Most people tend not to worry about bulking up their forearms when they work out. For showing off one’s muscle, people usually try to pump iron with the use of their biceps or triceps to get an impressive flex. However, by building up strength in your forearms you will be able to lift more weight when it comes to other body exercises. That same strength can benefit you in sports like tennis, where you can swing the racquet with more power, and gymnastics, where at times you have to support your own body weight with your hands.
What to expect from a forearm workout
Most sports don’t ask you to strengthen your forearms. Football and soccer are more focused on your legs, while soccer and baseball try to keep the rotator cuffs and joints from becoming injured. But if you want to take your training to the next level you need to focus on forearm strength, lest you hit your workout plateau too early. While having muscular forearms is appealing, you should focus on endurance exercises. Endurance is what you will most likely be relying on as you hold onto weights or your own body weight.
How to prepare for forearm exercises
Since forearm exercises also utilize your wrist and can help strengthen it, do not attempt them if you have recently injured that area. Your doctor can advise you if it is too soon or not. The same strenuous activity that can build up your muscles can also worsen any existing injuries.
Muscles involved in a forearm workout
Your forearm is actually comprised of many muscles you do not hear of a lot. The supinator muscles helps with rotation, and the pronator teres and pronator quadratus complete an internal rotation. Working on your forearm will also strengthen your wrist, whose joint is naturally the weakest in the body. This can prevent injury to your wrists, and help your grip and abilities when it comes to lifting heavy weights. One solid way to work on your forearms is to use hand grips. Hand grips work your hands, whose same muscles extend up into your forearm - the eight flexors and six extensors. These muscles thicken as they build, which will make them look as impressive as they truly are. Hand grips also improve the dexterity in your fingers, which musicians and typists will find extremely helpful.
Tips for success in a forearm workout
Since your forearms do get a workout as you train other parts of your body - lifting weights, for example - you do not have to focus a large amount of your time working on them. Your forearms and wrist will contract on their own, so do not worry about making a conscious effort to extend or flex them. What you should focus on is a high number of reps, because the type of muscle in your forearm is Type I muscle fibers. These fibers are highly resistant to fatigue, so to give them a proper workout you really need to put them to work with high reps or long endurance exercises.