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Small, Thin Forearms? Try These Solutions

small forearms

The forearm is the most visible muscle group in the human body. If you have naturally thin lower arms due to your genetics or lack of resistance training, this guide covers how to get big forearms.

Why do I have skinny forearms?

There are many reasons why someone may have skinny forearms. First, if you’re a teen, it’s actually quite normal to have a relatively thin forearm, and unless your doctor thinks it’s a problem, it’s not something you should worry about. I had the same problem when I was younger, and it got better as I gained muscle.

Also, it’s possible that your thin forearms are due to your genetics. If you are somewhat taller or have less overall muscle mass, your body mass will naturally be distributed over a larger surface area, which can result in your lower arms looking a little thinner.

Yes, genes play a role in the size of muscle but a healthy diet consisting of protein and adequate workout can address genetic deficits with skinny forearms included.

More realistically, maybe you’re not doing weight training well enough or you are just impatient?

Muscles don’t just grow overnight. It can take months before you start to see the results of your training.

Another reason for thin forearms can also be insufficient calories. Muscle growth will only happen if you consume enough high-quality protein and healthy calories to support the extra body mass.

Do having thin forearms mean anything

Before we delve into how to get bigger forearms, it’s enough to understand what small forearms mean.

  • Small frame

Small frame can also play a role on how big your fore arm can get. For some who has a 5 inch forearms can mean they have smaller muscles around their wrist joint and also the lower part of your arms which also indicates small hands and fingers.

  • Having less Muscles Doesn’t Mean You Are Weak

But having a small frame is not a bad thing. If you’re interested in boxing and wrestling, you can do wrists exercises to get the bigger muscles in your forearms. You will feel like your wrists have grown in size and you can deliver faster punches than with muscular arms.

  • Not good fit for big face watches

You also won’t fit well in big wrist watches. Most small forearms enthusiasts find that modern watches are too big for them.

  • It Doesn’t Mean Poor Health

Having a small forearm does not mean that you are in bad shape, unhealthy or less strength. As some people believe, it simply means that you have a smaller body size in general.

  • You Look Thin Near big guys

One thing, when you’re standing with your tall and heavy-bodied friends, it can seem like your forearms aren’t “big” than theirs.

How to get rid of thin forearms

Why are my forearms so small? We often hear people say this. But if you’re serious about gaining muscle, you need to put your knowledge into practice so that you can enjoy the benefits.

1 .  Do direct training

Direct training is any for which the primary purpose is to train the forearms in which they are the prime movers. Wrist curls are the obvious example of direct training, but I also love doing grip training drills (such as a farmer’s walk) to build overall mass.

2 .  Eat right

Training right to target specific muscle groups is important, but without enough proper fuel, nothing will happen.

Weightlifting and powerlifting will lead to invisible muscle tears after each workout. That’s where your diet comes in – the protein will help heal these tears make your muscles bigger and stronger than ever.

You want to fill your body with protein throughout the day. In general, you should take in at least 0.8 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

3 .  Increase your calorie intake

Muscle growth, at least in the early stages when you have a lot to build, can often happen rapidly when you eat in a caloric surplus because your body has extra energy in the form of calories it can use for to build new muscle tissue.

It’s easy to eat in a calorie surplus. While many people track their calories, this behavior is quite unnatural and can quickly take away the pleasure from eating. Also, some of those apps and tracking methods are inherently wrong.

Anyway, I recommend adding another high protein food to your daily routine and/or taking a slightly larger portion to your daily meals.

4 .  Get a good recovery

Recovery includes eating enough protein and calories, getting enough sleep, and performing an appropriate amount of training in the gym. Remember that you get lower arms work during almost every stretching exercise. Therefore, you can get great benefits from just a few tough sets of forearm curls.

Often people are impatient, and therefore they think that doubling the number of sets they need will give them faster results. This may happen in the beginning, but once you get past those novice gains, muscle growth slows down considerably.

5 .  Train all parts of the forearms

Even a thin forearm with good definition can show you major muscles. The flexors are on the underside of your lower arm; At the top, you have the extensors; Then there’s the brachioradialis, near your biceps.

Hammer curls and reverse curls are your best options as far as the brachioradialis is concerned. While for the extensors and flexors can be trained with wrist curls and grip work included.

For every set of biceps curls, do at least one set of reverse curls. While for training the flexors and extensors with grip work included work the wrist curls

By bucking the trend and training all the muscles, your lower arms will look more impressive from every angle, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a great forearm before and after the transformation.

6 .  Hit your forearms frequently

Instead, end your workout with wrist and forearm exercises.

For example, let’s say you go to the gym four days a week (every other day). You can do one or two sets of each of the three big exercises at the end of each workout. That counts to seven forearms workouts every 14 days. Frequency is important here!

7 .  Do more sets and reps

Use high reps for the forearms That means you’re looking at somewhere between 10 and 20 reps per set at a lighter weight.

