Most men concentrate on strengthening their cores or even their biceps and only a few focus on their forearms. However, your forearms can be your gateway to strength, which is why you should also take the time to exercise them properly. This article lists down some of the best forearm exercises that will pave the way for your muscle growth.
Dumbbell Wrist Flexion and Extension
One of the primary forearm exercises that you can do for muscle growth is the dumbbell wrist flexion and extension. The former may involve simple movement but it is a very significant addition to your forearm workout. This can be attributed to the fact that it can target and build your wrist flexors that are critical in enhancing the strength of your grip.
To perform a dumbbell wrist flexion workout, you need to sit on the edge of a bench while holding a dumbbell on one of your hands. Place the hand holding the dumbbell on your thigh with the back of your wrist on top of your kneecap. Focus on isolating your hand while slowly lowering the dumbbell as far as you can. While doing so, ensure that you maintain a tight grip. Without having to lift your arm off your thigh, curl the dumbbell toward your bicep. From there, slowly lower the dumbbell back to neutral and repeat this with your other hand.
On the other hand, the dumbbell wrist extension is merely an inverse action of the flexion. This subtle change can help you target your wrist extensor muscles. As a result, you will be able to build your forearm muscles and strength all the more. In this case, what you need to do is to put the forearm holding a dumbbell on your thigh palm down on top of your kneecap rather than the back of your wrist touching your kneecap. In parallel to this, instead of lowering the dumbbell, you need to curl the dumbbell up as far as you can towards your bicep.
Reverse, Hammer, and Zottman Curl
There is also the option for you to try to do various types of curls to work out your forearm. Some of the best ones that you can consider include the reverse, hammer, or zottman curls. You can even try dumbbell wrist curls for your forearms but you have to make sure that you avoid some of the most common mistakes in doing it such as using excessive momentum or performing partial repetitions. Even overstretching your muscles is a common mistake that you need to avoid.
● Reverse Curl
Reverse curl is done by flipping the bar when you perform a barbell curl. This simple gesture can result in a significant impact on the overall shape of your upper body. This can be attributed to the fact that it can improve your blood circulation, building the strength of the underutilized muscle group of your body.
● Hammer Curl
You can also consider performing the hammer curl which is primarily a bicep exercise. However, it can also enable you to concentrate on your lower arm muscles by contraction. To perform this forearm workout, stand upright and grip two dumbbells at the side of your body. Keep your arms straight and palms facing on your torso. Raise one of the dumbbells until your forearm is vertical, with your thumb facing your shoulder. Slowly lower the dumbbell into the starting position and repeat the exercise on your other arm.
● Zottman Curl
There is also the option for you to consider doing the zottman curl which features a compound movement. In this case, you still need to be standing while holding the dumbbell in each of your hands with your palms facing your sides. While keeping your upper arms in place, slowly curl the weights. While you are doing the lifts, you need to rotate your palms to face your biceps in the top position. From there, turn your palms to face down and lower the weights slowly just as you would in a reverse curl.
Another forearm exercise that you can do for your muscle growth is the farmer’s walk. This specific workout can build your wrist and finger flexors while engaging lots of other muscle groups in your body. To perform this workout accurately, you need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. From there, hold the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Walk-in a straight line with your shoulders engaged while trying to keep your core tight and your spine straight.
The complex chin-up movement can work several muscle groups in your body simultaneously, including your flexors. In this case, what you need to do is to grasp the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your palms are facing you. Try to engage your core while pulling yourself up. You may feel your shoulder blades contracting as you do this, but just keep on pulling until your chin is already over the bar. Hold your position as soon as you reach the top before you slowly lower yourself down to your starting position.
Pull-Up Bar Hang
One of the most simple forearm exercises that you can consider doing is the pull-up bar hang. The great part is that aside from being a great body workout engaging your core, you tend to boost your lower arm muscles with this exercise too. In this case, you need to begin by standing beneath a pull-up bar before you reach and clutch it with a shoulder-width grip. Keep in mind that your palms should face forward while doing so. As soon as you have a comfortable grip, raise your legs from the ground and hang at arm’s length for half a minute. Keep your arms straight and your ankles crossed behind you.
There is also the option for you to consider a towel pull-up bar hang which has almost the exact movement as the pull-up bar hang. However, with this exercise, you need to drape a couple of towels over a bar. You need to reach and grasp a towel with each of your hands, engaging your core as you lift your feet off the floor. You need to hold this position for half a minute. Repeat this five times before you proceed with other workout routines.
Behind-the-Back Cable Curl
This exercise can promote your blood flow although you may need to set up certain gear to perform a behind-the-back cable curl properly. What you need to set up is the D-handle that should be attached to the low-pulley of a cable machine. The movement that you will perform is very much similar to a standard curl but you need to start from an over-directed position. After grasping the handle, you need to take a large step forward wherein you will feel some tension on the cable. Your arm should be drawn slightly at the back of your body. When you curl the handle, your elbow should not point forward.
EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
The EZ-bar preacher curl is usually done to boost the biceps of your arms but it can also do wonders when it comes to your forearms. You will be able to gain muscle and strength as your elbow contracts, adding tension to the muscle group in your forearm. Instead of standing like with the other forearm exercises, you need to sit at a preacher bench, grasping an EZ-curl bar at shoulder width. Your arms have to be extended, but at the same time, you need to keep a slight bend in your elbow. Flex at the top before slowly lowering the bar back to your starting position.
Towel Cable Row
If you want to accentuate the tension on your wrists, then you can use a towel over your dumbbells. This will increase the intensity of the strain on your forearms. Thus, try to hook a towel to a cable pulley and stand in front of it. Bend slightly at your knees while keeping your back upright as you hold the end of the towel with your hands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while pulling the towel towards you in a rowing motion. Repeat this workout a couple of times with each set consisting of 10-12 repetitions.
Finally, you can also consider doing the crab walk which may seem a little awkward or even unproductive. Nevertheless, it is a great exercise for your forearm. You only need to sit on the ground but face upward. Bridge your torso up with your hips until you are on all fours. From that position, walk forward using your hands and feet. Take ten steps forward and ten steps back until you can tolerate the tension on your forearms.
The forearm exercises listed above are only some of the ones that you should consider trying if you want to grow your muscles. Some of the other ones that you can try include farmer’s carry or trap bar carry, as well as plate curls and pinch carries. All these are geared towards ensuring that you achieve the muscle growth that you intend to attain for your body.