One of the most neglected body parts in a lifters workout routine has to be the forearms. Not many people incorporate multiple forearm exercises into their workouts so the only way that they develop is through doing everyday actions and gripping the weight. To me the forearm is the most underrated thing a lifter could work. Other than being easily noticeable having strong forearms has some key benefits including: being able to lift more weight because if you are unable to get a grip on the weight then you will not be able to lift it. Think about when you deadlift or shrug, you will be able to pump more reps out if you are able to keep a strong grip on the weight. Also having stronger forearms allows you to engage your muscles when you lift more. If you have weak forearms the weight will be less steady and thus harder to lift than if you had strong forearms. With these benefits there is no reason why you should not work forearms into your workouts. With that being said here are my top forearm exercises to do:
These can be done with dumbbells but I prefer to use an E-Z curl bar as a straight bar is more stressful on your wrist. Move your hands in about half an inch from being shoulder width apart on each side. This will force you to use your forearm muscles more to lift the weight as opposed to with your shoulders. The exercise is performed the same as a regular curl only with a reverse grip on the bar. It primarily works your Extensors, Brachialis, and Biceps while working your Deltoids secondarily. An effective variation of this exercise is concentrated reverse curls. This can be performed using the concentrated curl bench, the concentrated curls machine, or by putting your chest on the incline bench and curling an E-Z curl bar. Just like any isolation exercise, the concentrated reverse curls will increase the amount of stress that is being put on your forearms when you are lifting the weight.
I am sure there are other ways to perform this exercise but here are the two that I find to work the best. For this version you may use either dumbbells or a bar. Sit down on a bench and grasp the weight using either an underhand or overhand grip. Rest your forearms on your legs with an inch or two of your wrist going over your knee. With the weight in your hand curl your wrists up to perform the rep. The other variation of this exercise requires you to use a barbell. Grasp the barbell behind your back using an underhand grip and curl your wrists up to perform the rep. This exercise really focuses on stressing the muscles in your wrist to make them stronger. This exercise works: flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor policis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor pollicis longus, extensor digitorum, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, and extensor carpi ulnaris.
Similar to a regular dumbbell bicep curl except your palms are facing inward. This exercise is extremely easy to cheat on as I see many people use too heavy of a weight and end up swinging the weight up or not getting a full range of motion on their rep. It is important to use a weight that is suitable for you and to only lift the weight using your arms by keeping your form in tact. Keep a straight back, and the rest of your body still. This exercise primarily works your biceps (brachii), brachialis, and extensors while secondarily working your deltoids secondarily.
This is performed with a weight that is on the end of a rope and the other end has a small bar or a stick. Put your arms out straight and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Spin the bar so that the rope is wrapping around the bar and the weight is moving closer to the bar. Once there is no more rope slack, unroll the rope slowly until the bar is completely unwrapped. This exercise works: wrist flexors, extensors and rotators.
Can be done using dumbbells, kettle balls or a hex-bar (the hexagon shaped bar that you stand in the middle of) and requires a lot of space. Holding the weight by your side so that they are parallel to each other and walk as quick as you can for your desired distance. The variations of this exercise are doing it with one arm or doing it with on arm above your head. What makes this exercise so great is that it works your entire body including your forearms, traps, legs, core, and your entire posterior (back). If you feel your back begin to slouch bend your knees and put the weight on the ground as continuing to walk with a slouched back can result in injury.
This coming summer why not look ripped in a short sleeve shirt by getting your forearms jacked. If you are not one of the lucky ones to have inherited thick forearms through your genes than you are going to have to do exercises that target them. Other than looking good and helping you lift more having good forearm strength has functional benefits as well. A stubborn lid that does not want to be opened will never best you, and carrying things such as groceries will not be such a challenge. Get your muscular physique noticed right away, work your forearms!