Like legs, forearms are a muscle group that rarely gets any direct attention. They usually get their workload in from gripping bars and dumbbells, and even then it’s not enough to stimulate proper growth and development.
That’s not to say that by doing Farmer’s Walk won’t build your forearms, I’m just saying that holding a bar won’t be enough to grow your forearms if that’s what your goal is.
Having big forearms are a sign of strength, just ask Popeye.
So don’t ignore the bottom half of your barrels. It’s shameful to see spaghetti forearms dangling from a set of well-crafted upper arms.
Without rambling on, let’s take a look at some uncommon ways to increase the size and strength of your forearms.
1. Forget the Straps
Yeah, that sounds a little like an early 2000’s punk band, but this is serious business.
Training with straps has become such commonplace in the gym, that you can’t help but wonder whether or not these strap warriors have any grip strength.
Straps are being used for everything; warm-ups, push-ups, the water fountain, and if performed, deadlifts.
When doing movements like barbell rows or deadlifts, it’s best you leave the straps at home. Whenever you use straps, your forearm flexors don’t have to work as hard to hold on to the weight.
Losing the straps enables your forearms to get more work in, thus allowing them to grow bigger and stronger in the process.
2. Increase the Reps
This might sound a little trivial, but by increasing the reps, you’re increasing the amount of work that your forearms have to do. And in case you didn’t know, more work equals more stimulation — if not overdone.
However, when increasing the number of reps that you perform, you can’t use any light ass weight. Remember, the goal for growth is to stimulate the muscle.
With that being said, you shouldn’t go heavier than you can handle either.
Our goal is to stimulate, not annihilate.
3. Start Using Cables
Cables are an essential piece of gym equipment. Without them, our gains just wouldn’t be as refined as they are. Cables allow for great isolation movements by providing constant tension on the muscle.
So why not apply that same principle to forearm training?
Sure, you can do barbell or dumbbell wrist curls, but there’s always that point at the top of the movement where resistance and tension on the muscle are at an absolute minimum. This is no Bueno.
4. Farmer’s Walk
Yes, I know that I mentioned this at the start of the article, but I included it because of its effectiveness.
Even though this isn’t a direct forearm exercise, it still builds them as effectively as a concentrated exercise would, if not better.
All you need to perform this exercise is a pair of dumbbells and a clear pathway for you to walk. Also, this exercise shouldn’t be done with weights that you can do side lateral raises with. It should be much more challenging than that.