How to Get Bigger and Stronger Forearms? A Comprehensive Guide

Shayla Whitter

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Having strong muscular forearms can be a great way to make a splash and show off your fitness journey. Those solid, steely arms not only look good but also help you perform better in physical activities such as lifting weights. 

Getting those show-worthy forearms is a matter of consistent hard work and a thoughtfully crafted workout plan that capitalizes on smart gym tools, your will, dedication to the idea, and a full understanding of the process that goes into growing muscles.

Your forearms are an incredibly complex structure composed of a variety of muscles working together with nerves to enable movement in your arms and wrists. 

Knowing more about these anatomical elements can help you better understand how best to use your forearm muscles during exercise to get the maximum benefit out of them while avoiding strain or injury.

It goes without saying that When you want to tone up those muscles, incorporating different exercises into your routine can help create the right conditions for the tear and repair of your muscle fibers. 

In this article I will explain muscle anatomy and the benefits of having strong forearms before giving you access to four forearm workouts that are sure to build some serious muscles.

The Anatomy Of The Forearms Muscles

Your forearms are one of the most important muscle groups in your body. They are responsible for various movements, such as flexing, pronating, extending, and supinating. Understanding the anatomy of your forearm can help you become more aware of how to use this muscle group efficiently and effectively during exercise.

Let’s take a look at the muscles and nerves that make up the anatomy of your forearm.

Anterior Compartment

The anatomy of your forearm is divided into two compartments: anterior and posterior. The anterior or flexor compartment contains four muscles called flexors and pronators, which allow for flexion (bending joints) and rotation (twisting).

The anterior compartment is further divided into three layers — superficial, intermediate, and deep — each containing different muscle groups that function together to create movement in your arm.

Superficial Layer

In the superficial layer, four muscles arise from a common tendon attached to the medial epicondyle of the humerus — this attachment site is called “the common flexor origin” — they are flexor carpi ulnaris; palmaris longus, flexor carpi radialis; pronator teres muscle.

These muscles work together to allow for flexion in your wrist and pronation (rotation outward) when you twist it towards your palm-side down position. 

Intermediate Layer

Flexor digitorum superficialis is a flexible muscle located in the Intermediate Layer of the anterior compartment of the forearm. This is the only muscle in the intermediate layer of the anterior compartment. 

It works with other muscles, like the palmaris and flexor carpi radialis, to create flexion at the wrist and fingers.

Each movement performed with your hands – squeezing, gripping, or extending – involves coordination between these flexors to function properly.

Deepest Layer

The deepest and the last layer of anterior compartment flexors comprises flexor pollicis longus, flexor digitorum profundus, and pronator quadratus. 

Flexor pollicis longus flexes the thumb and helps it to adduct; flexor digitorum profundus assists in the flexion of all the other digits, except for the thumb, and pronator quadratus is a flat muscle around the radius, which can help us turn our hands outward. These muscles are an integral part of what gives us limb function.

Posterior Compartment

In the posterior compartment, we have three extensors and three supinator muscles. These muscles work together to extend our forearms so that our hands move away from our bodies or rotate our wrists so that our palms face upward. 

Extensors in the posterior department are organized in two layers:

Superficial Layer

The superficial layer of the posterior compartment extensors is made up of seven different muscles. This dynamic group of muscles consists of the brachioradialis, extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis, anconeus, supinator, extensor carpi ulnaris, and extensor digitorum that all work together in intricate harmony to achieve any number of movements.

Their collective efforts allow us to bend our wrists, turn them inwards or outwards – even grab objects off a high shelf! Simply amazing what can be accomplished with these tiny but mighty muscles.

Deep Layer

The deep layer contains five muscles: the supinator, abductor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, and extensor indicis. These muscles play a part in coordinating your wrist, finger, and thumb motions.

Together they form an intricate network that allows us to accomplish a variety of complex actions with our hands.

In addition to these muscles, three major nerves run through the forearm: the median nerve, ulnar nerve, and radial nerve. These nerves provide sensation to various parts of our arms, such as our fingers and palms. All these nerves must be kept healthy for us to move our arms properly.

The forearm is made up of two major bones, the radius and the ulna. The radius is located on the lateral side of your arm, while the ulna rests closer to your body’s midline. 

Working together, these two bones provide you with incredible mobility. You can rotate your wrist back and forth, move it from side to side, or even breakdance!

Both bones are connected by an interosseous membrane of connective tissue, giving a shock absorber effect during forceful movements.

Benefits of Bigger and Stronger Forearms

Having bigger and stronger forearms is an excellent way to maximize your overall body strength. Not only can you lift heavier weights, but having strong forearms helps with everyday activities like opening jars or carrying heavy bags. 

