Having a hard time showing off your newfound pipes because your forearms are lacking? Look no further than these movements to create strong forearms and get on your way to some serious muscular arms from top to bottom.
Strong Forearm Exercise #1: Reverse Grip Curls
Although these are mainly seen as a biceps exercise, the burn (if done correctly) will be deep within your forearms for the most part. Be sure to keep your elbows locked and your elbow fixed against your torso to ensure that the forearms are doing a majority of the work and not the biceps.
- Set up either a barbell or low pulley attachment on cable machine
- Take on a shoulder width overhand grip
- Keeping the elbows tucked to your side, curl the weight up and keeping your wrists straight throughout the movement
- Squeeze hard for a 1-count at the top and slowly lower all the way back down
Sets and Reps: 4 x 12-15
Strong Forearm Exercise #2: Wrist Curls
A variation of the previous movement, this form of the curl is more of an isolation movement on the inner portion of the forearm. Because these are more isolated, the weight on these will have to drop pretty significantly to avoid using other muscles like the biceps, front delts and the traps.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells or a barbell and start with arms down straight by your side
- With hands underhand grip, curl the weight with just your wrists, back and up toward your torso
- Slowly lower the weight and then curl the weight underneath you now, working the inner portion of the forearms
Sets and Reps: 4 x 12-15
Strong Forearm Exercise #3: Rope Twists
Using a piece of wood with rope hanging and attached to a rope, this exercise will not only force your forearms beyond exhaustion, it will also wreak havoc on your grip strength as well as the front delts. Go easy on the weight and build up to the big stuff.
- Hold the weight straight out in front of you with elbows locked and arms at a 90 degree angle from torso.
- To get weight up to the top of the rope, start twisting and gripping your hands, alternating each hand in a rhythmic motion
- Once at the top, slowly let weight slide back down and repeat
Sets and Reps: 4 x 3 ascents/descents
Strong Forearm Exercise #4: Farmer Walks
The previous exercises have definitely been isolation exercises to really smoke those forearms. For more of a “compound lift”, try out the farmer walks for size. It’s as basic as lifting gets – pick up the weight and walk with it! The heavier you can go the greater translation into forearm strength and size.
- Grab either the heaviest dumbbells or kettlebells you can handle or grab two barbells and load up the weight equally for each bar
- Use good deadlift form to pick up the weight
- Be sure to grab a hold of the weight tightly to really ensure the forearms are being worked
- Once lifted, walk the weight as far as possible when your grip fails
Sets and Reps: 4 x walking as far as possible until grip fails
Strong Forearm Exercise #5: Dumbbell Tip Holds
With the forearms completely exhausted there’s only one thing left to do: completely exhaust them even further. You only have one set of these to do so leave absolutely nothing left in the tank and feel the burn!
- Sit upright at the end of the bench with arms down to your side
- Pick up a light dumbbell but on the end and not the handle
- Do not wrap fingers around the weight: just use fingertips to squeeze weight and hold off the ground just a few inches
- Hold as long as possible
Sets and Reps: 1 set for as long as possible in each hand
Although forearms do get a lot of work from holding weight on your core lifts, working them directly is one of the best ways to force your lower arms to grow. Ignore the pain and the burn within the muscle and focus on making those forearms grow!