I enjoy training arms tremendously. Yet only on occasion do I insert special forearm exercises into my biceps and triceps regime. I find that heavy biceps curls and triceps pushdowns ultimately work lower arms and give them nice size and definition. Gripping the weights with extreme pressure, keeping excellent form throughout the movement, and performing multiple sets and reps of curls and extensions helps to enhance size and bring out vascularity not only in bi’s and tri’s, but forearms as well (PHOTO: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio).
As with every muscle group, there is not a great deal you can do with the natural shape of the forearms. Your genetic blueprint dictates the number and shape of your muscle fibers. But great workouts and sound nutrition can help you increase the size and strength of these babies and sculpt them beautifully.
Here are some exercises to add to your routine if your lower arms need a little catching up.
Dumbbell hammer curls are my favorite biceps and forearms exercise. Stand with your feet planted firmly a foot or so apart. Start with your arms at your sides, palms facing the body (neutral grip). Contract the biceps and bring the arms towards the chest until they reach slightly above your “nips”. Make sure to keep the elbows slightly behind the shoulder joint to insure isolation of the biceps and utilization of the forearms. Slowly, without swinging or jerking, lower the arms to starting position and repeat.
Wrist curls work the flexors (the belly) of the forearm. Perform them in a seated position, with your lower arms resting on top of your legs toward your knees (palms up) or on the top of a bench. Your hands must be free beyond your knee or the edge of the bench. Keep your elbows comfortably apart – anything from 12-18 inches. Take a loaded barbell and moving only your wrist, curl the weight upwards until your forearm is fully contracted. Allow the barbell to lower under control and you may allow your fingers to “unroll” to some extent, but this is optional.
Reverse curls may be performed by standing erect and holding a barbell at slightly more than shoulder width. Allow your arms to hang down straight, elbows at your side, hands in a prone grip (knuckles up). As you curl the barbell, keep your wrists straight and level with your forearms and keep your elbows tucked in. Then lower and repeat. You’ll feel this exercise especially in the beefy part of the upper forearm near the elbow.
Bulging biceps, tremendous triceps and fabulous forearms take hard work, sweat and dedication. Regardless of your genetics you can sculpt not only your arms, but your entire body into a work of priceless art. No more excuses for bad nutrition, too little time for the gym or too much stress in your life. Your hours of dedication in the gym will advance the quality of your life as well as add years to your lifetime.