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Forearm Workouts: 3 Key Exercises

Published July 30, 2019
Ben Kissam

Written By: Ben Kissam, BS

Ben has a B.S. in Movement and Sports Science and over 7 years Certified Personal Training Experience.

the-3-best-forearm-exercises-made-into-workouts
<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@type":"BlogPosting", "headline":"Forearm Workouts: 3 Key Exercises", "datePublished":"July 30, 2019", "description":"They may not be the most targeted muscles, but strong forearms really boost your fitness. Give these 3 at-home forearm workouts a try!", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/06/grip-strength-forearm-hand-wrist-thumbnail-0213.jpg" }, } ] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What Muscles Are In Your Forearms?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Benefits of Strong Forearms</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">How Do I Make My Forearms Thicker?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">3 Forearm Workouts You Can Try At Home</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">Forearm Workouts—Wrapping Up</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>You know all about strengthening your biceps, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/at-home-exercises-to-strengthen-your-shoulders/" rel="noreferrer">shoulders</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/a-step-by-step-guide-to-perfect-hindu-pushups/" rel="noreferrer">chest muscles</a>. Of course you do—those are the most targeted upper body muscles.</p> <p>While there’s nothing wrong with working those muscles, it would benefit you to spend some time working your forearms, too.</p> <p>The forearms are kind of like the calves of the upper body. You want them to look good, but you focus on other muscles way more</p> <p>We’ll give you a few reasons that might change that.</p> <p>And don’t worry: you don’t need expensive barbells or dumbbells to improve your grip.</p> <p>In this article, we break down the benefits of a strong grip, how to thicken your forearms, and 3 bodyweight-only forearm workouts you can do right at home.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hand-outdoors-woods-0213.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hand-outdoors-woods-0213.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hand-outdoors-woods-0213.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/hand-outdoors-woods-LR-0213.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="hand-outdoors-woods-0213"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"What Muscles Are In Your Forearms?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Including the hands and finger muscles, there are a lot of muscles involved when you grip stuff. And many have complicated names.\n\nInstead of tossing out long muscle names like flexor carpi ulnaris, let’s talk at what those muscles do.\n\nThe forearms grip objects, flex and extend the wrists, and distribute force through the arms and shoulders during exercises like push-ups and planks.\n\nWithout strong, stable muscles in the forearms, most upper-body exercises would be impossible."}}]}</script> <h2>What Muscles Are In Your Forearms?</h2> <p>Including the hands and finger muscles, there are a lot of muscles involved when you grip stuff. And many have complicated names.</p> <p>Instead of tossing out long muscle names like flexor carpi ulnaris, let’s talk at what those muscles do.</p> <p>The forearms grip objects, flex and extend the wrists, and distribute force through the arms and shoulders during exercises like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups/" rel="noreferrer">push-ups</a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/plank-exercises-to-activate-your-core/ rel="noreferrer">planks</a>.</p> <p>Without strong, stable muscles in the forearms, most upper-body exercises would be impossible.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <h2>Benefits of Strong Forearms</h2> <h3>1. Improved Grip</h3> <p>Grip strength is a measure of how strong all the muscles in your fingers, hands, and forearms are. And when all those muscles are strong, they carry over to other areas of your fitness. </p> <p>The stronger your grip, the harder you can squeeze. The more you can squeeze, the greater your ability to recruit muscles during workouts. </p> <p>Your results will surprise you after prioritizing grip training—you’ll improve at other exercises, too. </p> <h3>2. Protects Joints</h3> <p>Thicker forearms provide support and protection for the wrist and elbows. Since these smaller joints are more susceptible to injuries as you get older, forearm workouts fit great into a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-best-low-impact-exercises-for-seniors/" rel="noreferrer">senior workout</a> routine.</p> <h3>3. Improved Dexterity</h3> <p>An added bonus—if you spend time on your computer or work a desk job—forearm workouts improve dexterity, reducing the likelihood of overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <script type="application/ld+json">{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":[{"@type":"Question","name":"How Do I Make My Forearms Thicker?