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November 08, 2021 9 min read

Are you neglecting your forearm muscles?

For many gym enthusiasts, incorporating an upper body workout is one of the best ways to build strength and mass in the arm muscles like the biceps and triceps.

But did you know that you should be prioritizing your forearms just as much, if not more often?

This is because the forearm is the portal to the strength needed to carry out even the most common everyday tasks such as carrying groceries. When it comes to building strength and mass, arguably no other area of the body is more important than the forearm muscles. Strengthening this area of your arms can be done in a variety of ways.

What Are Your Forearms?

Typically, when you meet people for the first time, the forearms are the area of the body you see first. Whether you shake hands with a colleague or reach in to hug a family member, your forearms are out there in front of you.

Muscles of forearm anterior and posterior view

The forearm is the part of the arm that falls between the wrist and the elbow. Most people know that this part of the body is known for the two lower arm bones called the radius and ulna. Surrounding these bones, in addition to tendons and ligaments, several small muscle groups make up the forearm.

While twenty muscles make up the entire forearm, they are divided into various groups such as the flexors and extensors.

The largest of these muscles is the brachioradialis, which begins in the upper arm and extends to the outside of the wrist. This muscle helps you bend your elbow, which assists in many other activities.

Why Is It Important To Exercise Your Forearms?

Although knowing what the forearm consists of is important, discovering why it should be included in your weekly workout routine is just as vital. When you think about going through your daily routines, there is not much you can do that does not include the use of your forearm muscles.

Whether you are attempting to open a jar or grip your free weights in your hand, the muscles in your lower arm are used.

Most of these activities cause you to use your flexors or extensors to complete the task. Making sure you are building strength and mass in these muscles will make the difference between being able to open that jar, or relying on someone else to open it for you.

Studies have shown that strength training helps your body in a variety of ways. This is especially true when it comes to participating in daily tasks that require you to grip and carry different items.

Benefits of Forearm Workouts

Once you know what the forearm muscles are and why they are important, it should be enough to convince you that exercising this part of your body is vital to daily living.

Many benefits go along with having strong forearms including:

  • Grip strength
  • Better arm control
  • Functional Strength
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Many bodybuilders and other fitness enthusiasts understand that having strength and mass in the forearms can make a huge difference in the way the body looks and reacts. Not to mention, most people enjoy the way it gives your whole arm a more balanced look.

Why is Grip Strength Important?

When it comes to grip strength, experts agree that it is a factor that you need inside and outside the gym. This is because this type of strength helps you to not only have better control when lifting weights but also when you are doing daily activities.

Another reason grip strength is important is because, according to this study, grip strength appears to be related to your mental health.

It may be possible to notice potential challenges before they appear.

At the end of the day, exercising your forearm muscles can directly affect the strength of your grip, allowing you to continue to function daily. While many exercises use your body weight for an arm workout, using a dumbbell may be just the exercise your forearms need.

10 Best Forearm Dumbbell Workouts

Are you ready to learn about some of the best forearm workouts that will help you get the strength and mass you desire?Many of the following arm exercises are suitable for beginners or even those who are seasoned at bodybuilding.

1. Farmer’s Walk

The idea behind the farmer’s walk is to use the heaviest set of weights or kettlebell you can handle and walk across the floor. If you think about farmers as they are working their farms, they probably do this many times a day, with various sizes and weights of objects. While you are doing this, you are strengthening your forearm muscles by challenging the fingers and wrists.

Young muscular sportsman doing farmer's walk exercise during his cross training workout

Here’s how you do it:

  • Stand in a starting position with your feet about shoulder-width apart with a pair of dumbbells in your hands, palms facing inward
  • Walk in a straight line, shoulders level, back straight for about 10-20 steps
  • Repeat 
  • You should do about 10 sets with the same 10-20 steps

It is important to note that while you are doing the Farmer’s Walk, you should keep your core tight. This will help you maintain good posture and control over your moves.

2. Palms-Up Wrist Curl

Man resting his forearms on his thighs to complete a palms-up wrist curl

This exercise requires you to use the natural movement of your wrist to challenge your forearm muscles by using a pair of dumbbells. Since it isolates the wrist, your forearm is getting the direct benefit.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or box while holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Rest your forearms on your thighs, allowing the wrists to hang over the knee, bending backward
  • Curl the dumbbells upward, pausing for a few seconds then allowing the wrist to go back to the original position
  • Repeat for 4 sets of 10 reps

As you do this exercise, remember to keep your wrist steady and breathe through the reps.

3. Palms-Down Wrist Curl

Strong man completing a palms-down wrist curl

This reverse wrist curl is the opposite of the above arm exercise. It is also designed to grow your forearms by using a natural wrist movement.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or box while holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • This time turn your arms over so your forearms face up and your palms are down
  • Raise your wrists towards your forearms, pausing for a few seconds then return to your starting position
  • Repeat for 4 sets of 10 reps

Again, for this exercise remember, to hold your wrist steady and to breathe.

