"Check out the forearms on that chick."
For female bodybuilders, it may just be the first true sign separating an average Flo from a real pro.
The shapely legs, the pencil-thin waist and the sleek shoulders immediately give away a female body blaster, but not many women can proudly flaunt an impressive pair of rippled forearms, the type that look like they can handle a 110-pound jackhammer.
Hence, forearms have seemed like they've forever belonged in a man's world. You've seen them a billion times in the movies, a couple of brutes arm wrestling or the manly truck driver clutching on to the gargantuan steering wheel.
Flexors and extensors, the various muscles that make up the forearms, are often worked extensively during biceps exercises, particularly barbell curls. They're also worked through a number of triceps exercises and virtually any upper body workouts that require a tight, firm grip.
A strong set of forearms is imperative for a number of recreational activities like softball, rock climbing, and of course, the aforementioned arm wrestling.
So if you think you're ready, ladies, to enter a man's world, then perhaps it's time to roll up those sleeves and partake in the following forearms exercises:
BARBELL WRIST CURLS: Sit on a flat bench with your elbows bent, resting a little above your knees. Your knees and hands should be parallel, resting approximately eight inches apart. With your palms facing outward, grip the barbell at your fingertips so that your wrists are turned downward as far as they'll go (almost a 90-degree angle). Slowly curl your wrists upward, turning your knuckles upward, and bringing the barbell toward you. You should be squeezing the forearm muscles throughout the motion. Curling the barbell up as far as it will go, reverse the motion and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this movement for 14-16 reps over three sets.
REVERSE WRIST CURLS: Sit on a bench and take a light barbell into your hands. Have your knees about eight inches apart with your forearms resting on your upper legs. Have your palms facing the floor and have the barbell on your fingertips. With your hands about eight inches apart and your wrists turned completely downward, slowly raise your wrists upward as far as they'll go, squeezing at the contraction. Continue the motion by curling the wrists down toward the starting position before repeating the movement. Try doing 14-16 reps for a good burn. Do three sets.
REVERSE CURLS: Take a light curl bar and hold it down at your thighs, gripping it a shoulder's length. Take a reverse grip on the bar, which means that your palms are facing away from you and not toward you. Keeping your elbows locked at your sides, lift the bar up toward your chest. Stop when your forearms are completely contracted, meaning that your hands should be across from your shoulders. Allow the weight to conduct the negative portion of the exercise as you bring your arms back to the starting position. Squeeze your forearm muscles during the negative movement. Try three sets of 10-12 reps.
Forearms are to the biceps workout what triceps are to your chest workout. If you're planning on working forearms into your workout regimen, try to work them in after your biceps workout. You don't want your forearms fatigued by the time you decide to blast those biceps.
Article provided courtesy of RaiseYourPulse.com, encouraging you to get out and raise your pulse by participating in regular physical activity! Copyright Bob Myhal and MuscleMaster.com, Inc. Reprinted with Permission.