Forearm Workouts For Muscle And Strength

Top 15 Best Forearm Workouts For Muscle And Strength

In the six years of my career, I have dealt with various fitness enthusiasts who are looking forward to building their muscles and increasing their self-esteem. Some work out in a gym just for the leg exercises, while some are only obsessed with the chest and triceps workout. But there is one thing in common between all of them: they are somewhat concerned about their weak forearms. 

At Meridian Fitness, a beginner asks, what if my forearm muscles are weak would they affect my full-body workouts? Also, some beginners get confused at first because they just don’t understand why we should worry about forearm strength. Other than to build bigger biceps. The answer to these common questions is Yes, It is true! If you lack forearm strength, it will affect your other exercises and daily life routine. The exercises that will be affected by the weak forearms are:

  • Push-ups for chest and triceps workout.
  • Rows in the metabolic workout.
  • Kettlebell swings for a shoulder workout.
  • Leg workouts (to some extent).
  • Overall, full-body workouts and many more.

The reason behind this is the weaker forearms, so the weak grip that tires out at the beginning of the workout. You must have experienced this when you lifted and felt a burning sensation in your forearms. That is due to the sore forearm muscles, which results in ineffective workouts. You may try to wear lifting straps to tackle this situation for the time being. But strengthening your forearm muscles is indeed the more favourable thing one can do.

15 Exercises to Strengthen Your Forearm Muscles

Here’s a detailed list of forearm workouts with 15 exercises that move from beginner-friendly to more advanced levels. All these exercises will help strengthen your forearms and achieve stronger, more defined arms. Additionally, they will help improve your grip strength, effective full-body workouts, and overall posture.

Forearm Workouts for the Beginners

  • Barbell Reverse Biceps Curl (2 sets of 15 reps)

The reverse bicep curl activates multiple muscle groups in your arms, including Brachii and Brachialis.

Target: Forearms and biceps (brachioradialis, pronator teres)

How to do Reverse Barbell Curl?

  • Use lighter weights than regular barbell curls.
  • Hold a barbell with an overhand grip, knuckles facing towards you.
  • Stand straight and firm on your feet, distant shoulder width.
  • And curl weights towards the shoulders.
  • Slowly lower the barbell, reverse the movement, and repeat.

Benefits: It strengthens the often neglected part of our forearm, builds grip strength, and helps prevent sore elbows.

  • Farmer’s Walk( 2 sets)

It is a popular forearm and full-body workout exercise that helps you build stamina and core strength.

Target Muscles: Grip and Arms

Farmer’s Walk

How to perform a Farmer’s Walk?

  • Hold a bit heavier and equally weighted dumbbell in each hand.
  • Stand straight and tall with pulled-back shoulders.
  • Walk until your forearms and hands fatigue.

Benefits: I recommend doing 2 to 3 sets for at least 20 yards in the beginning. It helps you build powerful arms with a strong core and shoulders.

  • Wrist Roller

Wrist Roller is a machine that strengthens the forearm muscles by pulling and rolling.

Target Muscles: Forearm flexors and extensors.

Wrist Roller

How to Use a Wrist Roller?

  • Stand up straight with feet apart.
  • Hold the roller with an overhand grip firmly.
  • Roll upward weight using only your wrists.
  • Slowly lift till your full arms are extended and parallel.
  • Repeat.

Benefits: Improves grip strength and forearm and wrist endurance effectively.

  • Behind-the-Back Barbell Wrist Curl (2 to 3 sets of 12-15 reps)

Unlike the normal barbell curls that build biceps. This exercise builds the forearm muscles.

Target Muscles: Forearm flexor muscles.

How to do this Exercise?

  • Stand straight and hold a barbell behind your back, palms facing upside. 
  • Keeping your back straight, curl your wrists upwards in a semi-circular motion.
  • Hold this position for a second.
  • Slowly reverse the moment and repeat.

Benefits: Wrist Curls isolate the forearm flexors for targeted strength. This exercise also helps build finger strength.

  • Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a classic strength training exercise for the forearm and biceps.

Target Area: Forearms, Biceps, and upper arms muscles.

How to do Hammer Curl?

