Many who work out tend to focus more on either their biceps, shoulders or abs. But only a handful of people tend to give equal attention to a specific group of muscles that are often considered to be a gateway to strength, their forearms.
The lower half of your arm holds more tension that the rest of your body while lifting weights and it’s important to work out that group of muscles in order to build resistance.
If you’re looking to develop forearms like Stallone or Arnold, then you will definitely have to up your game and start incorporating forearm exercises into your daily workout regime.
Here are the best forearm exercises for men that you can get done at home or in the gym. I will cover exercises that you can perform freehand and even those that require weights.
Recommended Read: Best Bicep Exercises for Men
Table of Contents
Top 8 Best Forearm Exercises for Men
Dumbbell Wrist Flexion
The dumbbell wrist flexion is a simple and easy-to-perform exercise that helps strengthen your wrist flexors and allow you to improve your grip strength.
Here’s how you can perform the dumbbell wrist flexion.
- Start by sitting at the edge of a bench and hold a dumbbell firmly in your right or left forearm.
- Go ahead and place your forearm on your thigh and make sure that the face of your wrist is resting on your kneecap.
- Make sure to maintain a tight grip throughout and while concentrating only on your forearm and wrist, slowly lower your wrist over your kneecap.
- Now slowly curl your wrist upward with the dumbbell moving toward your bicep.
- Lower your wrist to the starting position and proceed to workout your other arm.
Perform this exercise until you’re tired. Make sure you do not strain yourself by lifting heavy dumbbells.
Dumbbell Wrist Extension
A dumbbell wrist extension is a form of exercise that similar to the wrist flexion but on the other side. Here you will have to lay your palm facing downward on a bench and by extending your wrist, you will target and workout your wrists extensor muscles.
Here’s how you can perform the dumbbell wrist extension properly.
- Sit or kneel in front of a bench and rest your forearm across the bench with the dumbbell in your hand and your palm facing down.
- While concentrating on your wrist and forearm, slowly raise your wrist upward and hold it there for around 2-3 seconds before gently lowering your wrist all the way down.
- Raise your wrist back to neutral position and move over to the next arm.
Keep performing this exercise until you can no longer extend your wrists and you feel that it’s enough. Also, make sure to use lightweight dumbbells when you start performing this exercise so you don’t hurt yourself.
The reverse curl is the exact same exercise you would perform to workout your biceps, but in this version you’re going to be targeting your forearms.
The exercise will help increase and improve blood flow to your muscles and will help build strength in your forearms. Here’s how you can perform the reverse curls at home or in the gym.
- Grab an EZ curl bar in your hands with your palms facing downward.
- Make sure your arms are firm at your side and slowly curl the bar in an upward motion till your knuckles are in line with your delts.
- Squeeze and hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position without breaking tension.
- Repeat the steps until your sets have been completed.
Beginners are recommended to start off with a lightweight bar and it’s ideal to perform at least 3 sets of 10-12 reps each.
The hammer curl is primarily a bicep exercise quite like the previous one and is also considered to be a compound exercise that you can take advantage of to workout your lower arm muscles by contracting them.
Here’s how you can perform the hammer curl to work out your forearms.
- Stand upright with a dumbbell in each arm and your hands by your sides with your palms facing inward.
- Keep your elbows and shoulders stationary and begin to slowly raise one dumbbell toward your shoulder by bending your elbow.
- Pause for a few seconds and slowly lower your arm to the original position.
- Repeat the steps with your alternate arm
The hammer curl is an effective exercise that you can include in all your workout routines. To get the best results, perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps each during your workout session.
The crab walk not only workout out your shoulders, core and legs but it’s beneficial even for the growth and development of your forearm muscles as well.
This form of exercise is freehand and does not require lifting any weights. You can perform the crab walk by
- Start by sitting on a flat surface, then lower the back of your body to the ground to form a bridge.
- Now, with the help of your hands, support your upper body and make sure it’s parallel to the ground.
- Move along the floor with your hands and feet by maintaining the bridge position.
While this exercise is not a beginners exercise and will take some time to master, it is truly beneficial to your forearm strength. Though there are no sets or reps for this exercise, I would recommend performing the crab walk for as long as you can go without breaking a sweat.
The farmer’s walk is one of the easiest exercises to perform if you’re looking to buff up your forearms. It doesn’t require much and would resemble you (the farmer), walking to the market with bags of vegetables (dumbbells) in each hand.
Here’s how you can perform the farmer’s walk at home.
- Start by standing upright with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your hands at your side with your palms facing your body.
- Begin walking in a straight line making sure that your core muscles are engaged and your back is straight.
- Once your reach the end of the room, turn around and repeat.
You can perform this exercise until you’re tired or you can choose to stick to performing 10 sets of 12-15 reps each.
The chin-up is a form of exercise that requires you to raise your body weight only with the help of your forearms. This workout tends to target a number of muscle groups and primarily engages your flexors.
Here’s how you can perform the chin-up at home.
- Stand in front of your pull up bar at home and grasp the bar with your hands positioned at shoulder width. Make sure your palms are facing you.
- Concentrate on your core and begin pulling yourself up.
- Keep going until your chin is over the bar and hold the position for a few seconds.
- Gently lower yourself to the initial position and start the steps again.
The chin-up is one of the best exercises to perform at home and the only piece of equipment you would need is a pull-up bar. You are recommended to perform 3 sets of 8 reps each to successfully workout your forearms without hurting yourself.
Pull-Up Bar Hang
Another easy-to-perform free-hand exercise is the pull-up bar hang. This form will engage your core and improve your lower arm muscles and finger flexors.
Here’s how you can effectively perform the pull-up bar hang.
- Stand beneath a pull-up bar and reach upward till you clutch the bar. Make sure your arms are at shoulder width and your palms are facing outward.
- Slowly raise your legs off the ground and hang for around 20-30 seconds with your feet crossed behind you.
- Slowly unhook your ankles and lower your feet towards the ground.
- Repeat the steps listed above until your sets are done.
While performing the pull-up bar hang, it’s important to note that your core is engaged. Do not stretch yourself or you can hurt yourself in the process. It’s ideal to perform at least 5 sets of 30 second reps each.
What makes up your Forearms?
Your forearm is the region between your elbow and wrist. Your forearm muscles are made up a several smaller groups of muscles such as the flexors and extensors of your fingers.
There are two main arteries that are found in the forearm the radial and ulnar arteries. These help supply blood to your forearm and would run on the anterior of the radius and ulna all the way down your forearm.
Cautions and Modifications
Since working out your forearms can be dangerous when not performed the right way, it’s best to get in touch with a certified trainer who can guide you through the right steps.
When performing any form of exercise, make sure to always push yourself to the limit but never cross it. You will have to control your breaths and maintain smooth and swift movements.
It’s highly recommended that you stop working out if you feel any pain or discomfort and if you have any existing injury or medical concerns to refrain from working out your forearms or any part of your body for that matter.
Forearm exercises for men can help build strength and improve your grip strength with are important if you want to be consistent and perform a range of activities.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to recover after every workout and alternate your workout routine every week.
Darnell Jackson is a grooming enthusiast. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and has always been passionate about men’s fashion and grooming. Darbell started his career as a freelance writer, contributing to various men’s lifestyle magazines and blogs. He has since become a published author, with his book “The Art of Man Grooming” receiving critical acclaim.