Isometric Training for Forearm Development

Strengthen Small Muscles for a Big Impact

By Paul "Batman" O'Brien 

B.A., N.C.E.H.S., Dip. Acu., Cert Clin. IMed., Dip. Adv. OBB, Dip. CHM, Pn1, PN-SSR, PN-NCA, M.AFPA., M.C.Th.A.

Isometric Training for Forearm Development is an odd article to include in the Martial Arts section, but I think by the end you’ll understand why I feel this is an important topic to cover. Traditionally speaking many vitally important parts of the body are left out in conventional training programs. Most often our trouble areas and mirror muscles are given focus – Guys focus on building big chests, wide backs, and thick legs or women working for tight toned triceps and slim thighs. Often this leads to muscle imbalance and reduction of functional natural movement and strength. For instance over developed pecs reduce shoulder flexion and limit range of motion. They are also of little use for the athlete or marital artist.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “A chain is as strong as its weakest link”. In the kinetic chain of the body, for many one of the neglected muscles are those of the forearm. Which is odd, considering it’s such a vital muscle group needed for the majority of exercises people perform and vital for the martial arts. To understand the importance of Isometric Training for Forearm Development let’s point out exactly why it is necessary.

One of the 3 primary techniques of weight lifting is the deadlift. A dangerous and often times poorly performed technique it does build huge amounts of muscle and strength and one of the few exercises I teach in Project Dragon. At its simplest it’s picking up a heavy weighted barbell off the floor. Most see it as a developer of back strength, and leg strength. Which is silly really.

The muscles of the back and hamstrings are far bigger and stronger than the forearms. I think that’s obvious enough. Yet the weight picked up, must be within the strength range of the forearms and hand. If you can’t grip it, you can’t lift it. (Now there is an exception to this – lifting hooks). The max weight most can lift in deadlift – isn’t the max they can handle in terms of their back and leg strength, and thus, won’t provide sufficient stimulus. The strength of hands limits the lifter. Isometric Training for Forearm Development increases this threshold.

In the martial arts the hands and forearms play a vital role. In combat arts like Karate they are must be firm and strong for blocking and striking techniques, for example the inner forearm muscles being those used mostly for contacting incoming strikes, in blocks such as uchi uke.

In Jujitsu, Judo, BJJ and other grappling arts grip strength is vital. In Aikido the articulation and flow of the wrist is vital. This is of course controlled by the muscles of the forearm. Aikidoka’s also need strong hands and forearms forbokken work.

Speaking of bokken (a wodden training sword), as many of you may know, I am a dedicated student of Muso Jikiden Esihin Ryu Iaido, among other arts. Iaido requires great forearm strength and precision. Traditionally such strength was developed using isometrics and with heavy training clubs called fubrio ortanren bo.

I’ve recently started training with such heavy bokken to develop ten-uchi, or correct grip strength and was pleasantly surprised to find I was able to handle the very high levels of weight easily. I credit this to a long history of Isometric Training for Forearm Development.

Outside of the obvious examples we’ve seen above, the importance of forearm training cannot be under estimated. Hand strength is vastly under developed in our current culture. We no longer use them to the daily extent we once did, having replaced daily chores and crafts with modern automation. It’s no surprise that I see so many people suffering with tennis elbow, golfers elbow and other examples of tendonitis in my clinic.

Train your forearms and every aspect of your life and health improve, be it just carrying the shopping home, or practicing old schools of martial arts. Isometric Training for Forearm Development should NOT be overlooked.

This is why I cover the forearms in detail in my 7 Second Arms and Perfect Body courses. With less than a minute of training per week, you can have strong, built forearms that would make Popeye as green as his spinach with envy.

You can make a start on this today with my full and complete isometric training for toning course, including Isometric Training for Forearm Development, look no further than my 7 Week System called 7 Seconds to Build A Perfect Body, The Scientifically Proven Method for Transforming Your Body in Just Seconds! With over 250 pages and filled with more than 130 photos it’s a complete guide to getting the body of your dreams in just seconds.

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