4. Grip Crush

While the Grip Crush is similar to the wrist curls, this exercise takes the challenge a little bit further. It is designed to focus completely on the gripping of the hand, while at the same time strengthening your forearm muscles.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sit on a chair, bench, or box while holding the dumbbell in your left hand
  • Allow your arm (left) to move towards the ground while bracing it against your left thigh
  • Let the dumbbell roll towards your fingers and then grip it, squeezing it tightly while doing a wrist curl
  • Repeat on the right arm
  • Perform this for 4 sets of 10 reps

This exercise should be done with a dumbbell that is suitable for your fitness level.

5. Reverse Curls

The Reverse Curl is most often performed using a barbell, however, for a great forearm exercise, dumbbells can be used. This will isolate each arm and give you an overall better challenge.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, or sit on a chair, bench, or box
  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, grasp with palms facing downward with an overhand grip at your thigh level
  • Steadily curl the dumbbells upwards to the top of the grasp and gently squeeze them before lowering them back down.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps

For this exercise, you need to make sure that you are controlling the movement and breathing steadily.

6. Towel Dumbbell Curls

Man doing Towel Dumbbell Curls at the gym

This exercise is designed to increase your grip strength while also building your forearm muscles. While it is another curl exercise, this one is more like the biceps curl but with a wider grip to isolate the forearm.

Here’s how it works:

  • For this exercise, you will take your two dumbbells and wrap a towel around them a couple of times, then grasp them in each of your hands
  • Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart
  • With palms facing inward, curl your arms up to shoulder height moving your palm to face the shoulder, then lowering it back down
  • Repeat for 2 sets of 20 reps

Something to remember for this exercise is to keep your back straight and your movements steady throughout the reps.

7. Hammer Cheat Curls

The Hammer Cheat Curl, while much like the traditional hammer curl, is focused on an explosive momentum to push the weight up to the desired level. This exercise will help challenge your forearms to build the desired strength and mass.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasping a dumbbell in each hand
  • With your hands down by your side to start, use your hip momentum to cheat the weights to the top position of a curl
  • Slowly lower the weights back down
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps

To perform this exercise correctly, you will need to think of the movement much like performing a clean, using that hip momentum to get the weights where they need to be.

8. Zottman Curl

Strong man doing a Zottman Curl at the gym

This exercise is believed to be one of the best forearm exercises you can perform because it is considered to be a compound movement exercise.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your sides
  • Curl the weights upward towards your shoulders while rotating your wrists towards your biceps once in the top position
  • Turn your palms downward
  • Lower your arms towards the starting position, much like a reverse curl
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps

9. Drag Curl

While this curl is done similarly to the traditional curl, it will look as though you are dragging the dumbbells up your torso area. The exercise is designed to further challenge your forearms and build strength.

 

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand down by your side with palms facing forward
  • Bend your elbows while also pushing them backward, lift the weights toward your chest, then gently lower back to the starting position
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Remember during this exercise to keep your back straight and your elbows pulled back.

10. Wrist Rotations

Man doing Wrist Rotations at the gym

The Wrist Rotations are typically done at the end of a forearm workout to give the muscles a final blast. This exercise is recommended to do to the point of exhaustion rather than a number of repetitions.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and starting at your side, raise them to a 90-degree angle in front of you
  • Slowly rotate your wrist away from the body so that they face palms up and then palms down in a circular motion
  • Repeat for 4 sets to exhaustion

In addition to the dumbbell forearm workout exercises listed above, many people also include other exercises to complement them. Incorporating a good chest workout, along with upper arms including a bicep workout and tricep workout, are great ways to build all-over body strength.

Supplementing for Forearm Strength and Mass

While incorporating forearm exercises into your weekly workout routine is important, you may want to consider adding in some supplements that may help you build the muscle you desire. There are many supplements out there that may help you build forearm strength and mass.

Here are some recommendations:

PUMPED-AF

PUMPED-AF is a stimulant-free pre-workout formula that is designed to hydrate your muscles and increase fullness and endurance during your workout. It will help you to push through your workout while also getting the maximum benefit from your training. This formula is safe to stack with any other product you may need to build the strength and mass you desire.

ADABOLIC

With over 30 ingredients used by many top athletes, ADABOLIC is the ultimate supplement you need for increasing your muscle tone and hardness. Formulated for pre-workout, Intra-workout, and post-workout benefits, this supplement will help you to push through any session to increase your performance. Recover faster with ADABOLIC.

Conclusion

Overall, your forearms play an important role in your everyday life and should be included in your weekly workout routine. Building strength and mass will not only make you more aesthetically appealing, but it will also give you the grip strength you need to complete many of the daily tasks you perform regularly.

Incorporating the 10 best forearm dumbbell workouts listed above will get you on your way to discovering functional fitness exercises that will increase your ability to get through anything that comes your way.