Wrist Curls Suck For Building Big Forearms, Do This Instead
Forearms are one of those notoriously difficult muscles to train and add significant size to; similar to calves. If you’re not blessed with the forearm genetics of Thor, it’s a tough battle to get those suckers to grow. Another reason for your lack of forearm growth though is likely that you’re simply training them ineffectively.
Wrist curls are the number one, go-to exercise for guys trying to build some meaty forearms but here’s a news flash for you, wrist curls suck for building big forearms. Not only are wrist curls ineffective, they’re downright dangerous. If you want to learn what to do instead for really building big forearms and avoid destroyed wrists, you need to read this article…
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The forearms are made up of two main muscle groups, wrist extensors and wrist flexors. Wrist extensors are the muscles running along the top of your forearms. Flexors are the muscles running along the underside of the forearms.
Based on the name of these muscles I’m sure you can guess the primary function of each of these muscles; they’re meant to extend and flex the wrist joint.
Because these are the primary functions, it would make logical sense that wrist curls would be the most effective exercise for stimulating growth in these muscles, which is why it’s still common practice to perform, but there’s a problem.
It’s All In The Wrist
Your forearms are extremely strong muscles, and the wrist joint is very weak in comparison. This means that the wrist joint becomes the limiting factor when performing wrist curls and extensions rather than the forearm muscles.
Our bodies just aren’t designed to perform heavy resistance training through wrist flexion or extension.
So rather than providing maximum stimulation to the muscles you’re trying to work, you’re really just putting your wrist in a compromised position and begging for an injury to the joint and surrounding nerves.
Do This Instead
To avoid the strained wrist, and actually build some big forearms, stop the wrist curls. Instead, you should focus on gripping exercises. Exercises for your grip take the wrist joint completely out of the equation and allow you to fully load the wrist flexors and extensors with maximum resistance to get those babies overloaded and growing!
With that said, here are a few great gripping exercises to help improve your grip strength and build those forearms.
1) Heavy Farmer’s Walks
This is one of the best exercises for building some thick powerful forearms, and is one of the simplest to perform.
To do farmer’s walks, simply grab a pair of heavy dumbbells, gipping them as tightly as possible and then keeping your back straight, shoulders back and chest up, go for a walk using quick, small steps.
You can measure your progress on this exercise either by the distance you go holding the weight, or the amount of time you can walk with the weight. Just keep in mind, you want to be using as heavy a weight as possible that you can go for about 30-60secs at once.
2) Pull-up Bar Hang
With this exercise, simply grab a pull-up bar, gripping as tight as you can and hang there as long as you can.
Again with this exercise, you should aim to hold your grip for about 30-60secs at once. If you’re able to hold your bodyweight for over 60secs, you can start adding weight to continuing strengthening and progressing.
3) Lat Pulldown Hold
This exercise is very similar to the pull-up bar hang, but it’s a little easier to control and adjust the weight, so it’s another great exercise to apply for both stretching out your lats and building some killer forearms.
Set the weight quite high, heavier than you normally would for a lat pulldown, get yourself set in place and just like the pull-up hang; grip that bar tight and hold on for roughly 30-60secs.
Over time, aim to increase the weight and you’ll start to see some great improvements in your grip and forearm size.
The Bottom Line on Building Big Forearms
The bottom line is this, if you want to build big forearms, stop the wrist curls before you end up in braces. Instead, focus on gripping exercises that will remove your wrists from the equation and allow you to maximally stimulate your flexors and extensors for some real forearm growth.
With some patience, persistence and continually overloading those mofos, you will start to see your forearms achieve some real growth.
– Tyler Johnston “The APE Coach”
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