Are long forearms hindering your performance in the gym? And are they weird for your height?
We’ll cover all these questions and more in this forearm length guide.
What are considered long forearms?
In general, if your forearms are longer than other parts of your body, such as your upper arms, you likely have a long forearm to make up for your height and build. So, in this regard, there is no hard and fast rule about what is considered long and what is considered short.
Now, in this study that I’m about to explain, there was a research in which the researchers measured both the left and right forearms of the participants. However, there wasn’t much comparison between the two.
The shortest forelimbs in males measured 20 cm (7.8″), and the longest forearms measured 30.5 cm (12″).
The same study also measured women’s forearm size. Interestingly, although the women’s forearms were on average shorter, one woman had the longest forearm (31cm/12.2”) of anyone in the research project. The shortest recorded length for females was 19 cm (7.4″), and the mean measurement was 23.5 cm (9.25″). There were a total of 1150 females in the study.
How long is the forearm on average?
The average female forearm length is 23.5 cm, while the average forearm length in males was slightly over 25.4 cm.
Is it bad to have long forearms?
We all have those body parts of which we are self-aware. But the reality is that these perceived distortions often happen in our heads. In other words, no one notices them except us.
I’ve actually seen people post pictures of their “long” forearms. It turns out that no one would have guessed they were long, which they were technically a couple of inches.
Many people also believe that they have long forearms to make up for their height. While this is often true, most people overestimate their perceived abnormalities either in order to feel special, or because they are self-conscious.
Too many self-conscious people underestimate the seriousness of their perceived “abnormalities.”
That said, in some situations, I find that having an unusually long forearm can be a hindrance. For example, if you have really long forearms, you may find it a struggle to use some exercise equipment at the gym, especially the likes of the lat pulldown machine, which requires you to extend your arms overhead.
For that to happen, though, you’d also have to be ridiculously tall. People of average height do not have such a long forearm that it interferes with their everyday activities. As I said before, we all want to feel special, and we are all self-conscious about different body parts, so often, these abnormalities are in our heads, not in someone else.
Are men’s forearms longer than women?
Yes, in general. In the above study, for example, the forearms of men were 2 cm (0.78”) longer than those of women. However, one woman in the study had longer forearms than all men, even if it was only half a centimeter.
However, it’s worth noting that there were almost twice as many women as men in the study. This likely explains why the researchers didn’t find the male having the longest forearms out of all the participants, because as the data shows, men generally have longer forearms than women on average.
Why do I have long forearms
Most people believe that long forearms are the result of a person’s genetic makeup. They are not entirely the determinant for forearm muscle growth, with the proper exercises you can build good forearm muscles.
In addition to working hard, eating right, and programming the exercise correctly, it’s essential to have the right genetics to make it in the sport.
Some factors to keep in mind are as follows: Insertion muscle. Good insertions are essential for those wishing to compete at a professional level.
Poor genetics shows up in people who have a hard time building muscle while people with good genetics builds muscle faster and have better forearm and calf insertions.
Body type is an ancient misconception, but there is still some truth to the idea. Even though one may not be an endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph, they may have some genetic predisposition such as easily putting on fat or having a difficult time putting on muscle. This can happen regardless of having a calorie deficit or surplus, which is why they are thought to have poor genetics.
Although genetics may be a limiting factor, it certainly does not cause a make-or-break situation, Consistency, adequate diet, working on weak areas is very important.
Will long forearms hinder your gym performance?
It depends on the specific exercise. For example, guys with short limbs tend to have an easier time benching big numbers at the start of their training careers because their arms need to travel through only a small amount of motion (ROM) to complete each rep.
However, as any powerlifter will tell you, people who are overweight are also capable of lifting more weight. Well, people with longer forearms generally have larger builds, which means they also have the frame to support more muscle mass (and thus greater strength levels) overall.
So, in this regard, having a longer forearm will help you the most because it generally means that you have, at the very least, a decently strong build as well.
Long forearms usually indicate a larger frame, which is actually preferable for strength gain.
Obviously, if you’re very tall and the length of your forearm is meant to match, some exercises can be especially challenging. Pull-ups spring to mind. If you have longer arms it will take more effort to complete each rep because the range of motion will be so great.
Take gymnasts as an example. They are usually relatively small in stature, but they have tremendous body weight strength. Part of this may be due to the shorter range of motion they have to go through. Another aspect of this is probably due to their low body weight.
So, if you have a large frame and long arms, bodyweight exercises may not be as easy for you as it is for a person of a smaller build.
Final thoughts on long forearms: Good or Bad
It is completely based on the perspective of resistance training. But if I had a choice between a long forearm and a short forearm, I would choose the long pair every time. Why?
Because there is at least some relationship between arm length and frame size. And of course, there is a relationship between frame size and muscle mass because more bone means a greater surface area to “hang” that muscle tissue over.
Anyway, most of us have pretty much the same arm length. As you saw from the above data, the difference between men and women is smaller than many people think.
So overall, having a long forearm is definitely not a bad thing. As I’m fond of saying, what you see as “tall” or “abnormal” is probably completely normal to everyone you meet.