse wrist curls this way, then perform a few sets bilaterally with a short handle and low cable, resting your forearms on a bench.

#4. Little emphasis on contraction

Wrist curls and wrist reverse curls are movements with a relatively short range of motion, but most trainees shorten it even further by performing quick, short reps without any significant focus on achieving a full good quality contraction. This reduces the effectiveness of the workout and reduces their ability to push the forearm muscles to grow.

How to fix this

If the weight you’re working with limits your range of motion, drop it by a few pounds and aim to perform every rep from maximal stretch to maximal contraction. That being said, standing barbell wrist curls will help you place more emphasis on the contraction than seated curls, but to enhance the contraction even further try resting your forearms on a bench or a decline bench. After finishing your routine, thoroughly stretch your forearms.

#5. Fixed rep range

Whenever your progress stalls, it’s a signal that you’ve stopped forcing your muscles to grow. The two most common reasons for that failing to target your muscles with a sufficient number of different exercises or getting stuck in “middle ground” routine and following the same rep patterns on every workout for months or years. In a similar way as calves, forearms are very adaptive and used to a lot of low-intensity work during the day, so you need to provide them with plenty of growth stimulation.

How to fix this

To sharpen up your training, try mixing up different rep schemes within your forearm routine. You could sometimes perform only 6 reps per set while at other times, go for a total of 100, or anything in between. Also, to up the intensity, superset wrist curls with reverse wrist curls.

Final thoughts

Forearm training isn’t about throwing in a few wrist curls at the end of your workout. Opposite to that, in order to develop powerful forearms and a crushing grip, you need to train your forearms as regularly as you train your biceps or chest and hit them from as many angles as possible. Since the key link between and the bar are your hands, an effective forearm and grip training will not only enhance your overall aesthetics, but it will inevitably improve your heavy compound lifts like deadlifts and rows as well.


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