Training The Forearms
The forearms naturally get exercised during many workouts which involve heavy lifting, as the forearm muscles are called upon during the action of gripping. Back workouts can be particularly stimulating for the forearms, with deadlifts, pull ups and rows requiring a strong grip as well as requiring flexion of the arm. For some, this indirect approach will be sufficient. For others, the forearms may appear to be lacking. The latter group may wish to incorporate a selection of forearm exercises into their training routine to directly target the forearm muscles.
The wrist curl is the bread and butter of forearm training. The trainee rests his/her forearms on a bench, with the wrists and hands over hanging the edge (palms up). A barbell is grasped, and the trainee curls the bar upwards via flexion of the wrist. The movement is reversed, and then repeated for repetitions.
Some may find the use of a barbell uncomfortable, and may be best experimenting with a dumbbell, training each forearm unilaterally. This should give the forearm greater freedom.
The wrist curl targets the forearm muscles located to the back of the forearm; the wrist flexors.
Over hand wrist curl
The over hand wrist curl is the reverse movement of the traditional wrist curl mentioned above. The forearms are rested on a bench, with the wrist and hands over hanging the edge (palms facing down). A barbell is grasped, and curled upward. The movement is reversed and then repeated for repetitions.
As with the wrist curl, a dumbbell may be used for those with troublesome wrists. This exercise is more likely to cause discomfort to the wrist than the wrist curl.
The over hand wrist curl targets the forearm muscles located to the top of the forearm; the wrist extensors.
Over hand EZ curl
The over hand EZ curl targets the flexors of the arm, particularly the brachioradialis (the muscle which runs from the forearm to the upper arm). The muscle is found at the top outer area of forearm, and composes much of the bulk of the upper forearm.
An EZ bar is a small barbell which has bends in the bar to offer a more comfortable grip. If you do not have access to an EZ bar you could try using a barbell. Barbell may prove troublesome for those with wrist issues, and therefore a set of dumbbells could be used. The Zottman curl is another exercise which works the forearm muscles effectively, and only requires a set of dumbbells.