Let’s look at the benefits of building bigger and stronger forearms.

Grip Strength

One of the most obvious benefits of developing bigger and stronger forearms is improved grip strength. 

When you have strong forearms, you can perform a variety of exercises that require a firm grip on weights or other equipment, such as deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, and farmer carries. 

The increased gripping power will help you lift heavier weights in all kinds of exercises — not just forearm-specific moves.

Stronger Arms Overall

Having strong forearms also means having strong arms overall. Although it may seem counterintuitive, strengthening your wrists and hands helps strengthen your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. 

That’s because your forearm muscles are connected to the muscles in your upper arm — when one group gets stronger, so does the other. 

Ability to Lift Heavier Weights

Another benefit of strong Forearms is that they allow you to lift heavier weights in any exercise. To do this safely and effectively, focus on using proper form while lifting heavier weights over time — don’t rush! 

Remember to be patient with yourself during this process so that you don’t risk injury or strain any muscles, and make sure you are warming up before each workout session!        

Injury Prevention

Another great benefit of having strong Forearm muscles is injury prevention! stronger forearm muscles support our hands when we perform everyday activities such as picking up heavy objects or lifting kids into our arms! This increased support helps reduce the likelihood of strains or injuries occurring due to weak muscle groups in our arms!  

Helps In Everyday Activities

Lastly, having stronger forearm muscles makes everyday tasks easier, which saves time and energy from being spent on them! From opening jars to carrying shopping bags – these small tasks become less strenuous when done with strong Forearm muscles! 

Not only do they help us complete tasks quicker, but they also make them more enjoyable since we don’t tire out as quickly while doing them!  

Related Article: 8 Best Exercises to Tone and Transform Your Outer Thighs

15 Best Exercises to get Massive Forearms

Here are four forearm specific workouts that tone, strengthen and build forearms when with the right form and in combination with forearm strengthener.

Reverse Curls

A reverse curl is one of the best forearm exercises to help increase mass and strength. Curls typically target the biceps, but you can change your grip to pronate your wrist and focus on the brachioradialis instead. 

This muscle is very prominent on the forearm, so you will look much more jacked overall by increasing its size.

Begin with a simple barbell or dumbbell loaded with your chosen weight. Use an overhand grip, keeping your thumbs tucked next to your fingers rather than underneath them. 

This will prevent the bar from resting on your thumbs and shift the focus back to the muscles you want to work. Focus on pressing your four fingers into your palm as hard as possible while maintaining comfort. Slightly extended or flexed wrists can also help improve results.

Start by positioning your feet shoulder-width apart. Curl the barbell until your elbows are fully bent in front of your chest, making sure to keep them close to your sides. Lower back down to the starting position slowly and under control.

If you want an extra challenge for your forearms, do a set of top-half curls after your complete sets. You’ll get the most out of this exercise by engaging your muscles in this way.

Dumbbell Wrist Extension

Performing dumbbell wrist extensions while resting your arms on a bench will engage intensely and perfectly isolate the muscles in the anterior compartment. Additionally, by slowly increasing weight or reps, you can gradually overload for the best results.

As the name suggests, wrist extension helps extensors gain size and strength, resulting in visibly bigger and stronger forearms.

Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, and pick up a dumbbell with your right hand. Place your forearm on top of your right thigh, and curl the dumbbell towards your bicep. 

Maintain a tight grip throughout the movement and don’t let go of the Dumbbell until you’re finished with that set number of repetitions. Slowly lower it back down to starting position, switch sides, And perform the same amount of reps on each side.

Dumbbell Wrist Flexion

The Dumbbell Wrist Flexion is often overlooked for its simplicity, but it’s a crucial movement for any forearm workout. The motion targets and strengthens your wrist flexors, which play an important role in grip strength.

Sit on the edge of a bench with a dumbbell in your right hand and place your forearm on your thigh, with the back of your wrist on top of the kneecap. 

Concentrate on keeping the arm still and wrist engaged, and slowly lower the dumbbell as far as you can, maintaining a tight grip throughout. Without lifting the arm off the thigh, curl towards the bicep. In the end, just lower back to the neutral position before repeating.

Chin Ups

Chin Up is a classic bodyweight exercise that increases the strength of your biceps and back muscles and challenges your forearms with a gripping motion that you won’t find in other exercises. 

Incorporating chin-ups into a regular workout routine is an excellent way to help build up those strong forearms in no time!

Mixing it up by adding variations like supinated grip chin-ups (palms face you) or grip pull ups (palms facing away from you) can take your forearm workout to the next level.

