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5 of the Best Forearm Exercises

4th Jan 19

Our forearm muscles are often overlooked, even though they’re so important for popular exercises like deadlifts and bench presses. Here are some of the best forearm exercises, whether you choose to do them individually on a regular basis, or as a full monthly workout. You’re sure to make drastic improvements and you’ll see a real progress boost.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

  1. Farmer’s walks
  2. Wrist rotations
  3. Plate pulls
  4. Wrist curls
  5. Wrist grips

Farmer’s walks

Man holding farmers walk equipment preparing to perform the exercise

The farmer’s walk is a great exercise in general, not just for forearms. It allows you to move huge amounts of weight and really develop your legs and shoulders. However, your forearms will benefit the most. Just remember to keep your shoulders down – not shrugged – and maintain a fairly straight back to avoid injury.

The farmer’s walk technique is basic and easy. Once you’ve managed to lift the weight, you’re essentially walking across a space of your choice. It’s best to use equipment specified for the exercise, like a hex bar or farmer’s walk handles, however, dumbbells are also a viable option.

Wrist rotations

Man holding barbell for wrist rotations

The next on our list of forearm exercises is wrist rotations. They’re one of the less common exercises, but are still incredibly effective forearm builders. Again, it’s difficult to get a wrist rotation wrong and you’ll see impressive results with relative ease.

To do a wrist rotation, all you need is a bar with a weight that is suited to your forearm strength. Ensure a good overhand grip. As you hold onto the bar with both hands, simply twist your wrist(s) in a safe and stable motion range.

Plate pulls

Woman holding weight plates

The plate pull shares a lot of dynamics as the shoulder shrug, but with the emphasis being on shifting entirely onto the forearm. The motion is the same as it would be if you were grip training, but it relies entirely on your hand strength. Be careful not to involve your shoulders!

With a weight plate in each hand, hanging from your fingers, simply contract your hand to pull the weight upward to your wrist, which will activate the whole forearm and give you a serious burn.

Wrist curls

Man performing wrist curls

Wrist curls are fairly similar to the bicep curl, but training your forearm instead of the upper arm. The equipment is the same, but you’ll more than likely need to use a much lower weight depending on your arm training routine. Safety is paramount when using your wrists to avoid injury.

To do this exercise, you need to hold the bar with an underhand grip and rest your arms on your legs or a bench, with only your wrists and hands hanging freely. Then, simply push your wrists to their lowest point and contract to their highest. Do this for however many reps you want in your set structure. Do not to go too heavy on the weight as it is very easy to injure yourself.

Wrist grips

Wrist grip equipment

The wrist grip is one of the most famous grip and forearm exercises. It’s probably the first thing that comes to mind when you considered training your forearms.

For this exercise you need a specific piece of equipment. Squeeze the apparatus together in each hand again for the set and rep structure of your choice, working each arm evenly. Another great point about this forearm move is the practicality of it, and the fact that you can do it anywhere… from the gym to your desk at work!

Grip strength is crucial to your form and safety throughout your training, so it’s well worth taking the time to make sure they are up to scratch. Each of these forearm exercises is well worthwhile and sure to boost your performance – check out the video below for more information and guidance.

man doing lunges

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.