Forearms – simply the bit between your wrist and elbow. Not much to it, right? Well for some of us naturally skinny guys growing huge forearms can seem unachievable!
Well worry no longer – I’ve got a couple of awesome methods you can follow to grow your forearms at home (even if you’re an ectomorph like me.)
At a glance…
- There are over 20 muscles in your forearm!
- Consistently training for a few months will grow your arms
- Rope (or rock) climbing will grow your upper body muscles
- If you have weights try farmer walks, static holds and fat grips to target your forearms
What is the forearm for?
So just what is the bit of your arm between your wrist and your elbow ACTUALLY for? Turns out – quite a lot!
Amazingly in that bit of your arm there are two bones supported by over 20 muscles. The forearm is split into a flexor (also known as anterior) and extensor (also known as posterior) compartments.
The variety of muscles in your forearm do some pretty amazing things which we take for granted – they allow you to pronate (turn so your palm faces downwards) your forearm, and also supinate it (turn so your palm faces up.)
Sounds pretty simple, but it’s amazing how important this is for precise movement of the hands and arms. Have a go at moving your hand to simply scratch your head without either of these movements – pretty difficult to do, and if you can do it then it’s hugely inaccurate!
Your forearm also carries all the muscle connections for wrist and some hand / finger movements too.
How skinny guys can get bigger forearms
Naturally thin guys (like me) generally struggle to put meaningful size on our forearms. This can be a pain as thin or weedy forearms can be quite frustrating as they are one of the most often exposed parts of your body.
The secret for anyone – skinny or not – is consistency. Yep – boring old consistency.
If you want to grow your forearms then all I ask is that you commit to chasing this goal for a couple of months. With consistent application you will see results, but if you don’t stick with it you won’t see results and may lose your motivation.
We definitely don’t want that!
Method 1 – How to get bigger forearms without weights
One question for you: have you ever seen a climber with lame arms? Me neither. No weights – no problem.
If you can get access to a climbing rope (so the course, approximately 2” diameter rope often seen in CrossFit and similar) you have all you need to get absolutely huge forearms. In fact a climbing rope will pump up all your upper body muscles!
We can use the old US Army technique of setting up our rope around 20ft high (use an extra tall power rack, a CrossFit gym, a post on your house or a tall tree) and simply start trying to climb your way to the top and back down again.
You won’t shoot up to the top straight away, so just go as high as you can then drop back down or lower yourself (hint: do NOT slide down or you will burn your hands)
Once you can get to the top and down start to perform ‘reps’ of this – climb up and down take a small break of 2 – 3 minutes then try again. Rinse and repeat!
You can even grab a backpack with some books in it and do the climb to make it harder.
Once you can do a few 20’ climbs and descents you will have forearms that are GROWING like crazy.
Method 2 – How to get bigger forearms at home with dumbbells
If you’ve got dumbbells, or a selection of free weights, you have a few more options to get some serious forearm hypertrophy underway.
I love these exercises for simple, garage gym style workouts:
- Farmer walks – don’t use straps if you want the most impact on your forearms. Grip your dumbbells and take a walk for as long as you can. For extra pain squeeze the dumbbell handle extra hard to maximise the contraction!
- Holds – using dumbbells or a loaded barbell (imagine the pose when you lockout a deadlift) just hold the weight while standing straight up. Again for bonus hypertrophy squeeze the barbell or dumbbell like mad to get maximum contraction in the arm muscles!
- Fat grips – pump up the bar width by using Fat Gripz, or simply wrapping your bar or weights to make the handle diameter thicker. The added bulk puts extra strain on your arm which will lead to growth in the long term
So – skinny guy or not so skinny guy – you can grow huge forearms if you are prepared to consistently apply yourself. If you have weights available doing some holds and farmer walks a few times a week will pump them up.
But if you have access to a climbing rope then you can get some SERIOUS results not just by getting jacked forearms, but also pumping up your whole upper body!