When people think of muscles they generally think of arms. And when thinking of arms, many go straight to the biceps. When someone is asked to flex his muscles, he or she generally goes to the biceps, and is generally expected to do so.
Generally people do not understand that a substantial amount of arm size is made up by the triceps, which as the name implies, is made up of three parts. Yet, many people who lift weights give reasonable time to triceps workouts. However, many people do not realize that forearms not only add a lot to the aesthetics of the arms, but to strength as well.
The forearms are made up of many muscles, and their names can be researched, but are not immediately necessary in order to learn how to develop them. What is important to understand is that because there is more than one muscle, there is more than one exercise to properly develop the forearms.
To work the inside of the forearm, or the muscles you see when your forearm is supine, curls work well.
- Pick a dumbbell of proper weight.
- Sit on a bench or a chair.
- While holding the weight in your hand, lay your forearm on your leg so that your wrist is just past your knee.
- Stretch your hand back as far as it will go, and then curl the dumbbell as far forward as you can. Repeat for reps, before switching hands.
To work the top of the forearm, or the muscles you see when your forearm is prone, a reserve curl works well.
- Pick a dumbbell of proper weight. (In the beginning this weight may be lighter than the one used for the normal curl.
- Sit on a bench or a chair.
- While holding the weight in your hand, lay your forearm on your leg so that your wrist is just past the knee.
- Curl the weight back towards you, and then slowly lower it towards your knee. This motion is a reverse curl because the main movement has the weight moving towards the top of the forearm, rather than the inner forearm.
One can also do a standing reverse curl to work the brachioradyalis, which is located closer to the elbow. Developing this muscle will not only add strength, but size to the overall look of the arm.
- It is preferable to use a barbell for this lift, although dumbbells are fine if preferred.
- Stand in the same position as you would doing a normal barbell curl, taking a comfortable grip as close to shoulder wide as possible. Remember that to do a reverse curl, your hand must be over the bar, rather than under.
- While keeping your elbows close to your sides and immobile, curl the weight until it is parallel to the ground before lowering it smoothly, careful to keep from swinging the weight.
To make both gains in strength and aesthetics for the arms, you must develop the whole arm. It is not enough to develop the biceps and triceps, though those are the most obvious muscles in the arms. For truly impressive arms, develop your forearms and you will notice not only how much stronger you will be, but how much better your arms will look.