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If you want to build big forearms and want forearm exercises that you can do anywhere, you are going to want to pay attention. When it comes to building bigger forearms you want to be sure that you perform exercises for both the front and back sides. The muscles on the underside of the lower arm are called the flexors and the ones on the top side are called the extensors.
All too often, we feel as if the only forearm exercises we can do in our workouts for forearms require a barbell, dumbbells or a plate. In this video, I’m going to show you some exercises for your forearms that you can do anywhere without anything but your own bodyweight.
It starts on the ground with two movements, one for each side of the forearms.
These were shown to me by Olympic medalist gymnast Jonathan Horton at my live event a few years back.
They not only help to overload flexion and extension of the wrist but they develop wrist stability and strength on the way to building bigger forearms. The key to having strong wrists is that it carries over into many of the other barbell based exercises and benefits your overall strength, like the bench press and overhead press. If you have weak wrists you are never able to handle the heavy loads that you ultimately are capable of on either of those foundational weightlifting exercises.
We start by targeting the flexor muscles of the forearm. The way we do this is by getting on your knees on the ground and placing your hand flat on the floor as if getting ready to do a pushup. I use a muscle marker to draw a line across the knuckles at the base of my fingers to reinforce where I want to push through as I perform the movement. Obviously, this is not a requirement of the exercise.
From here you push down into the ground through this spot on your hand and drive your body up. The more you anchor your bodyweight directly above where you are pressing, the more weight your wrists will have to lift up against gravity. If wrists mobility is an issue for you or you need to off load some of the work being done you can sit back more on your heels and press from there.
The wrists will be going from this extended position to a neutral position at the top of every rep. This flexion of the wrist is resisted and causes the muscles in the flexor compartment of the forearm to be overloaded. Just as with any form of resistance, when applied properly, you can build big forearms with this exercise. There is a standing variation if you want something that requires even less motion and mobility at the wrist.
To target the opposite side of your forearms, the extensor muscles, you want to start with the back sides of your hand flat on the floor. Again, if you are limited by wrists immobility issues, you can do this with the variation pointed out in the video. Here you want to slowly extend the wrist and the fingers, as if trying to spread them into the floor, until you get your wrist once again back into a neutral position. The act of going from a flexed to a neutral position requires extension of the wrist that is going to help to build bigger forearms.
You can easily add some more forearm exercises into your repertoire here as well by simply including a back pack. Weight it with some books, water bottles, sand or anything to create some load that your forearm muscles are going to have to lift. Perform wrist extensions, wrist curls, and reverse curls to build up your brachioradialis, flexor and extensor muscles of the forearms.
Finally, simply just hanging from a pullup bar can help to build good strength, stamina and toughness. If you don’t have a bar, you can easily get this done from a tree limb out in the yard. The fact is, there are no excuses when it comes to finding the right forearm exercises you can do anywhere and build big forearms. You just have to be willing to put in the work.
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