But intensity is just as important as the number of reps you’re doing. So, if you’re easily pumping out 20 reps of wrist curls and feel like you have ten more reps left in the tank, you’re not lifting heavy enough.

Most serious lifters will recommend doing each set at 60% to 75% of your 1RM for each exercise.

8 .  Incorporate fat grips

Fat Grips is the ultimate investment you can make in the size of your arms. They are simple, yet so effective. All you have to do is place them around the barbell and dumbbells you use.

You don’t need any fancy or expensive fat grips, in fact, the rag wrapped around the bar also makes a difference. But if you want to be safe, and want a uniform grip, I recommend getting a cheap pair of 2 inch fat grips.

So, how do you build big forearms?

It is common for thin people to have thin forearms. There are a number of workouts that works the forearms to at least a bit of degree. Such as curls, rows and others. As a beginner, this might even be enough for you to start getting some forearm shape.

The best way to get big forearms is to train them with forearm isolation lifts. So, once you’ve gained your first 10-20 pounds of muscle, you can consider doing a few short forearm workouts every week. These workouts are simple and effective, and it’s realistic to achieve noticeable shape within just a few months.

What is a good workout for thin forearms?

I recommend doing this only once per week because all the other stretching exercises you already do add up to a considerable amount of training volume for the forearms.

3 Best Forearm Exercises

One mistake made when training is thinking only grip work is enough to make your forearms bigger. Your grip muscles are actually located in your forearms, but those muscles are small, so strengthening them won’t do much to increase the circumference of your forearms.

There are three different muscle groups we are interested in when building big forearms:

  1. Wrist extensors: These are the muscles that run along the entire back of your forearms. They’re not big muscles, and they can only be so strong, but they’re probably underdeveloped unless you work a manual labour job.
  2. Wrist Flexors: These muscles are the biceps of your forearms. They are strong muscles with a great growth potential. Training this part of your forearm can increase the circumference of your forearms and it’s a very effective and easy way.
  3. Elbow Flexors: These are the muscles we train with barbell rows, pull-ups and reverse curls. You can increase these by getting stronger in larger compound lifts, but they will grow even faster if you train them directly.

This gives us 3 forearm exercises that we can use to get the biggest muscles in our forearms.

1 .  Reverse curls

small forearms

photo source: “Incline Reverse Kettlebell Curl” by personaltrainertoronto is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The next part of building the forearms is training the brachioradialis muscle. People who train for strength usually do just fine here by incorporating lots of strapless barbell rowing into their routine. However, depending on which muscles are their limiting factor, they may still benefit from incorporating some isolation lifts.

When our arms are overhead (as in the underhand chin-up) the muscles in our upper arms — the biceps and brachialis — both have a good pull angle. Conversely, if we use the overhand grip, our brachioradialis muscles tend to twist back, giving us a better stretch. As a result, the best way to isolate our brachioradialis muscles is to do reverse curls, such as:

  • Reverse curl to brachioradialis.

Reverse curls are best done with a curl-bar (aka Easy-Bar), like this one:

  • Curl-Bar / EZ-Bar

Most gyms will have some of these, often with fixed weights. Even if you use a home gym, these are a good barbell to invest in.

  • Hammer curls for the brachialis and brachioradialis.

The hammer curls target a little bit of mix of the brachioradialis and brachialis.

2 .  Wrist curls

small forearms

photo source: “Wrist Curl )” by Ulf Liljankoski is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Wrist curls are often the best exercises for building forearms. Your wrist flexors have a lot of growth potential, and building them can add inches to your forearm.

Roll the barbell in the crooks of your hand while curling the wrist.

Many of our forearm flexors attach at the tips of our fingers, so by opening our hands and then lifting the weights back up with our fingers, we’re working them through a deep range of motion.

3 .  Wrist extension

Wrist extension are one of the best exercises to build the wrist extensors. and to be fair. this. It’s not much different from doing a calf extension in an effort to bulk up the fronts of your shin. Is this what most people do? No.

Here’s the thing. If you have thin forearms, they’re probably thinner all the way from your wrists to your elbows. Most forearm exercises are good for training your forearms near the elbows. Barbell rows, reverse curls and wrist curls will do just that.

You may need to start with pink dumbbells or by holding some 5-pound weight plates, especially if you’re doing them for 15-30 reps.

Let us consider some other workout routines to get bigger, ripped forearms and wrists. Even though they may seem unconventional, they’re going to give you thicker forearms and sizable wrists in a few weeks.

You know, wrist curls are great forearm exercises, but there are some easier, different, and better exercises to blow up the forearms.

Other Grip Exercises to Build your small forearms

Farmer’s Walk

small forearms

The farmer’s walk is one of the main exercises that builds impressive forearms in big guys. The advantage of doing this is that it provides full strength on your wrists, forearms and builds your grip with heavy weights like heavy duty dumbbells.

