AttentionIn a continuing collaboration with Scott over at Straight to the Bar, we will be writing about things that deserve more attention throughout the month of October. This week, Scott discusses strengthening your forearms.

There are two basic ways to strengthen the muscles in your forearms and wrists. You can directly work those muscles with specific exercises, or you can modify other exercises to put more of the load on your forearm.

Personally, I am a bigger fan of putting more of a load on my forearms through other exercises. I am not lifting weights for their own sake; I am lifting weights to improve my running and provide a better over all level of strength. I would rather work my larger muscle groups and let the smaller ones take care of themselves. If I were looking to lift more and heavier weights, then I would probably try some of the forearm specific exercises that Scott mentions in his articles.

If you would like to work your forearms a little more during normal exercises, Scott lists a few methods of modifying other exercises. First, you can use a thicker bar (whether the bar itself is thicker or you make an existing bar thicker.) This will work on your grip much more than a thin bar would. Second, you can use kettleballs or other oddly shaped objects that make it more difficult to grip. Sandbags, kegs and chairs will present your forearms with a challenge that they are not used to.

If you do any forearm work, then be sure to go into it slowly and to back off if something begins to hurt. Carpal tunnel syndrome is no fun, and you can hurt your forearms just as easily as you can hurt a shoulder or hamstring by lifting too much. You can read the original article over at Straight to the Bar.