Author Topic: Developing the forearms, traps and neck, by Reg Park  (Read 1858 times)

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Developing the forearms, traps and neck, by Reg Park
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:55:49 PM »
At the commencement of this article I think it necessary to inform the reader that I have never found it necessary to perform specific exercises for these three body parts, but this does not mean that they have not been exercised indirectly and even directly as a result of exercising other muscle groups. In the hope that my experiences may benefit you, let me first outline what exercises influenced my
development in these areas, and conclude by listing the more specific and direct exercises for each muscle group.

Early in my training I performed set after set of heavy barbell curls for biceps, and can recall the tremendous pain that I experienced at various times in my forearm flexors.
Today, many of my pupils compla in of the same pain which is quickly overcome when I have them substitute the barbell curl with dumbell curis with the thumb held upper most, that is with the palms facing each other.
Other exercise which geatly influenced my forearm development were the heavy bent over barbell rowing which I recall performing with Marvin Eder in New York many years ago, sets and reps with 350 Ibs. The occasional deadlifts I performed also had an effect on developing the forearms, as did pinch gripping 2 x 50 Ibs. exercise dics with the one hand - done more as a novelty to break up the routine of regular training. Many year ago, I was also yery keen on wrist wrestling and Would have friends use two arms to my one in order to build up my prowess in this challenging past time. I was beaten but once by Mac Batchelor at his bar where I
recall he had a special pulley apparatus designed so that he could practice at odd moments.
The more direct forearm exercises are.
The reverse grip barbell curl both standing and over the bench curl - performed 5
sets of 10 repetitions, barbell or one dumbell wrist flexion off the end of a bench, performed with the palms facing both up and downwards. Perform both varieties 5
sets of 10 repetitions.

I wonder if people -bodybuilders in particular realize that the trapezius muscles are the biggest in the back. Bigger, even than the latissimus dorsi - they run from between the shoulders and the neck to a point approximately half way down the spine. The trapezius draw the shoulders upwards, downwards and to the rear.
The deadlift performed in either the stiff leg or bent leg manner exercise the trapezius as do heavy upright rowing and bent over rowing motions, with either barbell or dumbell. All back pulley exercises activate the trapezius as do heavy
barbell and dumbell cleans, as well as heavy barbell and dumbell curis.
Barbell and dumbell shoulder sh rugs work the neck and are also great for developing the trapezius.
By and large most bodybuilders who have used heavy poundage in their training need very little trapezius specialization exercises but should you feel your trapezius
need further development, then I would suggest:
1. Barbell Deadlift
2. Shoulder Shrugs
3. Upright Rowing
all performed 5 sets of 8 repetitions with wherever possible, progressively heavier weights.

All the exercises which work the trapezius also work the neck muscles., but of course there are direct neck exercises. The ones incorporating the use of a neck strap are the best, and if you do not already possess a headstrap I suggest you
obtain one because with it you will usually receive a course of exercises on how to use it for the best results.
Most of the old times had good neck development- one exercise or lift in particular which was popular many years ago was pullover and bridge-on-back, which consisted of lying on the back on the floor. Rolling the bar over your face - until it was on the stomach, and heaving the stomach up so that the bodyweight was supported on the soles of the feet and shoulders and trapezius at the same time pressing the bar to arms length. I saw the late Buster McShane of Ireland do over 400 Ibs. 20 years ago. And at that time I think he only weighed 150 Ibs.
The wrestlers bridge, where the bodyweight is supported on the soles or balls of the feet and the crown of the head is also a rugged neck exercise.
To recp the most direct neck exercises are those performed with the headstrap neck exerciser, and this will give you a great variety of exercises to perform. Good luck"!