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Adding lean muscle to your forearms will thicken them. Do that by prioritizing forearm workouts when you exercise and eating to support your goals of adding muscle.\n\nOne misconception about getting thicker forearms or improved grip strength is that you need a barbell, dumbbells, or a bunch of curls to get results. That’s simply not true!\n\nBodyweight workouts work just as well for adding muscle. Plus, the likelihood that you’ll get hurt lifting weights is way higher than if you’re doing bodyweight exercises."}}]}</script> <h2>How Do I Make My Forearms Thicker?</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/foolproof-guide-to-building-lean-muscle/" rel="noreferrer">Adding lean muscle</a> to your forearms will thicken them. Do that by prioritizing forearm workouts when you exercise and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide/" rel="noreferrer">eating</a> to support <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-set-realistic-fitness-goals-you-can-achieve/" rel="noreferrer">your goals</a> of adding muscle.</p> <p>One misconception about getting thicker forearms or improved grip strength is that you need a barbell, dumbbells, or a bunch of curls to get results. That’s simply not true!</p> <p>Bodyweight workouts work just as well for adding muscle. Plus, the likelihood that you’ll get hurt lifting weights is way higher than if you’re doing bodyweight exercises.</p> <p>The three workouts in the next section are a perfect way to get results using only bodyweight movements. You won’t need dumbbells, barbells, or weights of any kind.</p> <p>(Though you may get a kick out of what we recommend you use for equipment in Workout #1.)</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>3 Forearm Workouts You Can Try At Home</h2> <h3>1. The Pinch Workout</h3> <p>The best way to improve grip strength? Grip stuff. No, seriously. This workout might seem silly on paper but tell us your forearms didn’t get a great workout after you try it.</p> <p>Here’s the workout:</p> <p>Find an object in your house you can grip with all five fingers. A book, a shoe, even your cell phone will work.</p> <p>Place your four fingers together and grip the object with your thumb as hard as you can.</p> <p>Hold for 1:00, then rest for 1:00. Repeat 3 to 5 times.</p> <h3>2. Reverse Planks and Push-Ups</h3> <p>This superset workout challenges your forearms in a different way. It forces them to distribute weight from the floor to your upper body the whole time.</p> <p>5 supersets*:</p> <p>20 <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups/" rel="noreferrer">push-ups</a> (or a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-beginner-bodyweight-exercises-that-get-results/" rel="noreferrer">beginner push-up modification</a>, like the kickstand push-ups shown below) 1:00 reverse <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/plank-exercises-to-activate-your-core/" rel="noreferrer">plank</a> or table tops</p> <p><i>*Superset means you do both exercises back to back with no rest.</i></p> <p>Rest 90 seconds between sets. Here are the two exercises you might use:</p> <div class="row justify-content-center text-center"> <video autoplay loop muted> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/KICKSTAND-PUSHUPS.webm" type="video/webm"> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/KICKSTAND-PUSHUPS.mp4" type="video/mp4"> </video> </div> <div class="row justify-content-center text-center"> <video autoplay loop muted> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/TABLETOPS.webm" type="video/webm"> <source src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/Assets/media/exercises/beginner/TABLETOPS.mp4>" type="video/mp4" </video> </div> <h3>3. High-Intensity Interval (HIIT) Forearm Workout</h3> <p>One of our favorite forms of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/what-is-functional-training-and-can-it-benefit-you/" rel="noreferrer">functional exercise</a>—high intensity interval training. This HIIT workout will strengthen your grip and give you a little cardio workout at the same time.</p> <p>20 seconds on, 10 seconds off:</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-do-perfect-squats-and-pushups/" rel="noreferrer">Push-ups</a> (or a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-beginner-bodyweight-exercises-that-get-results/" rel="noreferrer">beginner push-up modification</a>)</p> <p>Reverse <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/plank-exercises-to-activate-your-core/" rel="noreferrer">plank</a> or table tops</p> <p>Pinch grip hold</p> <p>Do 15 cycles, or 5 sets of each exercise.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <h2>Forearm Workouts—Wrapping Up</h2> <p>They may not seem as glamorous as your biceps or triceps, but you’re missing out if you aren’t adding forearm and grip strength training in your workouts.</p> <p>Remember: you don’t need barbells, dumbbells, or a bunch of curls to get stronger forearms. The three bodyweight workouts above will work just as well, and you can go do one right now. And plus, you might get injured if your form isn’t completely perfect.</p> <p>Remember to write down your reps and scores so you can repeat them again in the future. Aim to beat your score next time! </p> </section> </article>

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