In this video we’re looking at proper technique on a variety of different forearm and grip exercises. We will take a close look at technique, biomechanics and fixing form mistakes on all of these movements for hitting the front and back of the forearm, including the brachioradialis muscle.
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About me: I’m a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter with a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and a passion for science. I’ve been training for 12 years drug-free. I’m 5’5 and fluctuate between 160 lbs (lean) and 180 lbs (bulked).
Disclaimers: Jeff Nippard is not a doctor or a medical professional. Always consult a physician before starting any exercise program. Use of this information is strictly at your own risk. Jeff Nippard will not assume any liability for direct or indirect losses or damages that may result from the use of information contained in this video including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.
okay welcome everyone to a new episode of technique Tuesday this week we're going to be looking at a variety of different exercises for developing the forearms and grip strength I actually think the forms are one of the most underrated muscles for looking jacked especially when wearing a t-shirt when the only muscles really exposed are the forearms and the neck so you want to make sure you're not neglecting them but Before we jump into it let's cover some basic anatomy first now many trainees think of the forums as a single muscle but there are in fact over 20 different muscles from wrist to elbow these muscles can be split up into an anterior compartment on the front and a posterior compartment on the back the interior muscles perform wrist flexion and finger flexion so anytime you curl your wrist or anytime you grip something you'll be training the front of your forearm and the posterior muscles perform wrist and finger extension probably the most prominent muscle on the back of the forearm is the brachioradialis which along with the biceps flexes the elbow however well it will be active in normal supinated curls because it sits on the back of the forearm it's gonna be more active when the wrist is pronated as the biceps will be put into a biomechanical disadvantageous position so for this reason the first exercise we're going to cover is the reverse grip curl now here you can use either an EZ bar or a pre-loaded barbell whatever feels more comfortable I personally find the semi pronated grip on an EZ bar puts less strain on my wrists you want to take a thumbless grip which is gonna get more of the interior muscles involved by preventing the bar from resting passively on your thumbs and as you grip the bar you want to think about clamping your 8 fingers into the base of your hands as hard as you comfortably can some training is fine that putting the wrist either into slight extension or slight flexion can help improve their mind muscle connection with the brachioradialis so you can experiment with that while keeping your elbows pinned in at your sides curl the weight up until you reach maximum elbow flexion and then lower the weight back down under control 1 paper from marine Ian's colleagues found that peak torque for the brachioradialis occurred between 100 120 degrees of elbow flexion where as peak torque for the biceps was closer to 80 degrees this might imply that performing partial reps in the top half of the range could help target the brachioradialis over the biceps so as an advanced intensity technique after completing 12 to 15 full reps you can extend the set by doing top half reverse curls now other than just using too much momentum I would say the most common error here is letting the bar rest in your hand or on your thumbs while this isn't necessarily wrong it will make the lift easier and target less of the forearm overall the next exercise we're going to cover is the wrist roller which is in my opinion one of the most effective movements for working both the front and the back of the forearm since as one hand goes into flexion the other goes into extension now here I'd recommend standing on some kind of elevated box or riser so the Rope can hang a bit lower you want to load the rope with a light weight and lift the plate up by twisting your wrists backward once the plate reaches the top reverse the wrist motion allowing the plate to go back down as you actively untwist the rope rather than just letting it fall and I think the best way to overload here is by incrementally adding weight or by gradually increasing the total distance that you move the plate with the same weight by doing extra rounds now one common error that I see here is holding the roller well out in front of you and while this isn't necessarily wrong it will most likely cause your front delts to fatigue before your forearms so I prefer to keep my arms and more in by my sides with a flexed elbow which is also going to isometrically tax the brachioradialis and the biceps to a degree as well okay up next let's have a look at the barbell towel hold is a more functional exercise that's gonna have more carryover two other lifts such as heavy deadlifts and rows and my opinion this is one of the most underrated exercises for developing a pure grip strength so you want to set up a barbell in a squat rack just above knee height so you don't need to dead lift the weight up first wrap to small gym towels around the bar so the ends of the towels overlap in your hands and grip the towels as hard as you can while lifting the bar up the few inches off the pins until you reach full lockout you'll want to start relatively light even for roughly 30 second holds from there you can overload by adding time up to 45 seconds then adding some weight and repeating starting back at 30 once again you can also load these from a pull-up bar however even putty weight can be difficult at first so if you're looking for a challenge definitely give these a shot they're also a bunch of other more basic isometric grip focused exercises like farmers walks standard a barbell holds that I'll train the same basic thing however I like using the towels because they allow you to tax the forearms and develop grip strength without having to load as much weight which can save time and spare other assistance muscles from generating as much fatigue also with traditional barbell holds it's tougher to train finger flexion quite as much since you can just let the bar sort of sit in your palms as opposed to literally crushing the toggles in with your fingers all right up next I want to cover one of my favorite forearm drills which is the pleat pinch some athletes count pinching strength as its own feet apart from gripping in the palms and this exercise is really going to strengthen up the digit flexors of the anterior forearm so here you want to grab two plates side-by-side and pinch them up off the ground by squeezing your fingers together as hard as possible and recommend starting off with two five or ten pound plates eventually graduating on 225 pounds or even thirty five pound plates and if you're really trying to beef up your hands as much as possible these can also be loaded with the thumb plus one finger at a time so for example you can hit your thumb and index or your thumb and pinky fingers individually to really specialize now but I mostly like the plate pinch because it allows you to target each side individually which can be helpful for identifying and correcting left to right grip imbalances and if you find your finger slipping I definitely recommend using chalk and while these grip based exercises will undoubtedly build the forearms they're mostly training isometric strength so I'd like to quickly cover a few exercises that take the fingers in the wrist through a more dynamic active range of motion at first we can train a crushing strength by using a hand gripper this might be overkill if you're already doing some of the previous exercises but it does make for a convenient way to get some form training in at home while taking the fingers through an active range of motion now as a body builder I personally still really like the basic dumbbell wrist curl for lagging forearms now it may not be as functional or have as much carryover as some of the others but it will hit the anterior forearm really well it's really simple to perform and it's easy to overload that gradual adding reps or weight over time and since we're isolating a single joint in a relatively smaller muscle group I like to stick to higher reps in the 15 to 20 zone and similarly you can train a wrist extension by flipping your arm over positioning your wrists just off the bench and doing 15 to 20 reps with slightly lighter dumbbells now when it comes to training frequency and volume I definitely don't think hitting your forearms directly is required for everyone as they're already gonna be getting a lot of indirect work from any pulling and dead lifting in your program however I would say that to really maximize their development some isolation is necessary especially if they're a weak point for you and you can start by simply adding in one or two of these movements once or twice per week and then assess your progress from there or if you're really looking to take your forearm training up a notch and you can check out my forum hypertrophied ID on my website which i've knocked down to just 5 bucks for this video that discusses the anatomy and biomechanics and the scientific research on foreign training in more detail than I could go into in this video and it lays out a 8 week forearm program you guys can incorporate into a variety of different splits so I'll have that as the first link in the description box down below if you guys would like to pick it up and show me some support for the work that I'm doing over here on the channel and that is all that I have for this one guys don't forget to leave the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it subscribe if you haven't already and I'll see you guys all here in the next one