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Like your neck, face, and calves, your forearms are another group of muscles—always on display—that most people neglect during their workout regimens. But the truth is, forearms should be trained just as frequently as any other body part—after all, forearm muscles translate to a vice grip, a strong handshake, and, ultimately, the ability to obtain more muscle mass all over.
“The forearm is comprised of multiple muscles, each of which contract differently when the hand is rotated at different angles,” explains Kenny Valentin, C.P.T., a coach at UFC Soho Fitness. “The muscle fibers are actually heavily recruited in most arm workouts, but often they fail to grow because they’re not being specifically targeted.”
An effective way to recruit them, though, is by using grips or a towel to wrap around a barbell during exercises, deadlifts, bench presses, or pullups. “Adding thickness to the bar will not only sculpt your forearms, but also immensely improve grip strength, which, in turn, will increase overall strength,” he adds.
This strategic routine is designed to hit every angle of the muscles within the forearm. You’ll trigger the main muscles of the posterior side (the back of your hand or on top of your arm): the flexor digitorum superficialis (which is attached to all fingers except the thumb), and the branchioradialis (which comes down into the thumb).
It’ll also hit the anterior muscles (palm side of your hand or bottom of your arm): the flexor carpi ulnaris and flexor carpi radialis (which attaches to all of the muscles in your hand), and the palmaris longus (which attaches to all of the tendons in your hand).
Add the following workout to your arsenal twice a week on non-consecutive days or to the end of your upper-body or full-body routine to watch your muscles below the elbow finally grow.