HOW TO GET: POPEYE FOREARMS
by: IFBB PRO JOSEPH PALUMBO
In order to get strong and add a ton of mass, you need to build powerful forearms. The creator of Popeye knew what he was doing; powerful forearms enable you to squeeze your weights harder, engage more muscles, and generate more force. Strengthening your forearms helps improve your gripping power on a number of full-body exercises. Hence increasing the numbers on exercises like the bench press, deadlift and barbell row. You will boost your overall strength and muscle mass as well.
Building your forearms, is a little more complicated than prescribing three exercises for three sets of 8-10 reps. Unless you have a genetic predisposition for big forearms, you’re going to have to work hard then most other body parts.
It is extremely important not to neglect working your forearms during your exercise routines. The hands, wrists, and forearms should be prioritized while warming up and while working out. Number one tip …lose the wrist straps, strap-free training will offer your forearm and grip much greater development. Having a good grip can be a deciding factor in just about any sport. Look at it from a football perspective, how many times have you seen a tackle made where a defender simply “grabbed cloth,” hung on for dear life, and actually made a play? That happens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday on every football field in America. Baseball, lacrosse, hockey…with a few notable exceptions like soccer and running, you’re called upon to use your hands in virtually every sport, so paying attention to grip strength will certainly pay dividends down the road. Here are some exercises to add to your routine for building powerful forearms I like to start with barbell wrist curl, because it’s one of the best forearm exercises. Keep in mind is that your forearms need to be rested on something, use the bench or your thighs. This really helps to focus the movement on building your forearm muscles and prevents you from doing any swinging movements.
BARBELL WRIST CURLS
Sit on a bench, resting the extensors region of the forearm on upper thigh/knee region with wrists bent forwards as far as possible. Curl the bar up, squeezing forearms for a full second at the top of the movement.
BARBELL REVERSE CURLS
Start in the same position as the barbell wrist curls but this time it’s your inner forearms that will be resting on your thighs. Turning your wrist up, perform the reverse curl and again squeeze for a full second.
SEATED HAMMER CURLS
Easy to perform, are great for working the biceps as well as the forearms. Start with seating on a bench with the incline back support set at around 60 degrees Grab a set of light dumbbells, one in each hand, and lower your arms down to your sides so that your elbows are fully extended. Your palms ought to be facing your body and your head straight ahead. Curl both dumbbells up to your body making sure that you keep your palms facing the side of your body. Curl them upwards until the dumbbells are just slightly lower than your shoulders, squeeze the biceps, and then slowly lower the dumbbells down and repeat.
SINGLE DUMBBELL WRIST CURL
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and sitting on a bench, allowing your elbow and forearm to rest on your thigh with your hand dangling off your knee, palm- up. Your elbow should be bent 90 degrees. Let the dumbbell hang down, and then curl your wrist up so your palm faces your biceps. Keep the movement slow and strict for all reps.
PALMS DOWN DUMBELL WRIST CURL OVER A BENCH
Start out by placing two dumbbells on one side of a flat bench. Kneel down on both of your knees so that your body is facing the flat bench. Use your arms to grab both of the dumbbells palms facing down and bring them up so that your forearms are resting against the flat bench. Your wrists should be hanging over the edge. Start out by curling your wrist upwards and exhaling. Slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling. Your forearms should be stationary as your wrist is the only movement needed to perform this exercise.
Pick up the heaviest set of dumbbells you can and hold them at your sides. Stand tall and walk with them for the prescribed time.
It is important to realize that the body is only as strong as its weakest link. Weakness in the forearms and wrists will limit how hard you can work your arms, and the rest of your upper body. Train hard Train safe…..
IFBB PRO JOSEPH PALUMBO
IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs