Big forearms can take you far in life.
Just look at Popeye. His body is kind of pathetic, but everyone thinks he’s strong because of his massive forearms.
There’s really no secret to getting bigger forearms. Just like everything else in fitness, you must put in the time.
And don’t let anyone fool you. You can do it naturally. Others with less dedication will make the excuse that you have to be taking some highly charged “supplements” to get colossal forearms.
If you follow the tips below, you’ll have sizable forearms in no time.
It’s Not all Genetics (Or Spinach)
When I was young, I always thought my father had Popeye like forearms. I remember asking him how to get bigger forearms when I was a skinny little kid with barely a muscle on me.
“Just work hard,” he replied.
He didn’t mean spend time in the gym as he never really lifted weights in his life. His advice was to do as much work outside in the yard and it would pay off. Come to think of it, he probably was just telling me to get off my ass and help him with the yard work.
In any case, genetics does play a factor, but you can build on what you have. While some men have small wrists, forearms, and calves (my arch-nemesis), you can still add some mass to them by following a few scientific principles.
How to Get Bigger Forearms: 5 Muscle Boosting Tips
Let’s get our plan into action as we attempt to increase the girth of your forearms in a month’s time.
Eat More Protein
There are hundreds of research studies available online that will detail how increasing protein intake along with performing strength training can increase muscle mass and strength rather quickly.
As Ron Burgundy famously said, “It’s science.”
If you’d like to read up on such a study and not be bored to tears, here is a great PDF by the American College of Sports Medicine that will not just instruct you on the importance of protein, but how much to take and when.
Train Your Forearm Muscles Often
When performing heavy resistance training, your muscle protein synthesis is on overdrive for about 36 hours after. To put it simply, this is the optimal time for your muscles to grow bigger.
If you’re training your forearms, you can actually work them out every 36 hours if they can handle it without getting too sore. But remember, you want them to grow, not get injured.
I’ve seen people break the radius and ulna bones in their forearms and it is not a pretty sight. It’s hard to get grande forearms when you can’t train them because they’re snapped in two.
Change Your Curls Grip
When you’re curling a dumbbell or barbell with your palms up (supinated grip), you’re focusing extensively on your biceps. This is great if you’re trying to increase the size of your upper arms.
If you curl with your palms down (called a pronated grip), the exercise will target your forearm muscles while your biceps basically get a break.
In addition, dumbbell hammer curls will make your forearms grow better than a regular supinated curl as it’ll emphasize strengthening the forearm muscles more.
Hammer curls do not totally neglect the biceps either.
More than a decade ago, my forearms were in constant pain. I went to a doctor who enjoyed the world of bodybuilding. He essentially told me that I had tiny cracks in my radius and ulna from curling too heavy of weight during my sets.
He said if I change to a hammer curl form, it increases the weight that the forearm can withstand (kind of like turning a board sideways). My forearms have been pain-free ever since!
Embrace Constant Tension
By doing half reps where there is constant tension on your forearms instead of full reps where your forearms get a slight rest every other second, your forearm muscles will get stronger and increase in size.
This can be completed with a few exercises such as a reverse curl or pull-ups.
Add New Forearm Building Exercises to Your Routine
If you want a muscle to get bigger, you can’t just keep on doing the same routine over and over and expect it to grow. You need to change things up with exercises that put more of an emphasis on that muscle group.
Here are a few of my favorite forearm building exercises that will have people commenting on them in a month’s time:
- Barbell Wrist Flexion
- Farmer’s Walk
- Plate Curls
- Barbell Wrist Curls
- Knuckle Push-ups
- Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls
See the Difference?
One month in the gym will fly by. While most of us are just trying to maintain what we already have, getting bigger forearms is the perfect goal that you can accomplish in the short term and keep moving forward with your other goals.
I hope you enjoyed the training suggestions and will instill them in your workouts while passing them out to others as well. You’ll be surprised at just how many people are going to recognize your stronger forearms.
Be sure to follow us on our YouTube channel for more recommendations on how to transform your body.
Do forearms grow naturally with time?
It depends. If you’re a young teenager, then your forearms have a chance to grow naturally with time. But if you’re older than 20, you’re going to be stuck with what you have unless you start doing something different.
Will push-ups make my forearms grow bigger?
They couldn’t hurt. Push-ups are a terrific compound exercise that hit several muscle groups. While they aren’t known to give you Popeye forearms, there are variations of push-ups that may focus on the forearm muscles better.
For instance, listed up in the article, knuckle push-ups are better than regular push-ups for building wrist strength and focusing on the forearms more.
How do I make my wrists bigger?
Your wrists are essentially just bones and tendons. You can only make your wrists bigger a fraction of an inch. But think of it this way. If your wrists are tiny, they’ll make your forearms look so much bigger when you pack on the muscle.
How important are wrist curls for getting bigger forearms?
Very important. They’re one of the top exercises for gaining strength and size in your forearms. And there are probably a dozen variations you can do of wrist curls (with dumbbells, barbells, cables, etc) to ensure you’re hitting them hard.