Beefy forearms are important…
In a short-sleeve shirt, they’re the first thing people notice—unless you have a huge spaghetti stain on the front…
And if you’re in a long-sleeve shirt and roll up the sleeves, they’re the only muscle in view—unless you’re not wearing pants.
Seriously, what bodybuilder doesn’t want freaky, vein-streaked forearms dangling at his sides?
Luckily, you’re forearms get indirect work from all of the gripping you do during an upper-body workout—from curls to triceps extensions to lateral raises…
But I’ve discovered that a few sets of direct work once or twice a week can add considerably to lower-arm development—if you do it efficiently with the right exercises…
Your primary forearm inflater should be dumbbell wrist curls. Like standing dumbbell curls for your biceps, the resistance curve is just about perfect—if you do the movement with your forearms parallel to the ground.
I like to do them sitting at the end of a bench, forearms on my thighs…
That allows a full range of motion, and the resistance feels heaviest near the bottom and easier at the top.
Plus, the dumbbells allow freedom of movement—independent work by each forearm flexor. A barbell is too restrictive and limiting for me….
The second key exercise for forearms is hammer curls, which beef up the tops of the lower arm, stimulating the forearm extensor, the small muscle on the upper outside, plus the brachioradials, the larger muscle on the very top of the forearm.
Hammers also train the brachialis muscle that snakes under the biceps, so it’s a two-for-one move, adding to your upper-arm size as well…
I’ll use either incline hammer curls, working both simultaneously, or alternate hammer curls, curling the dumbbell to the opposite shoulder.
Keep in mind that I work out only three days a week, 35 minutes per session—and I only train forearms with two to four sets a week, adding one or both of the above exercises to some upper-body workouts. Here’s how my forearms look…
Not too terrible for an old guy with pool-noodle genetics.
For my complete workouts, exercise start/finish photos, and details on building muscle fast and efficiently, see Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
The Smart Path to Jacked Mass—No Matter What Your Age
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