Arm Exercises

Workout Routine for Big Forearms and a Crushing Grip

Boost your grip and build dense, muscular forearms with these two routines.

David Sandler, MS, CSCSD thumbnail by MS, CSCS*D
forearm
Duration 2 days
Exercises 9
Equipment Yes

What is the best way to build your forearms? Wrist curls and extensions? Well, those are certainly the most popular methods but that's only for a lack of creativity and the sad relegation of forearms to a silent bodypart in the quest for a better physique. It's time to get your forearms growing. And there are far more ways to do it than you might think.

While hang-holding objects for grip is reliable for building a vise-like grip, for size improvement, you need to follow the same basic rules of development that you use for your other muscles: use heavier weight, perform fewer reps and add lots of volume to your program.

Sure you can do the standard wrist curls and extensions with heavy dumbbells or even a few sets of hammer curls. Or, you can do a few extra things and really see your forearms grow. First, check out clubbells. While most gyms do not have them, you can get yourself a couple different sizes and do some hammer extensions and flexions (known as abduction and adduction) as well as pronating and supinating your arm extended out from supports.

If you don't want to buy clubbells, disassemble one side of your dumbbell or grab a short-bar attachment and you are ready to rock.

Another underused method of building grip and forearm strength is the towel pull-up. Hang a towel over a high bar, grab tight at either end and do your pull-ups.

Another solid forearm incorporator is the fat bar, a standard length barbell that is a little thicker in diameter than the standard 1-inch Olympic barbell. You perform exercises with a fat bar just the same except that the barbell is much harder to hold since your thumb and fingers can't overlap. This forces the wrist flexors to fire on every rep just to keep your grip.

For the following workouts, treat your forearms like you would your biceps and triceps. Hit them hard for 8-12 reps using a challenging weight for 3-4 sets on a variety of exercises.

Forearm Workout

Exercise 1

Weighted Towel Pullup
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3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Fat-Bar Curl
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3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Hammer Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Hammer Curl thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

4-Way Clubbell
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3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Perform as a giant set consisting of extension, flexion, adduction and abduction.

Clubbell Forearm Workout

Exercise 1

Cable Wrist Curl to Hold
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3 sets
30-60 sec reps
-- rest
Aim for a weight that causes positive muscle failure in the prescribed rep range.

Exercise 2

Weighted Wrist Supination/Pronation
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3 sets
10-12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Weighted Wrist Abduction
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3 sets
10-12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Weighted Wrist Adduction
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3 sets
10-12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Around-the-Clock How to
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3 sets
10-12 reps
-- rest
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