Deadlifts, farmer's walks, and chin-ups are all great for your grip and forearms. But if you want your forearms to grow, you'll need to find more direct ways to train them. Spend some time working the extensors in your forearms and not only will they grow, but your biceps might start ballooning up too.
Roll up your sleeves and give these a go:
Wrist Rollers Without the Roller
Wrist rolling is one of the best forearm exercises to isolate your wrist extensors and develop forearm size. They're also easier to do than sometimes awkward-feeling wrist curls.
The trouble is, chances are pretty low that your local Globo Gym has a wrist roller. Out of such forearm hardship, this is how banded wrist rollers were born.
Why This Exercise Works
- Practicality: Every gym has a barbell and some dumbbells. All you might need to bring is a resistance band.
- Arm Position: With banded wrist rollers, your shoulders no longer become the limiting factor. Keep your arms and elbows straight out in front and you can roll until your forearms give out.
- The Thick Grip: You already know the benefits of thick-grip training. By holding the end of an Olympic bar, the extra thickness will do your forearms and grip some good.
- Room for Progression: Most homemade wrist rollers have just a single plate attached to the end of the string. It's usually pretty light. Here you can add whatever weight you like and progress it over time.
- Exercise Feel: There's just something about it. As you roll your wrists, the band winds up, slightly stretching in the process and adding a smooth resistance. Providing you don't have an old barbell with rusty bearings, working your wrists never felt so good (insert innuendo).
- Setup Options: In the video above, I'm using a seated shoulder press rack. You could also use a power rack and pair it with something else you're doing in there. Alternatively, you could use the bench press and a kneeling position. Just make sure you always consult the gym-etiquette police prior.
Your training is likely very wrist and elbow-flexor dominant. Generally speaking, your wrist extensors don't get much work outside of their assistance in lateral raises and rows using an overhand grip.
If your forearm extensors are weak, they'll even limit overall biceps growth. To combat this, try a hard-hitting superset of reverse-grip biceps curls paired with banded wrist rollers. Try timed 60 to 120-second sets of wrist rollers.