Popeye, Arnold and Mike Mentzer all had them: big forearms. For a lot of guys, getting big forearms is a huge challenge. Huge forearms are one of the first thing people notice, it brings respect and shows strength. If your forearms aren’t getting bigger, I’ll show you the best ways to grow your forearms and get big results.
Personally it wasn’t until I started doing certain forearms exercises (that I’ll outline below) that I finally achieved substantial growth. I hear so many times from guys in the gym “oh I can’t grow my forearms, I’ve tried everything!”. Well obviously you haven’t tried everything if you still haven’t grown your forearms!
So what does it come down to?
For some, it’s a hard muscle to grow (like your calves) but it doesn’t have to be.
I’ve learned in my experience that it is technique and frequency. Let’s jump into technique and I’ll summarize the meaning of proper execution.
Best Technique for Forearm Growth
“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect” – My 9th grade basketball coach.
Your forearms are comprised of many smaller muscles with different muscle fiber type constructions.
On the outside of your forearms is the brachioradialis. This is the muscle that is most visible to everyone (including women).
Here, I want you to see this muscle for yourself. Leave your palm open, tense your hand and form a fist. See the muscle pop on the outside of your forearms? Do this a few times to really see it in action. That right there is your brachioradialis.
Best Exercises To Grow The Outside Of Your Forearm
Across Chest Hammer Curls!
Nothing blew up my forearms like this. I have found no exercise that comes close to smoking your forearms and nailing your biceps.
Here’s the fuck up that most make: swinging the weight and going in one direction.
Don’t swing weight, sit down if necessary. Why? When you swing the weight around you’re no longer explicitly using your biceps, now your using your legs to move the weight.
When you do a normal hammer curl, you’re moving in one direction. You mostly hit your biceps.
Now when you change up the range of motion and move the dumbbell across your chest, your forearm is in a better position to be worked. Seriously, just go to the gym and try it!
Bodybuilding is all about finding a better way to push your body to new limits.
Tip: Grip the shit out of the dumbbell! Use Fat Gripz if neccesary
Best Exercise To Grow The Inside of Your Forearm
Now the second part of your forearm: the inner portion. This is the part of your forearm that’s responsible for making your forearm look wide from the front (plus veins!).
The specific muscles that contribute to a larger inside forearm include the flexori digitorum superficialis, flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus and flexor carpi ulnaris. Now those are a bunch of fancy Latin names for muscles that flex your fingers and wrist.
Go ahead and try it now:
With your palm open and fingers spread, touch each finger separately to the middle of your palm. Keep an eye on your forearm and you can see the muscles moving as you do it!
The best exercise to work the inner forearm and get an insane pump is behind the back barbell curl. If you workout at home, you can substitute in dumbbells instead.
- Using a straight or curved barbell, grab the bar from behind your back. Keep your wrists neutral when you grab the bar.
- Curl the bar away from your body, move your knuckles farther away
- Hold the bar at the top for 3 seconds and flex your forearm muscles
Check out these forearm grippers on Amazon, super easy to work on your forearm grip anywhere:
Overall Best Exercise For Forearms
If you’re looking to destroy your forearms, I’ve got an exercise for you: farmer walks. This is such a simple exercise, and should be added to any of your arm workouts.
You can use either dumbells, plates or a trap bar if your gym has one.
Load up a good amount of weight (it should be difficult!) and start walking.
If your gym is relatively empty, start doing loops around gym equipment. If it gets too difficult and you find the pump in your forearms too much, drop the weight and rest. Take a minute or two, pick up the weight and start again.
One of the things I love about this exercise is that it’s so simple yet so effective. Farmers walks hit your entire arm, including your shoulders. Add this exercise at the end of your workout and complete until failure.
Best Tool To Grow Your Forearms
There’s tons and tons of specialized tools and gym equipment to increase your workout, make lifting easier, or to just prevent injury.
One of my favourite tools to work your forearms in any workout are Fat Gripz. These are a bar wrap made out of a military grade rubber-like compound. In short, you wrap Fat Gripz around a bar, either a barbell or dumbbell, to add thickness.
Check out my review on Fat Gripz: The Best Way To Build Your Forearms.
For home workouts, the best tool is adjustable hand gripper. You can watch Netflix like a slob and still get some forearm pump in. The weight is adjustable, so you can start light and work your way up once you’ve had enough practice. The one I use is available on Amazon:
What’s the Best Frequency for Forearm Exercises?
Have you ever noticed how mechanics or construction works have huge forearms?
They’re doing the same shit, day in day out. Especially in trades, hammer movements are common (swinging a tool up and down).
Now, can you see the connection to hammer curls? There’s your aha moment!
In my experience, forearms respond best to high rep work.
Arms, in general, recover quickly as compared to other muscles such as legs or chest. Having said that, you can work your forearms pretty much every day (granted you’re not in pain!). For forearm exercises, I would recommend at least 5 sets of 15-25 reps.
The NUMBER ONE thing that is going to drive results is consistency. You have to be consistent in your work to get any results, whether it be your training or your diet.
If you are studying for a test, you don’t read one chapter and think you know everything about it. No, you keep reading and reading and reading until you know everything about the chapter. You do that day in and day you and you’ll get a better understanding.
Now apply THAT to your training and I guarantee you will get results.
Add one of the 3 above exercises to your arm workout days and you WILL grow!