This article will take you 7 minutes to read. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section, they will be answered!
If you could only train one muscle, which one would it be?
Asking yourself which muscle you would train if you could only choose one is a bit silly… this is the kind of question which you’ll hopefully never really have to answer. But we got to thinking, what if someone can’t really be bothered to go to the gym and still wants some sort of athletic look?
Today we’re going to talk about forearm muscles.
We are going to cover how to get bigger forearms for someone who does not really like going to the gym and still wants a bit of aesthetics… but also for someone who genuinely would love to train forearms but lacks time to do so.
FOREARMS? Why training your forearms?
These muscles are usually neglected but big forearms are very aesthetically pleasing muscles. Everyone has different tastes but who is not impressed by some jacked forearms?
Everyone is fighting on Google searches over why forearms are so attractive.
You’ve spent your whole life in the gym but when this builder walks past you with bigger forearms, you’re like ‘Damn, what am I doing?’ What if you only had chest or biceps?
That would look weird. If you just have forearms, it’s not like it looks weird, you just look like the type of guy who knows how to properly shake hands.
Also, your forearms are always on show. Unless you’re covering yourself too much because you suffer some bigorexia… then your forearms are mostly always appearing!
You’re getting something no one else has
You might not be going to the gym as much as gym brosky but you have more foreams than him.
Why? Because he never trains them. He thinks doing arms is enough to get bigger forearms. It is to an extent, but he is missing out on that aesthetically pleasing muscle.
That’s honestly one good reason to train forearms. If you’re not really planning on going to the gym but still want to look good, not only you’re working on a nice muscle, but you’re also working on a muscle no one does. So here is our advice:
If you don’t want to go to the gym much but want to look strong…work on your forearms. Now, there are 20 forearm muscles so it’s huge…! Gladly, it’s not like you can isolate 20 parts.
We are going to zoom out and focus on the 3 main parts which are covering most of these 20 muscles.
What’s the best way to build big and aesthetically pleasing forearms?
What parts of the forearm muscles to focus on: forearm anatomy
The 3 parts we want to develop are these:
The 3 parts we want to develop are these:
We don’t want to exclude any of them because they all make your forearms look great. We will no focus on finding the best exercises to perform to build your forearm muscles. We will also remind you of the principles of specialising which is important for small muscles like forearms.
Two other things you should look at, just like with any other muscle, is to build a good base and be lean enough that it looks good. We’re not going to lie, that’s another stroke of luck when it comes to easy aesthetics. It’s not unusual to see people with high body fat still ripped when it comes to their forearms.
It’s just not a place where your body stores fat easily. Still, that’s not an excuse not to have a balanced diet! But if you’re naturally quite lean, that’s a plus! There are a lot of veins in forearms which is one of the main aesthetic characteristics you should aim for!
Will my forearms grow if I don’t bulk?
It is like all muscles, you’d probably be able to build more meat if you were properly training. But if you focus purely on your forearms, then there is a chance you can still gain mass without having to bulk or be in a calorie surplus.
It would be a bit silly to go on a long-ass bulk just to grow your forearms. We can’t stress it enough, we recommend you to go to the gym and train your entire body, but part of this article is about not going to the gym and still looking good!
Set some forearm goals – how to measure your forearms?
Before anything else, set your goals. Get yourself motivated! Simply measure your forearms to know where you are starting from. Numbers talk more than anything else! You will know when you have improved.
Finding the best exercises
In terms of building muscle, you have to find exercises that are efficient, ones that offer a good stretch. We also have to specialise. Once you find a great exercise, you might just want to do more sets.
Have your full focus on that one exercise – hammer your body part with this efficient exercise! It’s advisable to do two similar exercises for big muscle groups like your back but for the forearms there is not much point in finding 2-3 variants to target the flexors, for example. Stick to one, a good one, and do 10 sets instead of 2 exercises for 5 sets each.