  • Stand on your feet firmly hip-width apart.
  • Hold dumbbells of the maximum weight you can with palms facing each other.
  • Perform curls with a neutral grip towards your chest.
  • Pause there for 2 sec and slowly lower them back.

Benefits: It hits the 3 forearm muscles at different angles. Moreover, it strengthens the biceps and wrist muscles.

Bonus Exercise for Beginners

Hand Gripper: Squeeze a hand gripper for a set number of repetitions.

Forearm Workouts for the Mid-level Gym Persons

  • Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Carry

Carrying a kettlebell is tricky; you must hold it upside down here.

Target: Forearms, grip, and shoulder stability.

How to do a Bottoms-up Kettlebell Carry?

  • You may choose to walk or sit down for this exercise.
  • Hold a kettlebell facing downwards in one hand.
  • Hold it still while you walk or sit.
  • Try to hold on to this position for as long as possible.
  • Repeat this for 3-5 times.

Benefits: It strengthens the forearms, cuff muscles, biceps, and core. By challenging grip strength, it greatly improves stability, balance, and pressing power.

  • Zottman Curl

It is a dumbbell curl with a twist that works on multiple muscles in one exercise. Carry a dumbbell in each hand, curl it, and then rotate your palms to face down.

Target Muscles: Forearms, biceps, and brachialis.

How to do Zottman Curl?

  • Stand firm with the feet at balancing difference.
  • Perform a regular dumbbell curl.
  • Twist your wrists at the top of the movement. 
  • Lower dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Benefits: This exercise engages both flexors and extensors for balanced forearm development. Additionally, it works on the biceps muscle group.

  • Towel Pull-Up

An advanced version of pull-ups, it helps you build strength in the upper body and forearms. As it requires a combination of strength and intensity and increases the metabolic rate, it is also part of the metabolic workout.

Target: Forearms, grip, and back muscles.

Towel Pull-Up

How to do it?

  • Make sure to grab the ends of the towel in each hand over the pull-up bar.
  • Now, perform pull-ups.
  • Do as much as you can without wrist fatigue.

Benefits: The towel pull-up primarily focuses on the forearm muscles. It also works on the upper body, core, and back muscles, building grip strength and endurance.

  • Side Plank with Dumbbell Hold

This exercise can be considered a full-body workout because it works on strength in the forearms, shoulders, core, and back.

Target Area: Forearms cuff, core, and shoulder muscles.

How to do Side Plank with Dumbbell Hold?

  • Get into a side plank position.
  • Hold a mid-level weight dumbbell in your top hand.
  • Keep your full body aligned with the spine and head.
  • Make sure the supporting elbow is right beneath the shoulder, making a 90-degree angle.
  • Extend your arm, holding the dumbbell straight upwards.
  • Brace your core firmly and hold this position as long as you can.
  • Then, switch your arms and repeat.

Benefits: This advanced form of exercise works on multiple muscles simultaneously. As it challenges endurance strength, it helps improve balance and stability. Furthermore, it improves posture and strengthens the muscles of the trunk and shoulders.

  • Trap Bar Deadlift to Carry

A functional exercise is an exercise to carry some weight from the floor and walk some distance.

Target Muscles: Forearms, traps, and lower back.

How to do a Deadlift to Carry?

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. 
  • Choose the maximum weight you can carry.
  • Bend your knees and grab the handles with a firm grip.
  • Brace your core and carry it for a distance.

Benefits: Also known as the hex bar deadlift, it strengthens your quadriceps. It is a full-body workout that works on multiple groups of muscles. Furthermore, it develops grip strength and muscle mass and helps you strengthen the rotator cuff and spine.

Bonus Exercise for the Mid-Level Workout

Wrist Flexor Stretch

This exercise increases flexibility and reduces tightness in the forearm muscles. To do this, extend one arm in front of you, palm facing up. Use the opposite hand to pull the fingers downward gently. Now, repeat the same steps with the other hand.

Advanced Level of Exercises for Forearm Workouts

  • Three-Way Chin-Up Hold

An advanced level exercise where you strengthen your forearms and back in the isometric hold.

