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Forearm Strengthening Exercises

Updated on July 21, 2010

How To Get Stronger Forearms

Forearm strengthening is an often overlooked area of training by athletes and weight lifters. Having strong forearm muscles however, can increase the amount of weight lifted on other exercise and also protect against injuries. In this article we will be explaining the basic forearm movements and how to incorporate them into your weight lifting program.

The wrist curl is the king of forearm strengthening exercises and works the bottom of the forearms. To perform this exercise correctly you will want to sit on a bench with you forearms resting against the upper thighs and palms up. A barbell or dumbbells can be held. Let the weight roll down to the finger tips and then roll the weight up the hands in a vertical movement. A repetition is complete when the weight is lowered to starting position.

The wrist extension exercise is similar to the wrist curl but done with the hands facing down and raising the backs of the hands up.  This exercise targets the smaller outer forearm muscles and will likely need to be performed with less weight.

The reverse barbell curl works the forearm flexor muscles, while also working the bicep muscles. This is a simple exercise to perform and is basically a barbell curl but with palms facing down instead of up.  Hands should be placed palms down over a barbell and at shoulder width, the weight should rest at the upper thighs to start the movement. The lift is performed by raising the barbell up to about chest level while leaving the elbows stationary at the sides of the body.

Hammer curls are another exercise that can be performed to strengthen forearm flexor muscles and will also target the bicep muscle. To perform hammer curls, grasp a dumbbell in each hand letting them hang be the side of the body, palms of the hands should be facing in toward the thighs. Keep the palms faced in this position and lift the dumbbells up, while leaving the elbows stationary.

For a variation of the above exercises, try performing them by gripping two barbell plates together in each hand. This will make the exercises harder and also improve hand strength.

The number of repetitions performed during forearm strengthening exercises should be higher than on normal weight lifting exercises. This is because, the forearm muscles are used often and do not fatigue as easily as other muscle groups. If you are not accustomed to performing forearm exercises I suggest beginning with two sets of wrist curls for fifteen to twenty repetitions at the end of weight lifting workout once a week to begin with.

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