Welcome to our team favorites and best forearm exercises.
Ever wondered how you can get forearms like Popeye?
Well fortunately for you we have listed some of the best forearm exercises below. Each of these exercises are easy to perform and will yield great results.
Some of these forearm exercises may feel similar but each has its own benefits and will benefit your overall muscle growth and strength.
Farmers Carry / Static Hold
Hopefully your gym has a pair of farmers handles, if not then you need to find a real gym! Not really… But you get my point.. You can use heavy kettlebells or dumbbells as an alternative for this exercise, they work nearly as well!
Farmers holds/walks really are one of the best forearm exercises, they test so many different muscles throughout the body, especially the grip.
You can perform farmers walks for distance or perform static holds. Both will leave your forearms singed and grip tested to the max.
The only real difference between the two is, when walking with the farmers handles your biceps, triceps and shoulders will be working hard to stabilize the weight while moving which really gives them a good workout too, compared to a static hold which relies more on your grip strength.
Easy to perform you want to ensure you deadlift the weight up, each handle by your side keeping your core and back tight.
As far as a really simple training routine for this goes try this for 4 weeks;
- Week 1 - 4x 20m Walks with half your body weight in each hand
- Week 2 - 2x Static Hold 20 seconds 50% of your body weight
- Week 3 - 4x 10m Walks with 60% of your body weight
- Week 4 - 2x Static Hold with 60% of your body weight
This old school forearm exercise was created by strength legend George Zottman and still stands as one of the best forearm exercises to this day.
A really good variation of the standard bicep curl and an awesome forearm exercise, the Zottman curl is really easy to perform and will have your forearms begging for mercy.
They are great for adding serious mass onto your forearms and biceps..
Using a similar weight to that you would use on a regular bicep curl then set up as you would for a regular curl too.
Curl the weight up, supinating your wrist upwards so the palms are facing upwards at the top of the motion.. So pretty much a regular bicep curl..
Then while at the top of the curl you want to slowly turn your wrist in towards you and leave the palms facing downwards then curl downwards to the bottom of the motion pronating your wrist back to the starting position. Then rinse and repeat!
It may feel a bit strange at first but once you get the hang of it you will notice a huge difference in your forearms.
This exercise is best performed for a higher rep range 10+
We would recommend something similar to;
- 5 Sets of 10-15 Reps
Rope Hammer Curls
A classic you have probably seen every gym bro out there doing. The roper hammer curl is a staple forearm exercise you should be doing every arm day, or even at the end of a leg day to get a swift pump before crawling out of the gym.
An amazing isolation exercise for the biceps and forearms the rope hammer curls are one of the best builders when it comes to SIZE. They will be specifically beneficial for the brachioradialis and brachialis as well as the trapezius which will be stabilizing your body throughout the motion
There are a couple of variations of this lift but we feel the best way is to set up the machine as the image below then simply curl the weight up keeping your elbows tucked in tight by your sides, first pretty close together pulling up towards your chin, when you get near the top try twisting the rope outwards. This will give you a really nice squeeze on the bicep.
The forearms will be engaged during most of this lift but the main area you will feel this is on the brachioradialis (top of the forearm).
You can try doing nice slow reps, holding the weight at the top or blasting out some drop sets. Try adding both into your routine as they will both add some serious mass onto your forearms.
Don't be afraid to try a few different variations of this lift, adding fat gripz to the ropes will add even difficulty.
4 x 10 Reps with about 45 seconds / 1 minute rest in between sets.
Rolling Handle Wrist Curls
Probably my personal favorite forearm exercise, we have a vast selection of rolling handles in the Grip Shed, but you can perform this on a cable machine with a handle if your gym has one.
A great exercise not only for the forearms but this will really help your wrist mobility and strength as well as deltoids which are used for stabilizing your arm throughout the motion.
You will see a lot of arm wrestlers performing this exercise, which is where I first learned about it, have you ever seen an arm wrestler with a small forearm? I think not!
Set the machine to about shoulder height, grab the handle pull it down and tuck your elbow in tight by your side.
You can hold the handle using your whole hand or thumbless, personally I prefer thumbless as it will increase the range of motion and squeeze on the forearm.
Really simply just roll the handle down your hand curling your wrist towards your body squeezing down the forearm. High reps seem to feel the best and will give you a pump like no other. From your wrist down to the base of your forearm, the muscles will be screaming with joy. You can also crank up the weight and perform a couple of really slow reps, holding the squeeze for as long as you can
Higher reps again will work best for this as well as holds for time. Try out;
- 4 Sets 15-20 Reps
- 4 Sets 5 Reps for 5 Second holds
Barbell Wrist Curls
Another beauty of a forearm exercise and really easy to perform in the gym.
All you need is a barbell and some weight. There are also many different variations of this exercise and we will list a few below.
Challenging on the wrist flexors and whole forearm this exercise may look easy.. But once you’re 10 reps deep you’ll soon realise it is one not for the faint hearted.
Seated - The first variation of this lift we will do is seated underhand.
So get yourself a bench to sit on, grab the barbell, then you’ll want to hold it double overhand and rest your forearms on your knees so the hands / wrists are overhanging
This is where you will start the motion, let the barbell roll through your hands down towards the fingertips then curl it back up, squeezing the forearm at the top of the curl.
The range of motion is small so really focus on a slow release and hard squeeze at the top of the motion
Standing - If your gym has a rack available then you may want to do this exercise there as it requires less fiddling around with the barbell between sets.
Rest the barbell on the rack just below your fingertips (around knee height).
Pick the bar up as you would for a deadlift, double overhand and begin to slowly release the barbell down your hand to your fingertips, then curl it back up exactly the same as the previous motion focusing on the slow release and firm squeeze at the top of the motion.
This forearm exercise is great as you can either do heavy low reps or light high reps so try out both!
- 10x 50%
- 8x 60%
- 6x 70%
- 4 x 80%
- 6x 70%
- 8x 60%
- 10 x 50%