  • Hold very heavy dumbbells to your left and to your right hand.
  • Pick them up with both hands and hold them by your side.
  • Take a walk with them for about 30 seconds
  • Rest 60 seconds and do 3 more sets.
Cable Supination and Pronunciation

This forearm workout uses a single cable machine to work out one arm. If you want, you can take a dual cable gym machine and use both hands. If you have non, try going to the gym. All you have to do is attach the handle of a workout rope to the cable machine pulley system.

  • Grab the ends of the rope with the left hand, making sure your thumb is pointing at the machine while your palm is facing up.
  • Sit on a bench, bend your elbows at right angles (90 degrees)
  • Turn your wrist inward until your palm is facing down
  • Switch arms and repeat this in 2 sets, and about 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Deadlifts

If you want bigger and stronger forearms, use exercises that allow you to hold the most weight. Exercises such as the deadlift. It’s best to hold the bar with the knuckles of both hands facing forward, but you can switch to a reverse grip to push your limits.

Pull Ups and Lat Pull Downs

Pull-ups are not only the best back and full body exercise you can practice, but they have the potential to explode your forearms. For me, I only feel tension on my forearms after 10 pull-ups.

If you can’t do pull-ups yet or want to do even more for your forearms, use your gym’s lat pulldown machine. This is where you can pack on the volume and test your grip strength, especially if you use fat grip.

Hammer Curls

A great way to add more dimension to your forearms is to target the brachialis. The brachialis is a muscle that runs from the top of your forearm, through the outer arm between the biceps and triceps, to the cap of your shoulder.

Hammer curls are a wonderful way to target this muscle.

To do a hammer curl; Grab a pair of dumbbells, hold them by your waist and face the dumbbells forward, then curl them from your waist to your armpits.

Shrugs and Grip Strength

It’s simple. All you have to do is to hold on to something heavy with full grip for a long time. Try to do 3 sets of 15 shrugs, but never drop the weight in between sets. If you’re deadlifting or doing pull-ups, you can try hanging on for an additional 30 seconds after doing the repetitions.

Exercises to Strengthen the Forearms Without Weights

small forearms

photo source: “File:Hand gripper.jpg” by santeri viinamaki, photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

There are other ways to build your wrists without forearm workouts with no weights and without dumbbells. Many people get intimidated when they hear about standard weight lifting and so their fear limits them. Also, if you’re bored with dumbbell lifting exercises, you might want to try another strategy on how to get bigger forearms, wrists, and hands.

But can the wrists get bigger without the use of weights? Right question, because most people are used to seeing muscular people like boxers, bodybuilders and wrestlers lifting heavy duty weights in the gym. It is entirely possible to increase the size of your wrists without lifting any weights, and they will still make your wrists big very quickly.

How to build up skinny forearms Without Weights – Use Resistance Bands

If you can’t carry weights in your home for fear of them falling and ruining your apartment floor, training at home with bands is a real no-brainer exercise for building smaller wrists. Plus, if you have a tight budget plan, and can’t afford weights, resistance bands are more affordable and offer easy home fitness exercises to build wrist strength and mass without a gym membership.

If you don’t want to put on weights to make your thin wrists and forearms thicker, you can do wrist exercises without weights by working with resistance bands instead of doing wrist and forearm weight exercises. Plus, you can use them for training wherever you go – whether it’s at home while watching your favourite TV series or in the office with business clients.

Some start with a weight and give up later. This is because they are not aware that it is very easy to use bands for forearm workouts at home without weights. All you need is bands ranging from lighter to tough bands that have more resistance and require more strength.

Lightweight bands are good for teenagers and beginners or people just starting out. If you use them and gain more experience, you can switch to stretching bands with higher weights, which require a lot of strength to work the forearms and wrists. Also, when you feel comfortable pulling on a tougher band to work your forearms, you can switch to weight lifting exercises to build the muscles of the wrists and forearms.

Finger Exercise – Band Finger Extension

This workout is on how to get bigger forearms and fingers by using heavy-duty rubber bands around your fingers. Using both hands, place the resistance bands on the fingers, then spread the fingers of both hands far and wide and then slowly bring them closer. You can do 2 sets with about 24 reps on each arm.

How long does it take to build up skinny forearms?

It all depends, if you still have a lot of muscle to gain, you can cure your thin forearms very quickly. You can really see great results in just 6-10 weeks with the right diet and training regime.

So, if you have a good overall physique and lagging forearms, you can still see relatively quick results from direct training.

But if your forearms are naturally weak because of your genetics, it may take a little longer than usual to gain muscle. As you’ll see on the Internet, however, many people with so-called “bad genetics” have gained a lot of muscle naturally.

Conclusion: Building your small, thin forearms

Building up skinny forearms might be a hard task to do but with patience and dedication you will grow. Essentially, if you don’t see immediate progress, don’t change your diet and training regime every few weeks. Muscle growth takes time to appear, but the long-term results are always worth the initial waiting period.

Good luck in your quest to gain muscle!

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