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What Is a Forearm Roller?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A forearm roller is a type of weight training tool that allows the user to roll a tube or bar in both hands. This tube is connected to a rope or chain, at the end of which is secured a weight. The forearm roller is designed to strengthen and tone the muscles of the forearms and wrists, and the exercises possible with the roller can vary slightly. The roller can be rolled in both directions, both up and down, and resistance can be added to one arm or the other by rolling the weight toward that arm.

The cost of a forearm roller is fairly low, but if a person does not want to pay the retail price for the device, he or she can make one from scratch. A short, thick piece of PVC pipe can be used as the handle, and a strong piece of rope can be tied to the PVC. Any type of heavy weight can be tied to the other end of the rope to provide resistance. It may be necessary to drill a hole through the PVC to ensure the rope does not slip when the PVC is being rolled. While this is an inexpensive way to make a forearm roller, it is not necessarily the most reliable or the strongest.

PVC pipe can be used as the handle of a forearm roller.
PVC pipe can be used as the handle of a forearm roller.

One advantage of buying a specifically designed forearm roller is the ability to change the weights quickly and easily to enhance the strength training workout. Some rollers come with quick release systems or buckles that can be undone quickly to add more weight, then re-secured for safety during the exercise. The rope will also be strong and reliable; some models even use webbing instead of rope. Webbing is a wider, thinner piece of fabric commonly used in rock climbing, and it is exceptionally durable and strong.

Using the forearm roller starts with standing with the feet hip width apart and the back straight. The user will grasp the roller with both hands at opposite ends of the handle. The arms can be positioned either at stomach or shoulder height, depending on the desired intensity of the workout. Raising the bar higher will provide a more intense workout in most cases. The user will then begin to rotate the bar toward the body using the hands, bending at the wrist as he or she does this. Once the weight reaches the bar, the user can then lower the weight in a controlled motion back to the starting position.

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    • PVC pipe can be used as the handle of a forearm roller.
      By: thejimcox
      PVC pipe can be used as the handle of a forearm roller.