In his book The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger does not recommend the use of wrist straps for deadlifts and other exercises, since they reduce the involvement of the muscles of the forearms, not allowing them to increase their strength.
Not being the main muscle group, the forearms are still important for several reasons: firstly, strong forearms allow you to use more working weight in many exercises, and secondly, without them it is simply impossible to imagine powerful arms.
Forearm muscle anatomy
The forearms consist of many relatively large and small muscles, among which the largest are the brachioradialis muscle, as well as flexors and extensors of the wrist. The flexors are located on the inside of the forearm, and the extensors are on the outside.
The main task of the muscles of the forearms and hands is to maintain weight, therefore, the slower (red) fibers are the predominant type of muscle fibers. To train this type of fiber, you need a high number of repetitions and a short rest time .
Best Forearm Exercises
Obviously, to some extent, the forearms are involved in performing any exercises that require the involvement of hands - deadlift , thrust to the belt , pull-ups , exercises for the biceps and so on. However, the involvement of the forearm muscles is not too great.
For the full study of the forearms, “isolating” exercises are required, designed to involve a minimum number of additional muscle groups. Insulating exercises for the forearm are divided into three types:
1. Barbell exercises
The first group of exercises for working out the forearms includes exercises performed with a barbell. Their main advantage is that the muscles of the left and right hands are equally involved in the movement, allowing both hands to be involved evenly.
In turn, exercises for the forearms with the barbell are divided into two types: for the flexors (during the exercise, the palm looks up) and the extensors (grip on top, the palm looks down). Running on a bench is a simplified version.
2. Exercises with dumbbells
Exercises with dumbbells can both repeat exercises with a barbell (you pick up two dumbbells and, in fact, copy the exercise), and involve only one hand in the work. In the latter case, control over the movement is increased.
In addition, you can make rotational movements with a brush holding a dumbbell. However, remember that it is safer to use a moderate working weight, as well as make the movement as slowly as possible and with complete control over the rotation.
3. The rotation exercise
The third type of exercise includes exercises that additionally work out rotating muscles and increase grip strength. Take a meter rope, connect one end of it with a pancake of 5-7 kg, the second - with an empty handle from the dumbbell.
Then stand upright, grab the handle with both hands, and then, making rotational movements with your wrists, begin to wind the rope with the weight attached to the handle of the dumbbell. Perform the exercise slowly, in total no more than 3-5 repetitions.
Forearm Muscle Program
To train the muscles of the forearms and hands, add two or three different exercises on the forearms to the program for training the muscles of the hands, performing 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions in each. Use average weight and exercise slowly.
Start with dumbbell exercises using support - either support under the elbow and hand (see photo), or sitting on a bench and resting your forearm on your hip. Gradually proceed to exercise while standing, without any support from your arm.
Wrist muscle training is important both to strengthen these muscles, which will allow you to use more working weight in basic exercises, and to create powerful arms, because without developed wrists, big biceps look a little strange.