To get started on chin-ups, stand underneath a bar or door frame, gripping the bar with an underhand grip. Now bend your knees and bring your feet up off the floor. 

The next step is to pull yourself up towards the bar, keeping your elbows close to your body until you can reach the top of the bar. If you notice discomfort in your wrists, switch to using an overhand grip instead. 

Once your chin is leveled with the bar, hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering yourself towards the starting position before repeating.

Find an appropriate spot to hang from a pull-up bar to start your chin-up routine. Then, focus on keeping good form with bent elbows and slight external rotation of shoulders to engage muscles in the best possible manner.

Zottman Curls

Zottman curls are a great way to work out all the different muscles in the forearms at once. Not only do they target the brachioradialis and extensor muscles, but Zottman curls also help build grip strength. 

And if you feel like going the extra mile, try adding extra weight for an even bigger challenge! You’ll be rewarded with strong and toned forearm muscles before you know it. So, if you want arms of steel, give Zottman curls a whirl.

To start, stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward and arms at length by your sides. Tuck and lock your elbows by your sides, then curl the weights towards your shoulders. 

To finish, flip the grip 180 degrees (to overhand), lower the weights back down to the sides, and then flip the grip again (to underhand) to return to starting position.

Overhand Wrist Rollers

This forearm exercise hits the front and back muscles by incorporating extension and flexion movements. You can also easily increase the difficulty level by adding weight or doing more sets.

To do this exercise, you’ll attach a lightweight to your rope. Now stand on a box or riser with an overhand grip on the roller’s handlebar, keeping your arms out straight or bent at 90 degrees. 

Next, bring the weight up by rolling your wrists backward; however, once you reach the top, don’t let the weight roll back down freely and instead lower it yourself using a forward wrist rolling motion.

Slow and steady motion is the key to maximum benefit in this particular move. It is also very important to use light weights on wrist rollers, especially when starting. Wrists are fragile joints, and being careless can do more damage than good.

Underhand Wrist Rollers

This forearm exercise hits the front and back muscles by incorporating extension and flexion movements. You can also easily increase the difficulty level by adding weight or doing more sets.

To do this exercise, you’ll attach a lightweight to your rope. Now stand on a box or riser with an underhand grip on the roller’s handlebar, keeping your arms out straight or bent at 90 degrees. 

Next, bring the weight up by rolling your wrists forward; however, once you reach the top, don’t let the weight roll back down freely and instead lower it yourself using a backward wrist rolling motion.

Slow and steady motion is the key to maximum benefit in this particular move. It is also very important to use light weights on wrist rollers, especially when starting. Wrists are fragile joints, and being careless can do more damage than good.

Farmer’s Walk

This move strengthens your wrist and finger flexors, as well as most other muscles in your body. Even better? It’s a super practical move and will definitely give you a newfound appreciation for how many groceries you can carry at one time.

Start by standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of heavy dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Then, keeping your core braced and spine straight, walk in a straight line while also engaging your shoulders until you reach your desired distance or steps. 

Finally, rest and repeat the process as necessary. You can walk on for as long as you think you can. When you feel too tired to go on or keep your grip firm on the weights, it’s time to stop.

Pinch Carry

This exercise targets your flexor digitorum superficialis and other finger-flexing muscles. It’s beneficial to add this forearm move to your routine because it can help fix any imbalances between left and right and give you the option to focus on specific fingers by using a thumb-and-single-finger grip. 

Plus, since grip strength is key in activities such as football, climbing, and wrestling, this is a great exercise for those who want to improve their performance in these sports.

To start, choose two plates of desired weight for each hand–begin with five to ten-pound weights. Grip the plates between your thumb and fingers using a pinch grip, then walk laps around your space while maintaining good posture and engaging your core muscles.

Keep walking until you feel like your grip is about to fail, then stop before you drop the weights and hurt yourself or damage the floor.

If you have never done this before, slowly ease into it by starting without walking with the weights and gradually working your way up. You can use gym chalk if you think your sweaty palms are coming in the way.

Upright Dumbbell Row

If you’re looking for more defined shoulders and a super strong grip, you should consider including upright dumbbell rows in your workout routine. The upright position is often easier to maintain than lateral or front raise, so you can go heavier with this one.

Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs at arm’s length with your palms facing back. Keep your core engaged and your back straight while keeping the weights close to your body. 

While maintaining this form, lift the dumbbells until your elbows reach shoulder height before pausing and reversing the movement to return to the starting position.

Renegade Rows

The renegade row is a comprehensive exercise that provides comprehensive benefits such as strengthening your core, improving balance, working both unilateral and bilateral upper body muscles, and giving you a great grip workout.

