When you plan your next workout, what muscles do you choose to focus on? Maybe it's leg day, or perhaps it's time to focus on your arms. If that's the case, you need to know the best exercises for forearms.
It can be easy to forget about your forearms, especially since biceps are so well-known. However, your forearms are just as important as other muscles when working out.
The Calves of the Arms
If you want to get fit and strong, you need to work out your entire body. And your forearms are important. In fact, they're just as important as your upper arms, legs, and more.
The best exercises for forearms help you strengthen your arms, and the exercises should be simple. While you can strengthen your legs by walking, you can find ways to bulk up your arms, too.
What are your forearms?
Your forearm is the part of your arm between your wrist and elbow. Forearms have multiple small muscles that belong to one of two groups.
The first group of forearm muscles is called the flexors. Bending your forearm works the flexors. These muscles also work when you rotate your forearm so that your palm faces down. The flexors are all located on the inside of your forearm.
The other group includes the various extensor muscles. Your extensors can extend, or straighten, your forearm. The extensors are at play when you rotate your wrist so that your palm faces up. Extensors are on the outside of your forearm.
Why should you exercise them?
Like any part of your body, your forearms can lose their strength if you don't maintain them. While exercising other body parts can help your forearms, the best exercises for forearms specifically target those muscles.
Some of the best exercises for forearms focus on your grip and grip strength. Your forearm strength and grip strength are closely related, so strengthening your forearms can improve your grip.
What are forearm exercises?
Forearm exercises are like other exercises, except they focus on your forearms. Pushing, pulling, and curling your arms are all effective methods for working your forearms.
However, these general exercises have a better effect if you also know how to target your forearms and grip. The best exercises for forearms work both muscle groups, or they work one group and have a similar exercise for the other group.
What do they do?
The best exercises for forearms can strengthen and tone the lower part of your arms. Some of these exercises can also help your grip, which is excellent if you like to do a lot of weightlifting.
These exercises should work one or both of the muscle groups in your forearms.
Of course, you probably won't see massive changes right away. However, you can work up to those changes over time.
Who can do these exercises?
It may seem like bodybuilders are the only people who can do forearm exercises. However, the best exercises for forearms can help anyone improve their arms.
Whether you're a man or a woman and relatively healthy, you can do forearm exercises. There's also no age limit, though children should have supervision.
You just have to make sure that you maintain proper form while doing the exercises. That way, you won't hurt yourself.
You also don't necessarily need access to a gym. Of course, it can help, but don't worry if you don't have a gym membership.
Some of the best forearm exercises are great for at home, and you don't need a ton of fancy equipment to get started. You just need a few weights and a can-do attitude.
Do you need any special equipment?
The best exercises for forearms only require one or two types of equipment. Some exercises use dumbbells, and others use barbells, while other exercises don't require weights at all.
Even though you don't need a fully stocked gym to do these exercises, you should have a basic set of dumbbells and barbells. You might also need a grip trainer and a pull-up bar.
Luckily, you can find a lot of these things pretty easily.
Where can you buy equipment?
You can buy a set of weights from any sporting goods store. Some department stores might also have them in their exercise section.
If you don't want to go out to find these items, you can also find some good options online at retailers like Amazon.
Wherever you choose to buy your equipment, make sure it's high-quality. The last thing you want is for your equipment to break soon after you get it.
What's Worth It
If you want to strengthen your arms and wrists, you need to do the best exercises for forearms. It's easy to forget your forearms or think that an upper arm exercise will also target your forearms.
However, dedicating a part of your workout to your forearms will speed up the process of getting stronger arms. Special exercises will also improve your grip, which will help with weightlifting and other workouts that involve your hands.
But like with other muscle groups, not every forearm exercise is worth your time or the money spent on equipment. We wanted to find the best exercises for forearms that will help you tone the right muscles.
To find these exercises, we started with the experts. Once we found a few options, we chose exercises that were straightforward and simple. We also looked at what equipment was necessary for the different exercises.
Many of the exercises we chose don't require more than one set of weights.
While these exercises don't exactly have customer reviews, we looked at comments from various readers when possible. We also considered whether or not multiple people recommended a given exercise.
While we hope that anyone can do at least one of the best exercises for forearms, we also don't want anyone to get hurt. If you're new to working out or strength training your arms, be sure to take things slowly and consult a doctor or personal trainer if you have questions.
Don't worry about doing tons of reps or holding weights for several seconds or minutes. Just focus on making progress, and listen to your body. Of course, some discomfort is to be expected. But if you have significant discomfort or pain, stop the exercise and focus on something else.