Target Muscles: Forearms, grip, and upper back.

How to do a Three-Way Chin-Up Hold?

  • Grab a rod with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull yourself up only halfway upward and hold there.
  • Then, pull yourself all upwards till your chin reaches the rod and hold.
  • Again, pull yourself all up to the max you can and hold.

Benefits: As it sounds, the three-way chin-up hold is a very advanced-level exercise. It is a very effective upper-body strength training exercise. Moreover, it adds definition to the full arms, especially in the forearms and biceps. It also builds grip endurance and improves overall upper-body strength.

  • Reverse Grip Barbell Curl (2-3 sets of 13-15 reps)

It is a variation of the bicep curls with the palms facing downwards.

Target: Brachialis and brachioradialis.

How to do Reverse Grip Barbell Curl?

  • Start by choosing the maximum weight you can endure on the barbell.
  • Use an underhand grip (palms facing up) for barbell curls.
  • Stand firm with your feet and legs apart.
  • Grip the bar from the slope and start from the bottom.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in and curl upwards.
  • Only move your forearms and bring them upwards.
  • Repeat.

Benefits: These shifts emphasise the brachialis and outer forearm muscles. If done regularly, they strengthen and build bigger biceps.

  • Fat Grip Biceps Curl

The fat grip biceps curl is slightly different from the bicep curl, but you choose the fat bar here.

Target Muscles: Forearms and biceps.

How to do Fat Grip Biceps Curl?

  • Use thick grips or fat bars for bicep curls.
  • Hold the fat grips with your palms facing forward.
  • Keep your elbows tucked and curl both arms upwards to the shoulder.

Benefits of Fat Grip Biceps Curl: Fat grip training improves forearm strength, hypertrophy, and muscular endurance. Increases forearm activation during biceps training.

  • Plank Shoulder Taps (2-3 sets of 13-15 reps)

This exercise is an advanced version of the high planks. You can even add this exercise to your chest and triceps workout.

Target Muscles: Forearms, core, and shoulders.

How to do Plank Shoulder Taps?

  • Get in the high plank position.
  • Your hands are right beneath your shoulder.
  • Keep your back straight by engaging your core muscles.
  • Tap the shoulder of the opposite hand with one hand lifted off the ground.
  • Return the first hand and repeat the tap from the other hand.
  • Continue this and keep this quick till the set is complete.

Benefits: Plank shoulder taps strengthen your glutes, core, wrists, and shoulders. They also help relieve shoulder and neck knots and bring stability and balance to the shoulder point.

  • Plate Curls (2-3 sets of 13-15 reps)

It is a variation of the common bicep curl exercise. This exercise targets the group of upper body muscles and is best for building muscular endurance.

Target: Forearms, core, shoulders, and grip.

Plate Curls

How to do Plate Curls?

  • Stand up right at your feet, hip-width apart.
  • Hold a single maximum level of weight plate in your hands.
  • Keeping your upper arms stuck in, curl the plate towards your shoulder.
  • Now, bring the plate back to the starting position slowly and exhale.
  • Take a breath and repeat.

Benefits: Plate curls build the biceps thickness, forearm strength, grip strength, and shoulder muscles. 

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Wrapping it up

These 15 exercises are best to help strengthen your forearms and help you achieve powerful and more defined arms. Additionally, they will help you build grip strength and improve body posture. I advise doing 3 sets of 15 reps for each exercise at max. Always start with lighter weights, progress as you get stronger, and do not forget to rest. You can take 30 seconds in between sets and keep yourself hydrated. If you want more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact Meridian Fitness.

FAQs Related to Forearm Workouts

How often can I do forearm exercises?

I would advise doing at least forearm exercises twice a week. But if you want to build up your muscles, you may exercise 2-3 times the maximum in a week.

How can I build my forearms faster?

To grow your forearms faster, you can do reverse curls, wrist curls, barbell wrist curls, hammer curls, and dumbbell pullovers.

How effective are forearm workouts?

Forearm workouts are very effective in building strength and help you improve your daily life routine.

How long does it take to build forearms?

You will be able to witness results in a month or two. Again, it depends on how regular you are and how effectively you are doing.

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