Assume a push-up position with your hands gripping two hex dumbbells. Your hands should be in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders. 

This is the starting position. Keeping your core engaged, elbows tucked, and your body straight from head to heels, lift the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your torso. 

Pause here for one second before slowly returning it to the starting position under control. Repeat this movement on the other side.

While finishing the intended or recommended reps should be your concern, try maintaining the right form because that’s where you maximize gains.

Suitcase Carry

A suitcase carry is an exercise utilizing your grip strength that takes very little equipment and can be done almost anywhere! First, find a weight you can manage – it doesn’t have to be a suitcase, but kettlebells and dumbbells work great.

With the weight in one hand, stand up straight with good posture. Try to keep your chest up and shoulders back as you walk around for about a minute or two – if the weight feels too heavy, stop and rest for a moment. Your forearms will start to burn but don’t push yourself too far!

The beauty of this type of carry is that it strengthens your forearms in a way that traditional exercises may overlook. Besides giving you strength and stability through your arms, the muscles used during a suitcase carry also benefit your endurance and help with coordination. 

Be sure to stretch out afterward to get those arm muscles back to normal. Suitcase carries are an easy-to-learn exercise that can help improve grip strength.

Towel Pull-Ups

The Towel Pull-Up might look intimidating, but it’s a great move that can help you build strength in the right places. Put simply, the Towel Pull-Up is like a pull-up, except you’re hanging onto two ends of the same towel instead of the bar. 

With this exercise, you won’t only be building upper body strength but also strengthening your grip and core muscles as they fire off together to balance and keep your body suspended in place.

Drape a towel over a pull-up bar. Reach up and grab each end of the towel firmly with both hands. Tighten your core muscles and lift your feet off the floor. From here pull yourself up to the top of the pull up. Slowly return back to the starting position. Do for a desired amount of reps.

Hammer Curls

A hammer curl strengthens your forearms, a crucial part of any fitness routine. Depending on the weight you’re comfortable lifting, you can perform this exercise with dumbbells. It targets all major muscles in your forearms and helps improve grip and overall arm strength.

Working on forearm muscles enables you to lift heavier weights and increase muscular definition in your arms. Hammer curls also improve shoulder stability, which reduces the risk of shoulder injuries during other exercises. Hammer curls are a perfect addition to a forearm workout.

With dumbbells in each hand at arm’s length and palms facing each other, begin the curl by keeping your elbows tucked, upper arms locked (only hands and forearms should move), and palms facing inward. Once the weight is close to shoulder level, pause before lowering back to the starting position.

Triceps Rope Pushdown

Not only will any triceps pushdown target your triceps, but the rope attachment also increases grip strength, which subsequently works your forearms.

You will need a two-handled rope attachment and a cable machine to do this move. First, set the pulley to shoulder height on the machine. Second, grab the handles with your palms facing inward. 

Create tension on the cable by taking a step back (or two). Third, hinge forward at the hips until your torso is at a 30-degree angle from vertical. Keep your elbows at your sides and extend your arms to the floor. Finally, reverse the movement to return to your original position.

Forearm Workout Plans

Here are some great forearm workouts, all planned and explained for you so you can work and tone your forearms conveniently and efficiently.

Workout 1

    A1          Reverse Curls            3 x 10-12
    A2  Underhand Wrist Rollers      3 x 2 in both directions
    B1    Dumbbell Wrist Flexion            3 x 12-15
    B2  Dumbbell Wrist Extension            3 x 12-15

Workout 2

    A1              Chin Ups3 x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
    A2          Zottman Curls                    3 x 10-12
    A3          Farmer’s Walk          3 x 30 seconds – 1 minute
    B1          Pinch Carries    3 x 30 seconds – 1 minute per side
    B2Wrist Rollers (without handles)                3 x 2 in both directions

Workout 3

    A1      Upright Dumbbell Row                    3 x 10-12
    A2        Renegade Row                3 x 8-10 per side
    B1        Suitcase carry3 x 3 x 30 seconds – 1 minute per side
    B2  Overhand Wrist Rollers            3 x 2 in both directions

Workout 4

    A1      Towel Pull-Ups3 x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
    A2      Hammer Curl                      3 x 10-12
    B1    Triceps Rope Pushdown                      3 x 12-15
    B2  Overhand Wrist Rollers            3 x 2 in both directions


Strong forearms are desirable for many reasons, and it’s a desire that one should be working to achieve. Our article explains why we need strong forearms and how we can by exposing the reader to four workouts that specifically target forearm muscles, helping to strengthen and sculpt them. Having everything in place, it’s up to you now to put this knowledge into practice.

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