5 Best Exercises For Massive Forearms

popeye forearms

Do These 5 Exercises For Big Forearms

Forearms are one of the most underrated muscle groups, and most people overlook training them. If you’re someone who prefers wearing t-shirts, your forearms are more exposed than your biceps, so why not try and give them the love they deserve. While people may not look directly at your forearms, a set of solid and strong forearms can add to your physique and make others certainly envy you.

Even if you’re someone who focuses on training forearms, they can be a challenging muscle group to build up. They are one of the top areas that people struggle with and often find themselves plateauing. We want to make sure we focus on those muscles that others envy. A common mistake is that there are only a few exercises to work your forearms. That is not true. Plenty of compound movements will give your forearms a burn so they grow. What you will find however is that there are certain exercises perfect for building and isolating your forearms, so they grow.

 

Muscle symmetry can add to your body aesthetics and can make your arms look bigger than they are. Training your forearms as accessory muscles isn’t enough to add muscle mass. You need to treat them as you would treat any other muscle group. As a bodybuilder, or someone seeking a well-rounded physique, don’t neglect a body part that is most visible most often. A set of forearms that will stand out and only add to your symmetry is exactly what you need to see the growth and overall gains you want most.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the five best exercises for how to get bigger forearms. If done right, this will get you on the path to building massive forearms to be proud of. With the right approach and proper training, you will be well on your way to seeing effective gains all while giving your forearms the love they deserve.

5 Exercises For Massive Forearms

Anatomy of the Forearms

Your forearms are made up of three muscles/ muscle groups, all working for their own benefit respectively. Your brachioradialis is the muscle that flexes the forearm at the elbow (1). Certain exercises like hammer curls are great for this muscle.

Your flexors are located on the posterior side of the forearm and are responsible for wrist extension, finger extension, and forearm supination, so turning your palm upward and outward. An exercise like the barbell wrist curl is a good one for flexors.

The extensor muscles are located on the anterior of the forearm and deal mainly with flexion and pronation, rotating your forearm so your palm is backwards and downwards. The dumbbell wrist extension exercise is a good exercise to perform for forearm growth.

 

Benefits Of Strong Forearms

Having strong forearms is important when it comes to those of us who lift for a number of reasons. They first provide for better grip strength and as we work up in weight, it is important for us to realize that we need to have a solid and secure grip so our gains never falter (2). They also provide for bicep stability and will work improve all those big lifts that deal with your biceps and other body parts. Plus, they will provide for a more rounded and symmetrical physique that others will definitely envy.

Follow This 4-Week Forearms Workout Plan To Turn Your Tiny Twigs Into Wood Logs

5 Best Exercises For Massive Forearms

As promised, we wanted to share the 5 best exercises for massive forearms. Knowing the right exercises and having the right approach to training will better prepare you to tackle any workout. While forearms tend to be overlooked, these exercises will give you great gains and make you see the progress you want most.

Let’s take a look at these best 5 forearm exercises so you can have the best for all your gains.

1. Barbell Wrist Curls

Barbell wrist curls are one of the most common forearm exercises and yet most people perform them incorrectly. Don’t let your ego get the better of you while doing this exercise and use weights you can maintain a full range of motion with. The barbell wrist curls work the brachioradialis and flexors.

The best way of performing the barbell or dumbbell wrist curls is to kneel down at the side of a flat bench with your forearms placed on the bench. Grab a barbell with an underhand grip and curl it as high as you can while lowering the barbell. Let the barbell roll down to the tip of your fingers. Doing so will help in recruiting all the muscle fibers in your forearms and hands.

2. Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls

Barbell reverse curls is another common forearm exercise but is a little harder as compared to the normal wrist curls. Use a wrist curl machine if you have access to it at your gym or use a flat bench.

You will be lifting lighter weights in this exercise as compared to the normal wrist curls. Grab the bar with an overhand monkey (thumbs over the barbell) grip. A monkey grip helps in better targeting your forearms better. The reverse wrist curls work the extensor muscles.

3. Behind the Back Cable Wrist Curls

Behind the back cable wrist curl is a great exercise to isolate your forearms. Using the cables will help you maintain a constant tension on your forearms and will fill your muscles with lactic acid.

Stand with your back towards the cable pulley machine and grab a straight bar. Curl the bar and hold the movement at the contraction for a couple of seconds. This exercise focuses on your brachioradialis and flexors.

4. Reverse Grip Barbell Curls

Reverse grip barbell curls are a compound exercise and will help you in developing muscle mass and strength in your forearms. Holding the barbell with an overhand monkey grip will make your forearms work harder to hold onto the bar.

Keep your elbows pinched to your sides and curl the barbell. Keep the reps slow and controlled and squeeze your forearms and biceps at the top of the movement. The reverse grip barbell curls work the extensors.

5. Farmer’s Walk

Farmer’s walk helps in building forearm size and grip strength which can carry over to other exercises. The farmer’s walk is also one of the easiest exercises to perform. Grab a pair of dumbbells and walk around until you can’t hold onto the dumbbells anymore.

Another variation of this exercise is the pinch carries. In pinch carriers, you need to pinch together two plates so they don’t slip. Pinch carries activate your forearms by forcing you to squeeze your fingers so the plates don’t separate.

Recommended Forearms Workout

With so many workouts out there, finding a good forearms workout may be challenging. We wanted to share a great one with you so you can tackle your arm goals with no problem.

Exercises Sets Reps
Barbell Wrist Curls 3 15
Barbell Reverse Wrist Curls 3 15
Behind The Back Cable Wrist Curls 3 12
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls 3 12
Farmer’s Walk 2 1 minute

Tip: Use a Thick Bar or Fat Gripz

Another way for how to get bigger forearms is to increase the muscle fiber recruitment of the forearm muscles and grip is to use a thicker bar. Conventional barbells and dumbbells have one-inch handles, but you can use thicker bars to make the forearms work harder. Thicker bars also provide a greater stimulus for your forearms to grow stronger and larger. It would be worth trying this out for you will get great benefits that can work towards your goals with a solid bar.

protein shakes

Supplements For Bigger Forearms

When looking to enhance forearm growth, looking to the right supplements will prove to be worthwhile for growth and recovery. A solid pre-workout can work to provide energy and push past fatigue while also aiding in increased blood flow so your forearm muscles really start to grow. On top of that, a protein supplement for those post-workout gains will work to boost protein synthesis and allow those muscle tears to heal producing more muscle. Creatine is also great for increasing strength and size and for those really looking to put on mass and muscle, a mass gainer is a great option to advance your gains.

Wrap Up

Getting bigger forearms can make those arms of yours truly pop. How to get bigger forearms may seem challenging, but with this workout and some great supplements, you are well on your way to making that happen. Don’t neglect your forearms and give yourself the best chance at overall success by putting these 5 best exercises for massive forearms into your routine.


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*Images courtesy of Envato

References

  1. Mitchell, B.; et al. (2021). “Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Forearm Muscles”. (source)
  2. Szymanski, D.; et al. (2004). “Effect of 12 Weeks of Wrist and Forearm Training on High School Baseball Players”. (source)
Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.