Lagging forearms are commonplace from beginner to advanced lifters, often neglected with no direct training. This can leave them as a weak point in your physique, but also to grip issues which can hold back your overall deadlift strength and back training.
A great fix for this is high frequency daily training for a training cycle.
But, can forearms be trained every day? Yes, as the forearms are a smaller muscle group, they suit higher frequency training. This allows you to ensure a higher quality of movement, get more training variety to address both forearm size and grip strength, and to progress quicker than standard lower frequency training.
At the end of this article, you will understand the benefits of daily forearm training and how best to set up your training for this.
I will cover:
- An overview of when and why to train forearms daily.
- The Pros and Cons of daily forearm training.
- A sample program you can follow.
Forearms Every Day: An Overview
Forearms are a commonly neglected muscle group, and while these are trained with deadlifts, rows and curls, these are not always enough. Short periods of high-frequency training can be beneficial for bringing up lagging body parts aesthetically or strength wise.
Unsatisfied with the size of your forearms, or have a grip issue? Then incorporating daily forearm training for a training cycle can help you.
Given the size of the muscles in the forearm they will fatigue quickly. I know after 3-4 sets of grip work or wrist curls, my next exercise is going to suffer and not going to be the quality I want it to be to maximise progress.
However, while the forearms fatigue quickly, they also recover quickly between sessions, which is exactly why this high frequency daily training is recommended.
This high frequency training will not suit everyone, if you have nagging wrist issues then this is not for you.
I also do not recommend this to people without home equipment. This is because travelling to the gym daily for 4-5 sets of forearms is not a practical option for most people!
If you’re already at the gym every day, great, you can incorporate daily forearm training. If not, it’s great to have a barbell, light dumbbells, or grip strengtheners at home.
Check out my article on the 7 Best Hand Strengtheners for reviews on different grip implements that you can buy for at-home use.
The Pros Of Training Forearms Every Day
It Can Lead To Faster Results
This daily approach allows you to progress faster and bring up your lagging forearms quicker than the standard 2-3 times per week approach.
By training forearms daily, you are increasing the frequency and volume of training which are both key for driving progress, especially in these smaller and often neglected muscle groups.
You will also be able to incorporate more training variation throughout the week.
Address Grip Issues
Grip issues are one of the most frustrating aspects of training. You go to pull that lifetime deadlift personal best and then you drop it inches from lockout.
Daily forearm training can help improve your grip strength, especially when we incorporate hand grips or isometric forearm training.
Want more information on how best to improve your grip strength? We have articles covering everything you need to know.
- How To Maximise Your Deadlift Grip (Never Fail Again On Grip)
- How To Use A Grip Strengthener For Max Results (Full Guide)
- Will Gripers Build Forearm Strength?
- Does Forearm & Grip Strength Help Bench Press? (Yes, Here’s How)
- Fat Grip Training: How & When To Use & Does It Work?
You Perform Higher Quality Training
Forearm training is often left until the very end of the session, you may be tired and ready to get back home.
If you normally train 4-5 days a week this gives you 2-3 sessions where you are fresh and starting with forearm training. The effort and quality of you training will be increased on these days and allow you to perform better.
Better quality training will lead to better quality results.
You Do Not Need To Go To The Gym
Forearm training requires minimal equipment, a barbell, light pair of dumbbells or a hand strengthener is adequate to get sessions in at home.
Dumbbells are my personal favourite for home forearm training as they allow for the most variety of exercises. Read our article How To Workout Forearms With Dumbbells (XX Excercises) to find out the best exercises for you.
If you do not have any equipment at home, I highly recommend getting a hand strengthener.
Want to get advice on programming, technique, or competing? Speak with one of our coaches.
The Cons Of Training Forearms Every Day
It May Negatively Affect Your Grip In The Short Term
Training your forearms daily may have a negative effect on your grip strength if your days are not lined up well.
Performing heavier grip training the day before your deadlift sessions may leave your grip feeling weaker. I recommend lining your grip focused sessions on either the same day as your deadlift sessions, or the day after.
Prioritise your grip strength for the days that matter most.
Risk Of Injury
Wrist issues are not uncommon amongst lifters, from heavy benching to low bar squatting the wrists can end up with persistent niggles.
The daily training of forearms may further aggravate your wrists. However, if this is the case you can also work around exercises that work for you.
I have found wrist curling movements to be the issue for most people, so you can shift to more isometric movements, hand strengtheners or less direct training to still keep up the high frequency approach.
If you find that your wrists are aching after pressing exercises or squatting, then I recommend using a pair of wrist wraps. Read our article How To Use Wrist Wraps (13 Tips Everyone Should Know) to find out how to get the most out of them.
If you do not already own a pair, you can also read our article:
It Can Be Boring
Training forearms daily is not for everyone, especially if you do not have the home equipment to do so and must travel to the gym daily to do so.
However, this is exactly why we recommend it for short term periods to bring up lagging forearms or a grip issue.
Keeping variety throughout a weekly training plan is also important. Look over our sample programme to see how to keep daily forearm training effective and engaging.
Forearms Every Day: Sample Program
Barbell Holds – 4 Sets of 10-20 Seconds – Replicate your deadlift grip. Start at 70% of your 1RM Deadlift; progress load by 2.5-5kg when you reach 20 seconds per set.
Hammer Curls – 3 Sets of 6-8 Reps – Focus on maintaining wrist position and working through the full range of motion. Take these sets close to failure.
Supinated Wrist Curls – 3 Sets of 12-15 Reps – Start with a load that is challenging for 12 reps per set, increase load when you hit 15 reps.
Grippers – 3 Sets of 10-12 + 2 Drop Sets of 12-20 – Perform 3 sets with a medium weight gripper, drop 25-50% in load and perform an AMRAP set, then drop another 25-50% in load and perform a second AMRAP set.
Bicep Curls – 3 Sets of 8-10 – Use a barbell to maximise load and flex the wrist at the top of the movement.
Pronated Wrist Curls – 3 Sets of 12-15 Reps – Start with a load that is challenging for 12 reps per set, increase load when you hit 15 reps.
Finger Curls – 2 Sets of 15-20 Reps – The lightest day of the week to prioritise the heavy holds on day 1 – Focus on quality of movement rather than chasing load.
If daily training is too much, or simply not practical for you, you can still look to increase how often you train your forearms and target your own weaknesses.
If you have a grip issue, look to incorporate the grip focused days alongside the training you are already doing.
If your goals are to have bigger forearms, then you can incorporate the size focused sessions.
Want more information on training for forearm size? Read our article How To Increase Forearm Size (Complete Guide) to find out everything you need to know.
Other Helpful High Frequency Training Guides
- Squatting Every Day: Pros, Cons, & Should You Do It?
- Bench Press Every Day: Pros, Cons, Should You Do It?
- Can You Deadlift Every Day? (Pros, Cons, & Sample Program)
- Squat, Bench Press, And Deadlift 3 Days Per Week: How To Do It
- How To Increase Forearm Size (Complete Guide)
- How To Workout Forearms With Dumbbells (10 Exercises)
While daily forearm training will not be appropriate for everyone, it is a great option for those looking to quickly address forearm size or grip issues or improve overall quality of forearm training.
This daily training is made easier with some form of home equipment, even a pair of grip strengtheners goes a long way.
About The Author
Jacob Wymer is a powerlifting coach and PhD Candidate in Biomechanics and Strength and Conditioning, researching the application of barbell velocity measurements to powerlifting. He is involved in powerlifting across the board, from athlete to meet director. Jacob runs his coaching services at EST Barbell. You can also connect with him on Instagram.