There’s no question about it, a well developed set of forearms projects an air of strength, but there’s far more to building a nice set of lower guns than giving the crusty, old sailor a run for his money. Forearm exercises that build strength in your lower arms have applications in many sports and greatly assist you in performing other lifts. In light of this, finding the best forearm exercise equipment to use when building said muscles is quite important.
Your forearms are more than simply a way to display your impressive vascularity when wearing a short sleeved shirt. Since one of their main functions is powering your grip, performance in sports that rely on your ability to grab and hold tight to objects can be significantly improved by embarking on a forearm development program. Gymnastics, rock climbing, power lifting, martial arts, pole vaulting, rowing, and motocross are all examples of sports that rely significantly on your ability to not let go until the appropriate time. I’m sure there are others, as well.
What Equipment to Use?
The simplest piece of gear, and one you can make yourself in minutes for a few pennies is simply a 1′ long, 1-1/2” diameter wooden dowel with a weighted rope hanging from the middle of it. You just grasp each side of the dowel and roll up the rope, bringing the weight with it. Add more weight to increase the difficulty. Ask anyone who’s done this about the efficacy of such a movement. It works! You can hit Home Depot and grab the necessary materials to build one of these yourself for about $3.00.
Another old standby for increasing your Popeye factor is the ubiquitous spring powered grab handles. At one time you couldn’t venture into a gym or almost anyone’s home without running into one of these things. You know it well, the plastic handles, about 2 inches apart, with a curlique spring at the top. These too are effective for increasing your forearm strength and stamina. The downside is that the resistance can’t be changed to accommodate your increasing strength. After a while, you’ll reach the point where you do so many of these things that it almost becomes pointless to continue.
A standard, Olympic barbel is also a mighty fine piece of forearm building gear. It, too is very simple to use. With the bar on standards about waist high, rack up some weight and back up to the bar. Grasp it from behind (makes sense, as you backed up to it), with your palms facing away from you and your fingers partially extended. Roll your fingers up, bringing the bar up with it, then curl up your wrists so you lift the weight as far as possible. Do about 10 – 12 reps. You will feel these, guaranteed!
Another great way to use a barbell to develop impressive forearms is with a forward wrist curl. Start with a standard, 45lb barbell. Grasp it with your palms facing down. Put your forearms arms parallel to each other out in front of you length-ways on a bench, so that your hands are hanging over the edge. Let your hands droop, then raise the bar, being careful not to let your forearms leave the bench. Again, do 10 – 12 reps. It’s guaranteed to do the trick!
The great thing about forearm development is that you can do it with the most basic kinds of equipment. There’s no need for expensive, high-zoot machines that would make your Air Force pilot brother jealous. Stick to the basics, and you’ll get pretty amazing results in a very short period of time. My favorites are the barbell exercises. You can do these with dumbbells also, if you have to. Let me know how it works!