Forearm Exercises should really excite you if you want to tone your body in all manners. You must feel envious of the Hulk, the Popeye and the Johnny Bravo. Their physique is a fantasy to many! Am I right? Their body fitness, though animated, is an aspiration for many young body builders.
Forearms are an important group of muscles, which, no doubt, make people woo over. If you have the whole body trained and well built, but you lag behind on the forearm front, then there is something missing in your fitness. Here we are to help you in forearm muscle development and growth.
You need to know how your forearm muscles are compiled of smaller groups of muscles- flexors and extensors. Flexors are muscles used to perform flexion or bending movement, and extensors are group of muscles used to perform extension or straightening movement.
Heavy pulling and pushing exercises along with the curling movements will have a good impact on forearm development. Rest we have discussed below!
Best forearm exercises
- Hand exercises
A bunch of hand exercises will help to strengthen your forearms. Hand exercises include having a close grip around any object. The harder you hold it and try to compress it, the more pressure is exerted over your forearm muscles. Compression and relaxation should be repetitive and continuous. This is how you’ll get your forearm muscles working. To simplify the terminology, you have to “squeeze” objects in your hand. Your hands, fingers and the wrist get involved in this action. You can use some manual objects, but hand exercisers are the most preferred.
The strength of muscles is increased by working against some resistance. The resistance should be considerable and apt, and you should be able to increase the range gradually.
Do 5-6 sets of squeezes whenever you workout. Repetitions can be 8-10. Take rest for a few minutes in between. Do not overload.
- Pull ups
Pull ups are the most significant exercises which play a great role in strength and conditioning. When you have bars above your head, you just set your grip on the bar and lift your body off the floor. And, you would be amazed to know that using the grip gloves lowers the effect of forearm exercise. Studies reveal that grip strength was less in conditions when gloves were used than the barehanded condition. Choose the bar of considerable length and circumference.
- Plate pinch
This is a conventional exercising method. Carry the 5 kg plates in your hands, with your fingers arranged in such a manner that your thumb is on one side and the rest of the fingers on the other. You can move the plates across your body or increase the weight of plate by another 5 kg. Your forearms will exhibit some change as you do this plate pinch everyday and in repetitions.
There are many other conventional methods to train your forearms. Have you seen the Jackie Chan Kung-fu movies or, the Bollywood Akshay Kumar starrer Chandni Chowk to China? You can see the best moves for making forearms strong!
Use dumbbells to tone your forearm muscles. Hold the dumbbells in your hands, with your palms facing outward. Keep your arms close to your body. Now, keeping your elbows in touch with the body, bend your arms. Bring dumbbells closer to the shoulders. When you reach the top, hold for a few seconds and from the supinated grip, turn your hand alignment into a pronated grip. Now, slowly descend down your arms in normal position. Do 12 repetitions in set of 5. You will see the effects soon!
Forearm exercises at home
Not every time you can go to the gym and hold a set of dumbbells to carry out your workout. Some exercises can be performed at your own residence. Here are a few exercises to tone your forearms at your home itself.
Everyone is quite familiar with this exercise- push up. People compete with each other and especially the young generation. The way of doing it is universal.
Lay down on your floor with your stomach facing the ground. Place your hands laterally at the front, palms resting on the floor. Keep them beside your ears. Now, slowly push your body above, as if you are pushing the floor down. Your legs are extended to the back. Do not let your knees bend even a little. Also, do not let your hips attain a peak. Your body should be raised in proper alignment. Go up and go down by bending just your elbows.
There are several variations of doing pushups. What’s yours?
- Wrist rotations
You have to roll your fingers into a fist, and then perform wrist rotations. This will tone your flexors and strengthen your extensors. You can do such rotations while sitting or standing. But, studies reveal that wrist rotations are the most effective when performed in standing position.
- Stretching exercises such as kneeling and single arm extension is common among exercises done at home for forearm development. We have explained them below for your convenience.
Forearm dumbbell exercises
Reverse wrist curls, simple wrist curls, arm curls with their reverse versions are common dumbbell exercises. You have to be precise about the weight and your body potential.
- Dumbbell Ulnar deviation is one such exercise which includes half loaded dumbbell. Plates should lie on the side of your pinkie finger, and your arm should rest downward. Now, you have to rotate your wrist in such a way that the plate weight comes in upward direction. You do not have to bend the elbow or move forearm. You just have to move the wrists.
- Dumbbell hammer curl is another milestone exercise. You have to stand straight with the feet a few inches apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, and arms should be lying laterally straight at the starting position. Now, bend the right arm in such a way that the forearm comes vertically upward and the thumb points towards your shoulders. Lower it down gradually. Now, do the same with the left arm. Do the movement alternatively and continuity in sets and repetitions.
