I know you’ve got more strength than you ever thought you did; the problem is you’re not looking in the right places to address it. Today we’ll start by looking at one of those overlooked areas that is critical for helping you to build more strength in all of your big lifts. I’m going to show you 8 ways and 8 exercises for you to sneak in this extra work that you don’t have to feel like it’s a separate work out in order to address this. We’re talking about the hands, the wrist and the forearms.
If you have weaknesses in any of these areas, your big lifts are going to suffer. Think about it, try to get under a bench press and lift heavy if your wrists are very, very weak, or try to execute a deadlift if you have no grip strength. I don’t care how strong your legs might be, or how strong your pull might be, if you can’t hold on to the damn bar, you can’t lift that much weight.
Today I’m going to go through as I said different areas that will allow you to sneak these exercises in, so there’s not a whole separate work out.
Push-ups are one of the most common exercises that you’ll perform in each chest work out. I don’t care if it is done as a primary exercise or if it is done as a follow exercise to your primary exercise, the idea is the push-up usually makes its way into a chest workout. Here’s how you can change it to start working on your weakness.
If your weakness is more in your wrist, you can do a knuckle push-up as showed in the picture above. The idea is to keep the wrist in neutral, in other words, keep the wrist locked out in a position where it’s locked out by resting on the top of your knuckles, and perform your push-ups this way, rather than on your hands. If you’re trying to work more on your grip strength, finger strength and hand strength, perform a finger push-up. Changing the way that you do the exercise, you’re still going to work on your chest, you’re still going to do the exercise as you would normally, but you’re getting this added benefit of doing this in this version for your hand strength.
Next up is a very cool way to start adding some more hand, wrist and forearm work into your back workouts and all you have to do is take another common exercise and make a slight little change to it.
This time is the pull up. So, let’s say you’re working on your pull up, which you should be in any back work out by the way. As you approach failure, when you get your last rep as opposed to just dropping off the bar, work on that forearm and hand strength. Hang from the bar, do what we call a “Dead Arm Hang”. This will start burning into your forearms, through your fingers, it’s going to test also your mental fortitude and toughness.
That’s great! that’s all things you could benefit from, as you’re trying to get stronger. Stronger mind is as important as stronger muscles, but try to hang from this bar as long as you can until you have to drop. It’s just a slight little tweak in an already existing exercise, you should be doing in your back workouts.
We all know that a lot of times when people train their biceps, they are also training their forearms too, but there’s a really simple way to hit the brachioradialis, which is going to be one of the bigger muscle groups that’s going to add to the size and strength of your forearms, and it is so simple to do, because all you’re going to do once again, is taking an existing exercise; a curl and just flip your grip, turn it into an overhand position and do a reverse curl. You’ll feel that your forearms get targeted a lot more when we just turn our grip over, and you can just add a couple extra sets to the end of your work out and hit this area adequately to start making an impact.
It is important not just to do strength work, but to also pair that up with conditioning working. One of my favorite conditioning exercises is a jump rope for a lot of different reasons; once we can get our heart rate up very quickly, we can burn a lot of calories we can become more athletic leading doing it. Also, we get a heavy dose of forearms work as well.
When you jump rope, you have to work your wrists too, matter of fact the majority of this skill is how quickly, and how coordinate you can be with your wrist rotations. You’re going to get that turn over, you’re actually getting forearms supination and pronation as well as getting some of that general range of motion through the rest, is going to help to improve the endurance of these muscles that you’re going to need. It will pay off as you start doing more of your heavy lifting.
Planks on fingers
Of course, all of this applies to your ABS training as well. There’s so many different exercise options as anybody that even has our 6 pack promise would tell you hundreds if not thousands of exercises you can do for your ABS but there are some that you can do to preferentially to hit the forearms week area again, and the first would be a cliffhanger planks.So, don’t just do a regular plank, especially if it’s not even that hard for you. Increase the difficulty of the exercise, so you can get more benefit your ABS, but the same time place a lot of strain and work on your hand strength, and the flexors of your fingers. Try to stay in this cliff hanger position why you do the plank, which is kind of a two for one benefit; better ABS and better hands strength at the same time.
Triceps push down
This is an exercise you’re probably already doing, but with this tweak, you’ll be able to incorporate now, some of that extra added work that we’re really stressing here.
So, on a triceps push down, instead of going straight down and ending it at the bottom of that rep, try to go for that little additional wrist curl to get those forearms flexors working.
Push down at the very bottom against resistance, you’re going to do a little bit of a wrist curl, it’s going to work out all that underside of the bottom of the forearm. You want to work the opposite side, the extensors, no problem! a lot of times you’ll probably do a reverse grip push down to hit your triceps in a slightly different angle, slightly different way. We can do the same thing here, do the underhand version, the triceps push down at the very bottom. Extend those wrists out to get that extra added work in. This is important a we want to work without a lot of extra effort or without a lot of extra time per day to do it.
Moving right along to shoulders, again another common exercise that we can tweak slightly to start accumulating some more added volume and this time all you’re going to do, is set your wrist into slight extension, that’s it. So, when you’re doing your side lateral raises or you’re doing a bent-over raise, no matter what exercise you’re doing, you’re going to just increase the activation of your forearms extensors, get more strength and build more endurance in your forearms extensors and get a stronger grip because of it, by just changing the way you do the exercise.
I’m talking about continuing to have your thumbs raised higher than your knuckles at the top, except the wrist positioning is now more into a slight extension. That’s what you’re going to need to build more of that forearm’s strength, and still get an effective workout and a safe workout for your shoulders.
Last but certainly not least, we get to our late training you probably knew I was going to go in this direction.
If you’re dead lifting, try to do deadlifts without straps. I know this might be a shock to some, especially those that start out dead lifting with straps. How about you do something different? How about you deadlift, which is a great thing but, you do it without straps. That’s when you’re building your own ability to hold that bar as you get stronger. You’re forcing your hands and forearms to become stronger as your legs become stronger, and as your ability to do that exercise becomes better. That is one of the best ways for you to naturally increase the strength, and I’m talking about vice grips strength of your hands as you do this exercise, that will translate to not just to the deadlift but virtually every other exercise that you do.
Wait there’s more, i got a bonus one for you which is going to make a lot of personal trainers who read this article happy, and for those that use personal trainers, it might be a little bit of a wake up call. The most effective things you can do, is start racking and carrying your own damn weights. I promise you, if you start taking your dumbbells out yourself, and putting them back yourself in between every single set, and changing out your plates, put them on the bar and taking them out of the bar; all that extra work is a lot of free added work for your forearms and your hand strength.
It is this extra volume that you’re not doing right now, because you’re letting someone else do the work for you, that will allow you to do a lot more for your forearms and hand hands strength a lot faster.
There you go guys! these eight exercises and one bonus will help you start getting that strength you’ve been looking for, by starting to look in places maybe you never looked, and that’s the idea here. You can’t overlook those areas that you deem unimportant by focusing on the only things you do think are important, because those important lifts, those big lifts, will betray you if you don’t start looking in the places you need to.