What if I told you there was one thing you could do that would improve your strength in every single movement you perform at the gym?
Well, it’s true! And chances are that you’ve already guessed what I’m going to say by looking at the title…
But humor me…
Training your forearms is the quickest way to improve your strength and can help everything from your bench press to your pull up to your deadlift. Why? Because for many of us the forearms are a week link when it comes to our lifting. Strong forearms provide stability for the weight, which improves our control over it which in turn allows us to pump out more repetitions. If you take this away, then the weight starts wobbling all over the place and you end up with egg on your face. That, and weak forearms make lifting weights painful and make us prone to dropping them.
So if we want to get stronger, we need to focus on forearms. And we need to train our forearms in the right way in order to give them both explosive strength and long-term endurance. Your forearms are going to be involved in nearly every exercise during any workout so they need to be able to last.
Training Your Forearm Endurance
This forearm endurance is the thing that many of us will miss out even if we have the foresight to train our forearms. So how do you train for that?
The simple answer is to hold on. What you’re going to do here is simply hang from something in order to test your ability to maintain your grip and endurance for a long period of time.
The first and most straightforward of these is the ‘straight arm hang’ where you simply hang from a bar with your arms straight. The next is the ‘flexed arm hang’ where you use an overhand (pronated) grip, bring your arms in together slightly and bend at the elbows so your head is above the bar. This one is cool because it’s what the military use to train ability to hang! You can keep counting your time as long as the arm isn’t completely straight.
Next up is the ‘bicep chin hang’. This is the same – arms closer to the chest, in together and bent. The only difference is that you have an underhand ‘supinated’ grip.
Finally, we’re going to perform a dynamic challenge. This means that you’re going to keep moving by performing ‘over/unders’ – switching your grip from supinated to pronated one at a time and with no pause in between.
More Forearm Strength
All this above will give you forearms that actually perform. On top of this you can try using farmers’ carries which are another great exercise for forearm endurance.
And of course you shouldn’t forget your ‘regular’ forearm training – which means wrist curls, rock climbing and rope pull ups.
Start doing this kind of training and not only will it offer a fun change for your workouts but it will also offer huge rewards in terms of your physical performance.