Development Tips for Impressive Forearms

Impressive forearms are necessary to complete the total bodybuilding upper body package. Underdeveloped forearms stand out when placed up against raised lats, rounded shoulders, a rippling chest and bulging biceps. Therefore, building fantastic forearms adds to the symmetry of your ripped image. Another great plus for kicking up the forearm exercises is that well developed forearms give you a stronger grip which allows you to lift more weight. The more weight you can lift the greater muscle gains you can achieve in other areas. Forearms are often the weak link when it comes to heavy lifting.

Main Forearm Muscles and Forearm Exercises

Forearms consist of numerous muscles which basically fall into three main muscle groups: the flexors, extensors and brachioradialis. Each of these muscle groups should be targeted by specific forearm exercises.


This muscle is located at the upper and outer portion of the forearm. It is the visible muscle when the arm is held straight down at your side. Forearm exercises which best develop the brachioradialis are:

  • Dumbell Hammer Curls
  • Reverse Preacher Curls
  • Reverse Cable Curls
  • Reverse Cable Preacher Curls
  • Reverse Barbell Curls
Wrist Extensors –

The extensor muscles provide the mechanism for extending your wrist backwards. Extensors are located on the topside of the forearm and run the full length from wrist to elbow. Forearm exercises which best develop the wrist extensors are:

  • Cable Reverse Curl
  • Dumbbell reverse curl
  • Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl
Wrist Flexors

The flexor muscles run the full length of the forearm on the underside and are the largest in terms of development size. Forearm exercises which best develop the wrist extensor are:

  • Dumbbell Wrist Curls
  • Barbell Wrist Curls
  • Cable Wrist Curls

More Tips for Building Massive Forearms

Besides completing the forearm exercises themselves, there are some other methods which you can use (or avoid using) in order to maximize forearm mass.

Workout with a Thick Bar – Using a thick bar causes you to use more grip strength which, in turn, builds greater forearm muscles. If you don’t have access to a thick bar, you can use the available bar by wrapping a towel around it to add thickness.

Avoid Using Wrist Straps – Using wrist straps removes lifting stress from off the forearms, leaving you with smaller forearms and a weaker grip. It is recommended to avoid using wrist straps when lifting. The only time wrist straps should be used is when you reach weight lifts that you can no longer grip. Even at this point, try chalk before resorting to straps.

Train on a Punching Bag – Training on a punching bag like a boxer will develop and strengthen forearms. Doing large numbers of uppercuts or round jabs will significantly build the flexor muscles.

Good Overall Forearm Exercise – A wrist-curler is a good source of overall forearm exercise, strengthening both the extensor and flexor muscles. The device is basically a bar with a length of cord tied to it and a heavy plate tied to the other end. With arms held out in front of you and holding the bar with both hands, wind the cord up until the plate reaches the top. Then reverse the motion and unwind the cord until the plate reaches the floor.

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