A major role
The role of the forearms, something that is often overlooked in gym routines, is crucial for optimal training: developing strong forearm muscles will allow you to have a better grip and in turn, be able to handle greater loads.
A strong grip is needed for both gym sessions with machines or free weights, and contact sports like MMA, judo, sports where you are required to intensively grip equipment (tennis, rowing, skiing, etc.), or extreme sports such as climbing, where having a good grip is crucial.
Forearm and muscle volume
Unless you are genetically gifted, forearm muscles tend to be more resistant to growth, much like calves.
This muscle group is stressed in almost all weight exercises, since it must in any case, always bear a load.
It is hard to stimulate the forearms correctly without overtraining them, but the correct approach can lead to excellent results.
Should you dedicate an entire session to your forearms?
Splitting up your weekly training schedule to devote an entire session to your forearms is not recommended.
As stated above, the forearm muscles are involved in all exercises, so a very intense workout dedicated solely to your forearms, runs the risk of compromising the workout for the other parts of your body.
The gripper: how to use it correctly
The best known tool when it comes to improving grip is most definitely the hand gripper.
There are many types available, and for this reason, we must know how to choose well, by judging the quality.
It is important to choose the appropriate resistance. Models with 2 or 3 different resistance levels are currently available on the market.
Harbinger Hand Gripper with 3 resistance levels
It is a very efficient tool, which when used will lead to significant improvements in all exercises that require a strong grip, such as pull-ups.
It is best to take it slow, warm up well first and never force the muscles: the forearm muscles tire easily and excessive use, especially in those who are predisposed, could lead to joint inflammation or tenderness.
We do not recommend that you use the gripper more than once or twice a week.
The axle bar
The axle bar is an excellent tool for improving forearm grip and strength.
It is a barbell with a thicker than usual bar, typically 5 cm in diameter, that better engages the forearm muscles.
If your gym doesn't have an axle bar, you can use hand-grips that have been designed to thicken your grip on traditional barbells.
Harbinger Grip Bar, hand-grips to thicken grip on barbells
Straps and hooks
Particularly intense exercises often place too much stress on forearm muscles.
In fact, these muscles tire and exhaust before the target muscles.
During pull-ups or barbell deadlifts, the forearms often tire before the back muscles, which are bigger and more powerful muscles, thus undermining their full workout.
It is therefore useful to use straps or hooks that reduce some of the tension in the forearm muscle.Harbinger produces various types of high-quality straps and hooks.
What results can be achieved from a great forearm workout?
Like all workouts, the results do not appear overnight, but with a well planned workout, you will soon be seeing a greater muscle volume, a much stronger grip and a more satisfying workout for the rest of your body.