Now, you should train forearms like any other muscle. It’s just harder to go heavy because the range of motion is limited but you still have to push it. You will not just do heavy sets but also higher reps. It is true that it is such a small muscle that going too heavy would not be feasible.
As with everything else, progression is key. So if the number of reps or the weight is increasing, you’re doing it right.
Here is a list of the best exercises you can do at home with dumbbells (if you don’t have dumbbells you find inspiration for some alternatives in our home-workout guide):
- Palm down wrist curls
- Palm up wrist curls
These are ‘stereotypical’ exercises but hey, they do offer a good stretch. As simple as these exercises might seem, we believe they are some of the most efficient. The further you bring your arms forward and parallel to the ground, the better. The stretch will be more accentuated this way.
What kind of forearm routine?
First things first, make sure you do a good warm up. We want to avoid any forearm muscle pain in the long run. It is essential to warm up your wrists and make sure you’re ready before moving on to heavier sets. Just because it’s a small muscle, that does not mean that a warm-up should be neglected. Give it a few warm-up sets.
Now, let’s look at two different set-ups: a routine for those who go to the gym and one for those who do not and just want to be that guy with big forearms!
If you just want to be the… “forearms guy“
Aim for at least 2 heavy sessions and one lighter session a week. If you’ve read the article on “Natural steroid like results? sets of 100 repetitions!”, you know what we mean by “light sessions”.
t’s not just fluff, but it’s efficient because you are working on getting your muscles responsive and always ready to benefit from that back-end work on your heavy sessions.
Your routine could go like this:
Monday: sets of hundred, palm-down curls/palm-up curls
Wednesday: 10 heavy sets palm-down curls/ 10 heavy sets palm-up curls
Saturday: 10 heavy sets palm-down curls/ 10 heavy sets palm-up curls
If you already go to the gym but want to include forearms?
Focus on the best exercise
The only issue with forearms is that it takes time, like any other muscles, and unlike the “forearms guy”, you’re also working on building other muscles.
If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that youwant big forearms… But what if you genuinely don’t have time to work on your forearms?
It’s true that it will take time to build forearms. You might really want to do them but at the same time, you’d rather work on bigger muscles which actually show your progress.
High reps in that case can be interesting
One thing that evident is that is that high reps can be very beneficial, not because it will build muscle but you’re training your muscles to be more responsive. You could try to schedule one big session a week for your forearms and 2 other sessions where you just do a few sets of 100 at the end of your biceps or back session.
Whether you should go to failure is decided based on your experience and how you feel. You can read more about the topic of going to failure or not here. It won’t take more than 15 mins and you are preparing your forearms for your heavy and more dynamic session.
The best exercises to focus on could be:
- Palm down wrist curls
- Palm up wrist curls
- (Reverse barbell curls)
- (Standing behind the back wrist curls)
For example, let’s suppose you are training back twice a week and biceps once. Your days could look like this:
Monday: One of your back days + 2×100 palm-down curls/ 2×100 palm-up curls (15mns)
Tuesday: (Your usual plan)
Wednesday: Your biceps day + 2×100 palm-up curls/ 2×100 palm down curls (15mns)
Thursday: (Your usual plan)
Friday: One of your back day: 5 heavy sets reverse barbell curls/ 5 heavy sets palm-down curls/ 5 heavy sets palm-up curls (30 minutes)
Saturday: (Your usual plan)
Sunday: (Your usual plan)
Avoid static exercises
Although you might ‘feel the burn’ and it may sound interesting, static exercises are just not the best.
They removing the stretching aspect of the move which is essential in the process of building muscle as they don’t offer a good positive and negative phase.
Remember that just because you feel your muscles working or that it’s burning, it does not mean you are training efficiently.
Now there is no excuse whatsoever NOT to build incredible forearms!
We hope this article was helpful to you. Don’t hesitate to share it around or leave a reaction to let us know what you think.
Also, feel free to comment in the section below, we will respond and help you with your routine!