There is a weak link in everyone’s body that quits before the rest of their body does. At some point, your body will want to keep going, but a crucial part will give up. This weak link is regularly shown to be your forearms.
For example, if you have ever lifted heavy and have been holding the weight at the end of your arms, you forearms fatigue before the rest of your muscles. Deadlifts, pull ups, rows, etc. are perfect examples of this; your grip gives way and you can’t hold the weight anymore, even though your other muscles are not completely fatigued.
This doesn’t just happen in the gym. Have you ever carried your rifle or your bow in your hand while hiking? If you don’t use a sling, your grip is working hard for a long time as your carry you rifle or bow. Then, at some point your grip gives way and you have to move your rifle or bow to the other hand, and repeat the cycle. Not only is this annoying, but it is going to put you behind the 8-ball when it comes time to raise and fire because you will have prematurely fatigued your forearms, which will ultimately lead to a bad shot.
The solution: train your forearms with focused lifts that will strengthen your grip and forearm endurance.
Hold a barbell or dumbbell with your palms facing toward the ground. Keeping your elbows against your sides, perform a bicep curl, making sure to keep your palms toward the floor throughout the duration of the move. Incorporating isometric training in this exercise will increase muscle endurance as well.
Hold a barbell behind your back with your palms facing the wall behind you. Keep your shoulders back and you knees slightly bent. Curl your wrists upward so that your palms are trying to touch your forearm. Hold for 2 seconds and slowly lower to the starting position.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Select a weight that you can hold with your arms down at your sides (You can go heavy here because you will not be lifting the weight at all – many people will use 50 lbs or more). Begin walking across an area 20 ft or more in length. Continue walking with the weights at your side until you feel that you cannot hold the weight any longer. Set the weight down, take a 30 second break, and then repeat. This is a great exercise for your grip strength and endurance.
While it is wise to use tools that can take the strain off of your forearms (rifle sling, pack-mount for your bow, etc.), it is crucial to train your forearms so that your strength and endurance are increased. This specified training will pay great dividends during hunting season.