I found a lot of forearms exercises and most of the times I barely feel them actually doing something ,so I want to ask the community about some forearms exercises for building mass and muscle (especially isolating exercises) using weights,even some "unorthodox" exercises would help.

5 Answers 5


Forearms are grown the most through training grip. Heavy deadlifts are a great way to train forearms, Farmer carries train forearms hard as well. Functional strength for forearms can come from exercises like sledgehammer swings or squeezing sand in a bucket.

For a general list of catch-all exercises for forearms look to ExRx: http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ForeArmWt.html

My suggestion is to combine the functional exercises mentioned above with grip training.

A good beginner routine to build a base for more advanced grip training: http://www.davidhorne-gripmaster.com/basics.html

Since the program doesn't include any pics/videos here's a video demonstrating the first two exercises, the two hands pinch (you can use loose plates or make a pinch block but the idea is the same) and barbell finger rolls. Here are the Wrist Curls and Reverse Wrist Curls.


Once you've built up some base strength with the basics above you can start to branch out. One can take many routes and specializations, but here are some good overall 'first picks' beyond the basic gym tools.

  • FatGripz/Thick bar - attachable fatgripz are an economical way to add an open hand challenge to lifting a barbell. Padded PVC pipe also works for weights under 60kg.
  • Loadable pinch block w/loading pin - allows smaller increments
  • Block weights - these are the sawed off ends of hex dumbbells and train your open hand at multiple widths. some alternative options are regular hex dumbbells, a loadable blob, or picking up a stack of 5 or 10lb plates to simulate block weights.
  • Gripper - small portable crush grip training available in fixed or adjustable varieties, see below for more info
  • Grip machine - a bit more costly than grippers but a great plate loadable way to increase crushing strength, advantages include low learning curve and no increasing resistance as you close like you get with gripper springs
  • Pony clamps - these spring loaded clamps are a great cheap way to train your dynamic pinch strength (ie your thumb). add and remove regular rubber bands from the clamp to incrementally increase/decrease the resistance
  • Titan's Telegraph Key - a more expensive plateloaded option to train pinch (thumb) strength in a dynamic moving way, the advantage here is an even resistance curve

OF course you can build most of this equipment with some pipe, wood and some plates/water jugs.

  • So mainly I must do a lot of grip exercises. Sep 7, 2016 at 9:50
  • 1
    @JohnPietrar Yes. Most of the muscles that are in the forearms are related to finger and wrist movement.
    – JohnP
    Sep 7, 2016 at 14:36

The purpose of the forearm muscles is to provide gripping power. Using oversized grips (Oversized grips are thick rubber grips that fit over barbells and dumbbells) is a easy way to work on your gripping power and forearm muscles while going about your normal routine. The thicker the bar the more gripping power it requires and the harder the forearm muscles have to work

Plate Pinching is also a very good exercise that can be performed while loading/unloading plates on bars or machines


One “unorthodox” exercise that has somewhat fallen out of favor is the Zottman Curl. And, it’s a shame because it works both the biceps and the forearms. You’ll be able to spot a former bodybuilder because he’s the one still doing Zottman curls.

  • didn't know about this,thanks a lot for informing me about it ,I will definitely bring this in my training session :) Sep 7, 2016 at 12:37

Find a tree branch, 2-3 inches thick from end to end, and cut it down to about shoulder width. Get some nylon rope, 1/2 inch thick. Attach it to the middle of the branch with some fencing staples (U-shaped nails). Make a loop knot at the end of the rope. Put the loop knot of the rope through the middle of some 10 lb plates (maybe start w/ 20 lbs total and work your way up as you see fit). Now slide the branch through the eye of the loop knot.

Now you have the only piece of forearm workout equipment you'll ever need.

Hold the branch out in front of you shoulder width, shoulder-height, and parallel to the ground. With an overhand grip, roll it up until the weights touch the the stick. Now roll it back down. Reverse the motion the other way and roll it up again and then back down. Now do the same thing with an underhand grip (you may find it better to lower the branch to about belly button height with slightly bent elbows).

Once you can roll it all the way up and back down again in all 4 sets, increase the weight by 10 lbs.

  • Well this is really a interesting exercise, thanks for telling me about it :) Sep 7, 2016 at 20:43

Apart from what others have mentioned above, in my own experience, pull-ups help a lot in building forearms.They are quite beneficial in building forearms, because forearms do major work there.

  • I do pull ups with my palms toward me when I do biceps training and pull ups with my palms away from me for my lats in my back training so I do pulls ups kinda 3 times a week but I do not feel my forearms so much that is why I asked for some isolation exercises,to push them to the limit. Sep 8, 2016 at 5:33
  • And I do most of the times 4 series of 20 pull ups both for biceps or lats. Sep 8, 2016 at 5:59
  • Yes, isolation exercises are required, but pull-ups do give the boost. You may not feel it, but the work is getting done over the period of time. Palm towards you, is called chin-ups, they focus on bicep. Have you even tried close grip pull-ups?
    – xCodeZone
    Sep 8, 2016 at 6:03
  • never tried them,are they also for bicep training?Or more for forearms? Sep 8, 2016 at 6:38
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    well thank you for explaining me this.I surely will give them both a go. :) Sep 8, 2016 at 7:00

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