Today’s exercise increases bone density of critical bones in the forearm that are prone to fracture, including the wrists. The forearms are the most neglected muscles in the body, so for this weekend’s challenge, we’re going to turn our attention to them.
The Forearm and Wrist Pump is not a difficult or complicated exercise, but it’s extremely beneficial. It works directly on the muscle groups of the lower part of your arm, which is the location of two complex and highly articulated joints: the elbow and the wrist. As your forearm muscles gain strength, so will your bones.
Why: This might shock you: osteoporotic fractures of the forearm are more common than both hip and spinal fractures, with most forearm fractures occurring in the wrist. Yet people tend to focus their concerns about fractures mainly on the hip and spine areas.
The forearms are vulnerable to fracture for a variety of reasons. For one thing, we tend to put out our hands and arms to catch ourselves from a fall. Another reason is the general neglect of the forearm – we just don’t think about working them when we exercise.
Let’s look a little more closely at the anatomy of the forearm.
The two bones in your lower arm are the radius and ulna. The radius connects to your wrist laterally, on the thumb side. The ulna connects medially and accounts for the boney bump you see on the outside of your wrist.
The radius rolls over the ulna when you turn your palms up, down, or sideways (this is called supination and pronation). The radius and ulna join with the humerus (your upper arm bone) to make the elbow joint. The radius joins at the capitulum of the humerus, while the ulna joins at the trochlea of the humerus. When you feel your elbow, the knobby bit of bone you notice first is the olecranon process at the end of the ulna.
It’s a brilliantly articulated mechanism for motion.
But it needs to be built up, because as I mentioned earlier, you automatically put your hands out to catch yourself if you fall. If your forearm bones are strong, flexible, and dense because of regular exercise, you’ll be a lot less likely to suffer a fracture in the forearm.
How: To perform the Forearm Pump, you’ll need two weights, such as dumbbells or soup cans. Choose a weight that’s comfortable for you, from 1 to 5 pounds.
- Standing straight with your feet shoulder width apart, hold the weights with your arms straight down and your elbows at your sides.
- Hold the weights with the palms of your hands facing towards you.
- Slowly raise your hands up almost touching your chest, and then lower them back down to your legs.
- Repeat 3 sets of 10 or as many as you comfortably can.
- Make sure you move your arms very slowly. If you try to move fast, you’ll end up jerking the weights up and down, which will not work your forearms, but other muscles instead.
- Maintain good posture throughout the move, and remember to keep your neck straight and not pushed forward.
- Work with light weights – don’t try to hoist large or heavy weights that cause you to strain.
- Keep your elbows from pointing outward. Your elbows actually do not move from their position by your side.
I hope you enjoy this exercise and make sure you practice it often to strengthen your forearm muscles and bones. Please let everyone know how you’re doing by leaving a comment below!
Till next time,