Forearm exercises without weights
Not every time you need to have weights with you to perform forearm exercise.
You have to kneel down on the floor, with your legs extended backwards. Now, place your palms on the floor with elbows extended. Your fingers should point towards your knees. Now, give your elbows full extension by leaning on the floor on the support of your palms. Please note that your elbows should be kept straight. Give no jerks and no sudden movements. Do exercise within your range of movement. You can gradually increase your range, step by step.
Who does not like to skip? Skipping is an exercise which involves the development of multiple muscle groups. You hold the ends of the skipping rope, and while you skip, your flexors and extensors are deeply involved. Exercise without weight and enjoy this recreation.
- Single arm wrist extensor stretch
Sit on a chair and rest. Now, raise your right arm in the right direction, fully extended. Palms should face downward. Now, read carefully, that you have to move your wrist and fingers towards the arm. Not your full hand, you just have to move your fingers and wrist. Move towards the forearm and backwards, and indulge in to and fro motion. Repeat the same with your left hand.
Best forearm exercises for mass
Forearms are important in a man’s physique. The veins and the big forearms are always admired and dreamt of. While they play an important role in appearance, they also play a vital role in building up strength of other muscle groups. Here are a few ways to increase the muscle mass of forearms.
- Reverse Barbell Curls
When you are over with your arm workout, mark its end with this exercise. This is a really tough one, so you need to be very careful while performing it. Doing this exercise in sitting or standing position is solely your choice. Sitting makes this exercise go well, whereas, while standing, your torso may get pushed back which can be injurious.
Your starting position is holding the barbell of lower weight, with your palms facing downward. Always remember that we start with the lower weights first and then gradually increase the weight. This is how the muscle group gets conditioned. Have a firm grip.
Now, raise the barbell slowly and make sure that you are not moving or jerking your torso.
Lower it down slowly. You may do in sets of 2 with 2 repetitions.
- Barbell wrist curls
Another forearm exercise is this one, which shows the increase in forearm mass. You have to be seated on a bench or chair. Place your forearms on your thighs and palms should face upwards. Hold the barbell in this position. Now, you don’t have to move your arms. You just have to move your wrists and raise the barbell as high as you can. No, no, do not detach your resting forearm from the thigh. If you do, you are cheating. Lower the barbell slowly and gradually in such a way that the barbell comes near your finger tips. Are you able to do this? Do 5 sets of 3 repetitions. You can also gradually increase the weight.
- Dumbbell wrist curl
This one needs the aid of a bench, on which you shall be resting your forearms. Your hands should extend the bench length. Now, keeping your forearm stable, you have to hold a dumbbell in your hand. Grip it tight and try to raise it up a little distance. You have to keep your forearm on the bench in constant position. You cannot raise it. Now, as you gradually moved the dumbbell in upward direction, slowly lower it down so that it rolls at your fingertips. Repeat this 5-6 times.
There are dumbbell reverse curls and barbell reverse wrist curls as well to have the mass increment. This signifies easily that the curling exercises are the best for this category.
Forearm extensor exercises
As we already mentioned that the forearms have two parts: the extensor and the flexor muscles. We shall narrow our approach to extensor muscle exercises. As you push a wall, on which part of your forearm do you feel the pressure exertion? These are your extensors, which keep you constant at the resistance offered by the wall.
- Reverse curls
Stand in an erect position with your feet a few inches apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with the grip in such a way that your palms face downward. Now, bend at your elbows, bring your forearms in the upward direction and then gradually lower back down. Repeat this.
- Wrist rotations are another set of exercise which focuses on extensor muscles. We have already highlighted the way of performing these.
- Cable roller wrist extension
This exercise is done with the help of the machine- wrist roller. You may have this in your gymnasium or even some of you might have this at home. You have to hold the bar with your knuckles facing the ceiling. Your instructor will tell you the way of doing this exercise.
- Lever radial deviation
This is another machine equipped exercise. In this, you have to rotate the handle in downward and upward direction. You have to hold the grip in such a way that your thumb comes at the side.
Forearm grip exercises
A wide range of grip enhancing equipments are available at the gym, which will make your hold firm and tight. Grippers are a challenge to even the best weight lifters and body builders. Keep in mind that the bars with higher circumference give better grip training. Also, grip loses its effect if you use gloves.
Two arm hang is an exercise to strengthen grip. You have to hang on bars, with your arms fully extended. Keep your hanging time ranging from 2-3 minutes.
Offset hang is another type of hanging exercise, in which you have to hang at one hand. Time period can be increased gradually as you “level up”.
There are several other exercises you would follow for better grip.