How do I Choose the Best Forearm Workouts?

Dan Cavallari

The forearms are often a neglected part of the body when it comes to weight training, especially in terms of an arm workout. To tone and develop arms more evenly, forearm workouts are just as important as biceps workouts. A variety of wrist curls can be done during forearm workouts to develop and tone the forearm muscles, and activities that promote repetitive arm movement that engages the forearm muscles can also help develop tone and strength. A weight trainer may find that including forearm workouts in a regular workout schedule will make other types of arm workouts easier and more beneficial.

Racquetball provides a good forearm workout.
Racquetball provides a good forearm workout.

The best forearm workouts will include wrist curls. These can be done in several different ways. To start, you can use a barbell with a light amount of weight attached. Starting small will allow you to gauge where your muscles are in terms of strength without risking serious injury. Sit on a bench or chair with the barbell across your thighs. Grasp the barbell with each hand facing palm up, and rest the forearms on your thighs, simultaneously pushing the barbell off your thighs. The weight of the barbell should not be entirely on your hands. Let your wrists drop while keeping your forearms straight, then raise the barbell with your hands by bending at the wrists and engaging the forearm muscles. Repeat this motion several times, then rest. The same position can be used when doing reverse wrist curls, in which you place your hands on the barbell palms down rather than palms up.

Gripping a tennis ball can strengthen the forearm.
Gripping a tennis ball can strengthen the forearm.

Sports such as boxing or racquetball, tennis, or other racket sports are also great activities to include in forearm workouts. These not only work the forearm muscles thoroughly, but they also get you out of the weight room, providing variety and a change of scenery. These sports quickly and regularly engage the forearm muscles, helping develop small muscle fibers that strengthen and tone the forearm. The weight of boxing gloves is an added bonus, as this adds an additional resistance to the exercise. You can participate in actual boxing matches, or simply box with a punching bag to reap the benefits of the repetitive punching motion.

Hitting a punching bag is a good way to work the forearm muscles.
Hitting a punching bag is a good way to work the forearm muscles.

Some forearm workouts can be done at home or in the office by using resistance devices such as grip balls. These small, handheld balls will yield when squeezed, but they also provide plenty of resistance that will engage the forearm muscles as well as the muscles of the wrist and hands. Squeezing a tennis ball will help you accomplish the same task, though a tennis ball may be too large for some hands.

Forearm workouts can be done at home by using resistance devices such as grip balls.
Forearm workouts can be done at home by using resistance devices such as grip balls.
Participating in a boxing match can be a great forearm workout.
Participating in a boxing match can be a great forearm workout.
Curls help strengthen the biceps and other muscles of the arms.
Curls help strengthen the biceps and other muscles of the arms.

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