It doesn't matter what your fitness level, age, or gender is; training your forearms should be strictly included in your daily workout routine.
That's because the forearm muscles not only help you to move and support weight but are responsible for the movements in the neck and shoulders too. Plus, strengthening the forearms boosts grip strength, helping you lift and carry items with ease.
However, achieving huge and stronger forearms is easier said than done, as these muscles have a lower capacity for growth compared to other big muscles such as the back and chest. However, with the right exercises, you can train your forearms like a champion and help them become stronger and bigger.
In this article, we’ve compiled a few of the best exercises that can give you massive forearms. While the exercises are safe and suitable for every fitness level, it's still recommended that you use light weight while performing the moves to avoid muscle strain and injury. That's particularly important if you're new to strength training workouts.
Exercises to build your forearms
Ready to work on your forearm muscles? Give these six exercises a try:
1) Reverse biceps curl
This exercise helps strengthen the entire arm while primarily emphasizing the forearm and wrist. Initially, use a barbell with light weight plates, and as you progress, challenge yourself by increasing the weight. Also, do not overtrain.
To do the exercises:
- Hold the barbell using an underhand grip at shoulder level, and keep your palms facing towards the floor.
- Keeping your upper arms and wrists in their neutral position, curl the barbell up till the top of the hands reaches the shoulders.
- Squeeze the bar at the top, and slowly lower it back to its starting position.
2) Farmer’s Carry
The farmer’s carry, also called the farmer’s walk, is another great exercise to develop the forearms. It strengthen the fingers and wrist flexors while also increasing grip strength and boosting shoulder stability.
To do this exercise:
- Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in each hand, and take a tall, standing position.
- Maintain this position, and start to walk for a few counts. While walking, ensure that your abs are tight, and shoulders are pulled back and down.
- Aim to complete three sets of 30 steps.
3) Behind-the-back barbell wrist curl
Behind-the-back barbell wrist curls are another very effective exercise for the forearm muscles. They primarily target the forearms and wrists and help develop muscle mass.
To do the exercise:
- Sit on an exercise bench, and position your arms alongside your body, with your forearms placed on the bench.
- Hold a barbell or dumbbell, and position your wrists on the edge of the bench.
- Slowly curl the weights as high as you can while keeping your wrists in a stable position.
Pull-ups are also a great exercise that works wonders for the upper body muscles, including the forearms. Additionally, it also helps enhance grip strength.
To do the exercise:
- Grip a pull-bar tightly using an overhand grip.
- Using your arms, pull your body up till your chin gets over the bar.
- Lower your body down to the starting position, and repeat.
5) EZ-bar preacher curl
The EZ-bar preacher curl is basically a biceps strengthening workout, but the contraction of the elbows during this exercise makes it an effective exercise for the forearms too.
To do the exercise:
- Sit straight at a preacher curl bench, and hold the EZ-curl bar with your arms extended and hands at a shoulder-width distance.
- Slightly bend your elbows and start to curl the bar while keeping the back of your arms perfectly against the bench.
- Lower the bar, and repeat the exercise for a few counts.
6) Zottman curl
The zottman curl is a great compound exercise that helps enhance forearm and bicep strength.
To do it:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand, and stand straight with your palms facing towards your sides.
- Slowly curl the dumbbells up while keeping your upper arms stable. As soon as you curl the weights up, rotate your palms so that they face your biceps.
- Turn your palms to their starting position, and lower the dumbbells in a reverse curl movement.
- Repeat the exercise for a few counts.
To get the most out of your training, aim to do these exercises for three sets of 15 reps max, and train your arms no more than thrice a week. Keep yourself hydrated, and load up with protein for overall muscle and strength building.