Calf and Forearm Superset Workout

Combine These 2 Exercises for Bigger Calves & Forearms

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: June 22, 2024

Are your calves and forearms skinny or lagging behind your other muscle groups? If so, you probably need to give those often-neglected muscles more attention in the gym.

But training calves and forearms can be tedious, and most of us don’t have time to give every muscle group the volume it deserves. That’s why I came up with a clever calf and forearm superset.

With this combination of exercises, you can build bigger forearms and calves without spending much more time in the gym.

If you’d rather watch and listen, you can learn everything you need to know about this calf and forearm superset in this 90-second video. Click HERE to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more streamlined workout tutorials!

Why Superset Calves & Forearms?

As mentioned, the primary benefit of supersetting calves and forearms is time savings. You can perform the same number of sets in about half as much time as it would take with straight sets.

The efficiency of supersets makes it easier to increase training volume for calves and forearms, which often results in more hypertrophy or growth.

In addition, calf and forearm supersets work particularly well because these muscles are relatively small and far apart. In other words, one muscle can rest while training the other, and you won’t get tired.

Calf and Forearm Superset

Recently, I added the following calf and forearm superset to my workout routine. The only equipment you’ll need is a barbell and a pull-up bar.

  • Standing barbell calf raises, followed immediately by
  • Pull-up bar dead-hang

I generally do one-minute dead hangs between sets of calf raises. Performing both exercises in a power rack makes it easy to minimize downtime between sets.

Calf and Forearm Superset Workout

Exercise 1: Standing Barbell Calf Raises

The standing barbell calf raise is an excellent exercise for building bigger calves. The main advantage is that you can load up the bar with serious poundage, which is ideal for stimulating calf growth.

The key is standing with your toes on a wedge block or weight plate to get a good stretch at the bottom. Then, focus on lifting the weight using only your calves and minimize bouncing and momentum.

Unlike machines, barbell standing calf raises require balancing to prevent tipping forward or back. I also like to do a static hold on my last set, which hits the calves much differently.

Calf and Forearm Superset Barbell Calf Raise

Exercise 2: Pull-Up Bar Dead-Hang

The dead hang exercise involves hanging from a pull-up bar for as long as you can hold on. It sounds easy, but after 20-30 seconds, your hands and forearms will start screaming for mercy.

This isometric exercise is excellent for improving grip strength. However, after adding it to my routine, I was also surprised by the increased density and fullness in my forearms.

If you can’t hang for 60 seconds, that’s okay. Just go as long as you can and try to increase your hang time each week. As you progress, you can add weight using a dip belt to make it more challenging.

When your grip gives out, jump straight back into another set of barbell calf raises.

Calf and Forearm Superset Dead Hang

The thicker 2″ diameter bar is harder to grip and therefore more challenging for dead hangs. But if you only have a 1″ pull up bar, that’s fine too.

Superset Tips for Calves & Forearms

You can repeat this superset as many times as you want until your calves and forearms are fatigued. I typically do five or six sets, which only take about 10 minutes.

On calf raises, think about making your calves fail rather than trying to get a particular number of reps. Focusing on the mind-muscle connection has been shown to increase muscle hypertrophy, even with lighter weights.

However, I do the opposite on dead hangs. In other words, I focus my mind externally or entirely on something else to increase the hang duration.

You can add these supersets to the end of any workout. You can also combine them with other exercises for a full calf and forearm workout.

Calf and Forearm Superset Workout

Abs, Calves, and Forearms Workout

If you’re looking for a dedicated workout for those miscellaneous muscle groups that are usually overlooked, I recommend adding an abs, calves, and forearms day.

The main advantage of this workout is that you no longer treat these muscles as an afterthought. Giving abs, calves, and forearms the attention they deserve is the best way to turn your weak points into strong suits!

Click here to see my complete abs, calves, and forearms workout.

Abs Calves Forearms Workout

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By |June 22, 2024|Workouts|0 Comments
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