The Best Exercises for Forearms
It can be easy to forget about working your forearms. After all, they're part of your arms. Shouldn't any arm workout suffice?
An overall arm workout would be great, and it could save you some time in the gym. However, you should add one or more of the best exercises for forearms to your routine.
These exercises focus on your forearms, and they can also improve your grip strength. The best exercises for forearms are simple to do and don't require a ton of expensive equipment. If you have a set of weights, you might even be able to start doing them right now.
The first type of forearm exercise works your forearms and your grip. Hand exercisers work your crush grip by closing and squeezing your hand around an object.
You can use just about any object that fits in your hand. However, a hand exerciser might be the best tool for this exercise. A beginner hand exerciser has enough resistance for you to maintain a full range of motion, but it should also challenge you.
If you want more of a challenge, you can get a hand exerciser with different strengths.
When you use a hand exerciser, make sure you use proper form. Keep your hand steady, and fully squeeze the hand exerciser for the best effect. Pick a number of sets and reps per session. A good goal might be 5 or 6 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
You can make it harder by increasing reps or sets or by increasing the resistance.
Training your grip not only works your forearm, but it can also help with some of the other best exercises for forearms.
If you have a barbell and a set of weights, another great forearm exercise is the barbell hold. To do the exercise, you just need a barbell with a weight at each end.
Start with an overhand grip on the barbell. Lift it off the ground or wherever it's resting. Hold it for as long as you can, ideally 10 to 20 seconds.
After you hit 20 seconds, add more weight to the barbell and repeat.
This simple exercise is great for the end of your workout because it doesn't take much
time or equipment. And it's an excellent way to make sure your forearms get some attention.
You can do this exercise at the gym or at home with your own barbell and weights.
Once you have a barbell and weights, you can do a lot of exercises with them. One of the best exercises for forearms is the plate pinch.
To do the exercise, you just need a couple of weight plates. Start with a pair of 10-pound plates and hold them both in one hand vertically.
Like the barbell hold, try to hold the plates for 20 seconds. You can work your way up slowly if 20 seconds is too long.
Once you can hold the plates for 20 seconds, add more weight. You can do this by switching to a 25-pound plate or adding another 10-pound plate to make 30 pounds.
Add more plates until your hand is out of room, then switch to heavier plates. Repeat the process with each set of plates.
Dumbbell hold and walk
Sometimes called the farmer walk, this exercise involves a pair of dumbbells. Grab a dumbbell for each hand, and be sure to grip them firmly with an overhand grip. Try to keep them from just hanging or resting on your fingers.
You can start by just holding the dumbbells in place for a certain amount of time. A starting goal might be 10 to 20 seconds. Once you're comfortable with that, start walking, but don't let your grip change.
Try to walk about 30 to 40 feet. It may sound easy, but doing so is another story.
Once that's comfortable, you can up the weight of the dumbbells or try and walk farther to increase the difficulty.
Reverse grip dumbbell curls
If you've ever done bicep dumbbell curls, you might like the reverse grip dumbbell curls. This exercise is similar to bicep dumbbell curls, but your grip is slightly different.
For reverse grip dumbbell curls, you want to hold the dumbbell with your thumb over the handle. While dumbbell curls can work your forearms, using a reverse grip will work your forearms more.
Barbell wrist curls
Another one of the best exercises for forearms is barbell wrist curls. You don't need a special wrist curl machine to do this. Instead, all you need is a bench and a barbell.
Start by placing your forearms palms up on a bench. Let your wrists hang off the bench. Hold the barbell and lower it until your knuckles face the floor. Raise the barbell until your palms face you.
This last exercise can be especially challenging. If you've done a pull-up, you know it can be difficult. Towel pull-ups add another layer of difficulty because you place a towel over the pull-up bar.
Place a towel over the pull-up bar and perform pull-ups as usual. Stop when you can't hold on to the towel. Using a towel makes doing pull-ups more difficult because it can be harder to maintain a grip of the towel.
While you do need some sort of bar to do this exercise, you may not need access to a gym. You can go to a local park and find the monkey bars.
The Best Exercises for Forearms
There are many reasons why you should work out your forearms. From improving your grip to toning your entire arms, the best exercises for forearms are simple and don't require much time or equipment.
Of course, you can do most of these exercises at the gym. However, you don't need a fancy gym membership to do these exercises. You can do a lot of them at home because all you need is a small set of weights.
We think our list is full of the best exercises for forearms. But the best of the best might be the hand exercisers. You don't need special equipment for them, and you can do them just about anywhere. Plus, they can also make other exercises a little easier.
What is your favorite forearm exercise? Did you even know they were a thing? Tell us in the comments!