The first thing to address is: why are forearm exercises important. Typically, we think of the large muscle groups first when planning a workout. These include legs and glutes, arms, chest, back, and shoulders. It seems logical that working these muscle groups provide great benefits such as greater strength and endurance, better balance, and looking fantastic. Working these large muscle groups also offers excellent benefits as we age. There’s no need to just accept that our muscle and mobility will atrophy, and there’s every reason to continue to strength train throughout life. But, what about exercising your forearms? What good does that do?
Strengthening your forearms also increases grip strength, which is related to upper body strength. The muscle in your body is all connected, and it’s important to train and strengthen every group of muscles, even the small ones. A strong grip helps you carry, hold, and lift items in your everyday life and during workouts.
Not only does having trained and strong forearms promote grip strength, but it also helps avoid injuries. When muscles are weak, it puts more pressure and strain on tendons and joints, making them much more prone to muscle strain, fractures, tendon, and nerve injuries. Improving the strength of the forearm may also help decrease the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
You may not be too keen on the idea of having big forearms, but we’re not going for Popeye vibes, we are going for strength. You should have no concerns about your forearm muscles getting too big. Building forearm strength can take some time, so be patient. With focused efforts, you should notice results in one to two months.
Equipment Needed: a set of dumbbells.
For dumbbell wrist curls, you don’t need a lot of weight because the muscles in your wrists are small and delicate. Lighter weights work well for this exercise as you do not want to pull any muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Start with lighter weights, and you can work your way up to heavier weights.
Equipment Needed: a set of dumbbells.
Once you’ve mastered regular wrist curls, it’s time to try the reverse wrist curls, which are also referred to as wrist extensions. Instead of having your palms face up, this exercise involves your palms facing down toward the floor. The rest of the movement is the same as the dumbbell wrist curl described above. This variation targets the wrists more than the forearms, but it will still help to strengthen your grip and forearm muscles.
It will be normal to feel a burn throughout your forearm. These exercises are going to hurt!
Equipment Needed: one hand grip (also known as a hand squeezer)
Using a hand gripper (or hand squeezer) provides resistance and endurance to pain. They are not only good for fingers but also help in strengthening your wrists and forearm muscles. It has also been reported that a hand gripper or hand squeezing tool is great for reducing stress and anger. Feeling stressed or angry? Perform repeated squeezing on the hand gripper. Look for an adjustable hand gripper that allows you to alter the pounds of pressure so you can start at a lighter resistance and work your way to a larger resistance after practicing the movement.
While there are additional exercises you can perform to increase forearm strength, these are 3 top choices that don’t require complicated or heavy equipment to perform. These can easily be done at home, so they can be simply added between other tasks in your day or performed as a stack to your current fitness routine.
Remember, if you lack forearm strength, your ability to build strength in other parts of your body is compromised. Stronger forearms, and no, that doesn’t mean that they look beefy, lead to a firmer grip with more muscles generating more squeezing force in everyday life. So, stop wrestling with jar lids or overtightened knobs and reclaim your ability to twist, turn, and get the job done.
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