The forearms are an integral part of your muscle structure. Yet, they often get overlooked in favor of the biceps.
While many of the exercises that you perform will naturally work your forearms, without special attention, you could end up with massive biceps that outbalance your forearms. Here are 5 exercises that you can use to specifically target your forearms.
#1 – Barbell Wrist Curls
Lean forward and set your forearms on the weight bench – between your legs. Grip the barbell in your hands with your palms facing upward. Extend your wrists and lower the barbell toward the floor. Slightly uncurl your fingers to lower the bar further. This is the starting position.
Now, tighten your grip and curl your wrists upward. Raise the barbell as high as you can with your wrists and then lower the barbell back to the starting position. Use the max weight that you feel comfortable with while performing 8 repetitions.
#2 – Reverse Barbell Curls
The reverse barbell curl is another great exercise for building strength in your forearms as well as your biceps. Again, sit on a weight bench. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip. Keep your thumbs on top of the bar. You should keep your hands spaced hip-width apart. Your feet should be about shoulder-width.
Your arms should be straight across your thighs. Curl the barbell up to your shoulders, focusing on your wrists and forearms. Slowly return the barbell to the starting position to complete one repetition.
#3 – The Farmer’s Walk
The farmer’s walk is actually one of the most effective exercises for working your forearms. It is an exercise commonly used by guys competing in strongman competitions.
For this exercise, you will need a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms straight down by your sides. Your shoulders should be down and back. You are now in the starting position.
Walk as far as you are able to without letting go of the grip. Once you feel that you are beginning to lose your grip, stop walking. Slowly lower the weights to the floor. Allow your arms to rest for a few seconds and then repeat.
You should perform at least 10 of these walks in a row, with a short rest between each walk. After the 10 repetitions, rest for 30-seconds before starting another set.
#4 – Newspaper Scrunch
The newspaper scrunch is an interesting exercise. Not only will it work your forearms, it will also help with grip strength. Instead of dumbbells or barbells, you will simply need a few sheets of newspaper.
Start with a single sheet. Sit on a bench or chair with the newspaper lying next to you. Pinch the corner of the newspaper with your thumb and forefinger. This is the starting position.
Using just your thumb and forefinger, begin gathering up the newspaper and scrunching it into a ball. Continue scrunching the paper until the ball is tight in your hand and you are no longer able to squeeze the paper. You can then toss the paper and repeat this exercise with your other hand.
#5 – Hand Grippers
The final exercise is hand grippers. You can perform this exercise anytime. All you need is a basic hand gripper. You can find these small pieces of equipment at any sporting goods store and most department stores.
Grip the hand gripper in your hand. Squeeze the gripper and close it as far as you can. Then, continue holding the gripper in the closed position as long as you can. Slowly loosen your grip. You can perform this throughout the day to help increase your grip strength and work your forearms.
Here is another exercise that you can perform with the hand gripper. Hold the gripper in your right hand and close the grip and then open it. Pass the gripper to your left hand and repeat. When you pass it back to your right hand, close and open the gripper twice. Repeat with your left hand. Every time that you pass the gripper back to your right hand, increase the number of times that you contract the gripper by one.
See how far you can go before your hands get tired. Keep track of the number of contractions and make it your goal to beat your best score each time.
Use These Exercises to Start Working Your Forearms
By strengthening your forearms, you will find your performance improves when engaging in various activities. This includes other exercises, such as chin-ups and deadlifts.
You will find it easier to maintain proper form throughout the entire range of motion. It will also help complete your toned look if you are going for muscle growth.
You can get started now. Incorporate these 5 simple exercises into your existing strength training routine. Remember to mix up your exercises and avoid performing the same routine for too long.
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