9 Epic Forearm Workouts & Exercises For Incredible Muscle and Strength
Forearm workouts help to strengthen your grip and improve your chances of doing other more intense workouts such the deadlift, pull-ups, and chest presses.
Aesthetically, bigger forearms look great when paired with big biceps and triceps but according to the journal of physical therapy, hand grip strength is highly correlated with forearm size.
This shows that without strong forearms you may struggle when it comes to doing heavier workouts that require significant grip strength. Forearm strength is also useful for more subtle routines such as the types you find in yoga.
In this article, we will list the most effective forearm workouts and exercises to help you increase strength, mass and build muscle quickly.
The Anatomy of the Forearm
The forearm is basically responsible for four movements,
1. Flexion – downward movement of both the arm and the palm.
2. Extension – opposite of flexion which is moving your palm and hand upwards.
3. Pronation – rotating your palm downwards.
4. Supination – rotating your palm upwards.
The muscles on the anterior side of the forearms are the flexors, responsible for wrist and finger flexion and pronation of the hand.
On the posterior side of the forearm, you have the extensors which have the opposite function and are responsible for the extension of the fingers and wrists and act to supinate the hand.
When it comes down to the muscle makeup of the forearm, there are three main muscle groups.
The Best Forearm Workouts For Increased Grip Strength
Based on current scientific literature and our understanding of the forearm muscles, we can safely say that the best forearm workouts should exercise both sides of the forearm for maximum effect.
It is important to point out that you must eat foods like proteins that accelerate muscle growth to get significant results. Without any more delay, here are the best exercises for your forearm.
1. Barbell Suitcase Holds
This is a very easy but effective forearm exercise that involves simply holding the center of a bar and prevent it from tipping over to one side. It is essential for hitting all the muscles of the forearm and improving grip strength.
To increase the intensity of this workout simply add more weights or increase the length of time you hold the barbell.
2. Reverse Curls
Reverse curls are a powerful forearm workout that will help target the brachioradialis, one of the most prominent parts of the forearm.
Because of the pronated grip, it increases the involvement of the brachioradialis and reduces that of the biceps, focusing heavily on the forearm and helping to build those muscles.
To do this exercise effectively, grab some dumbells or a curly bar, grip it with your palms facing down and curl as normal. You should aim to do 8-10 reps with 3-4 sets.
3. Grip Master Hand Exerciser
A very effective way to train your forearms is through training your “crush grip”. This is basically the process of closing your hand around something a squeezing really hard. It is a proven way to build stronger forearm flexors, fingers, and wrists.
The Gripmaster has distinct tension levels which can help train fingers independently and will work very well as a way to strengthen your forearm.
4. Plate Pinch
The plate pinch is also an easy an easy workout that will quickly increase your grip strength. It works by simply pinching 2 or 3 10-pound weights for about 10-20 seconds per set.
Plate Pinch Workout Plan
Based on the size of your hand or your grip strength, grab 2 or 3 10-pound plates, hold for 20 seconds on each hand and do this repeatedly until failure.
The goal here is not to go heavy too quickly, but rather to use the 10-pound weights until failure and when you can easily go for 20 seconds, add more weight as you see fit.
5. Dumbbell Farmer Walk
The farmers walk is a great forearm workout that builds your grip strength with the added bonus of building your upper back strength.
You can use a pair of heavy dumbbells or a trap bar deadlift. To do this workout, grip the weights in a neutral position with your thumbs facing outwards and walk a distance till failure.
Make sure to track how far you walk to get a sense of how you are progressing before your grip gives out.
7. Cable Wrist Curls
The cable wrist curls are great for wrist flexion. They are a very isolated exercise that targets your inner forearm muscles.
To do this effectively, sit down on a bench with your arms resting on your thighs, grab the bar attached to the cable machine and pull the bar towards you while keeping your elbows steady on your thighs.
You should aim to do this workout for 3 sets while doing at least 8 – 12 reps each on a moderate weight.
8. Towel Pull Up Hang
This simple exercise is very underrated but is very effective in increasing hand and finger strength. Because of the angle, you hold the towel, your fingers and hands will be under much more pressure and will lead to dramatically increase strength. Do this till failure, rest and repeat.
9. Barbell Curls
This is very similar to the reverse curls we mentioned above but instead of using the curly bar, use a barbell. This workout will develop mass as well as strength.
Using a moderate weight with your elbows close to your body, do at least 12 reps for 3-4 sets.
In Conclusion: How Forearm Workouts Increase Strength and Mass
As we mentioned, without grip strength you will struggle to do many workouts that involve pulling like push-ups or deadlifts. Forearm workouts help you increase grip strength in your fingers and make your wrists stronger.
Forearm exercises do not have to be insane or crazy to be effective. You have to focus on targeting the forearm muscles and do the workouts repeatedly to see real results.
You should have a structured exercise routine which includes many days of rest as overworking your forearms will have negative effects. You can start your workouts with the farmers walk or reverse curls and finish the session with plate pinches.