To be considered large, forearms must be significantly bigger than average. The average forearm circumference is 10–12 inches in men and 9–10.5 inches in women. If your forearms are above these averages when the circumference is measured without flexing, then you will typically be considered to have large forearms. However, it’s important to note that bone structure and body makeup will determine your forearm size to an extent. You can build your forearm muscles by exercising your grip strength, allowing you to develop large forearms.
What is Average Forearm Size?
The average forearm size in men is 10–12 inches in men. For women, this number is 9–10.5 inches. It’s important to remember that these averages do not account for fitness level or body fat percentage. An overweight or obese individual may have larger forearms than a fit individual.
- Average Forearm Circumference in Men: 10–12 inches.
- Average Forearm Circumference in Women: 9–10.5 inches.
To find the size of your forearm, measure it with a flexible tape measure around the widest part of the forearm. You should not flex your forearm when measuring, as muscles are measured unflexed in scientific studies. For additional accuracy, measure your muscles “cold.” This means you should wait at least 2 hours after completing a workout before taking measurements. This will yield the most accurate muscle measurements.
Does Wrist Size Determine Forearm Size?
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the size of certain bones determines the maximum size your muscles can achieve through natural weight training methods. Those with smaller wrists have less potential for massive forearms.
- Wrist circumference may determine the maximum size your forearm muscles can reach.
- Use this calculator to find your potential forearm size, based on wrist size.
By using a bodybuilding potential calculator, you can find your maximum forearm size. This accounts for those training to build lean muscle only since an overweight individual may surpass these metrics. Because the average male wrist circumference is 7.25 inches, 14.3 inches is the typical maximum for forearm size. This means that if your wrists are of average size, you can train your forearms to grow larger than the average. This makes large forearms attainable for most athletes.
How Do You Train Forearms for Mass?
Now that you know the potential size your forearms can reach, it’s time to climb to that peak. Not only can you grow larger, stronger forearms, but there’s also a formula to make that goal a reality. Follow these tactics to increase forearm muscle mass.
Choose the Right Exercises
You can use hand grippers to increase the size of your forearms. However, they’re not the only exercise that will build forearm muscle. Because your forearm muscles control your grip, choose exercises that force your grip to work hard. These will build forearm mass. Some of the best exercises for forearm training are:
- Hand grippers
- Towel pull-ups
- Reverse curls
- Wrist curls
- Farmer’s walks
By incorporating a few of these exercises into your routine, you will steadily increase your forearm size. Just remember to allow 2–3 days between forearm workouts for adequate recovery. Like your other muscles, your forearms need time to recover between training sessions. Overtraining can result in injury and actually slow your progress.
Perform Muscle-Building Sets and Reps
If you want big forearms, you need to follow the tenets of muscle hypertrophy training. Hypertrophy is the process of increasing muscle mass and definition. To get the most out of your forearm exercises:
- Perform 3–5 sets of the given exercise.
- Do 8–12 reps per set.
- Rest 1–3 minutes between sets.
These simple rules place your muscles under the optimal conditions for growth. Remember, more reps doesn’t equal more mass. Performing additional reps or using a hand gripper every day will train your muscles for endurance, not size. If you want 14-inch forearms, train with heavy weights for a controlled number of sets and reps.
Another key to building forearm muscle is consistently raising the bar for yourself. When you complete your target number of sets and reps at a given weight, increase the weight the next time you work out. If you successfully perform reverse curls at 50 pounds, do 55 pounds the next time you’re in the gym.
- Drive your forearm muscles to grow by increasing the weight you lift as you grow stronger.
- If you complete your sets and reps at your current weight, increase the weight the next time you perform the exercise.
You can use the same principle of increased resistance with grip trainers. These grippers come in a variety of different resistances, which allows you to up the challenge as you grow stronger. By progressively overloading your muscles, you push them to grow to handle more weight. This is the key to powerful forearms.
Stick to a Routine
Perform 2–3 forearm-specific exercises 2 times per week for at least 12 weeks. Your muscles need to be exposed to progressive overload and hypertrophy training for an extended period of time to see true increases in forearm strength and mass. Remain patient, and you will see the results.
- Perform 2–3 forearm-specific exercises 2 times per week for 12 weeks to get true results.
- Incorporate forearm training into your existing workouts.
You can easily adjust most workout programs to provide more exercises for your forearms. If your training currently includes wide grip pull-ups, switch to towel pull-ups to target your forearms. Alternatively, perform reverse curls instead of standard curls. Then, add hand gripper training to the end of your workout. By making a few small adjustments, you can put a greater focus on forearm development.
What is Above Average Forearm Size?
Because the average male has 10–12 inch forearms, athletes who surpass this average by an inch or more can be considered to have large forearms. It’s also important to keep in mind there’s a lot of potential for growth in this often-neglected part of your physique. The average male can develop lean, muscular forearms with a circumference greater than 14 inches. By incorporating forearm-specific exercises and training for mass, you can develop larger forearms.