What are the Different Types of Forearm Training?

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  • Written By: B. Schreiber
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 22 January 2020
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Forearm training involves training the muscles between the wrist and elbow. The muscles of the forearm are responsible for flexing and extending the wrists and fingers. The different types of forearm training usually target the wrists to build forearm strength. The most commonly recommended exercises for the forearms include variations on the wrist curl.

Wrist curls target the muscles that flex the wrists, and reverse wrist curls train the muscles that extend the wrists. Forearm training can be done seated or standing, and with barbells or dumbbells. Strong forearms and wrist muscles can be beneficial for other weightlifting exercises and everyday tasks that require a good grip.

The simplest wrist curl is probably the seated wrist curl, done with a dumbbell. Sitting on a chair or bench, lean forward slightly and open the legs to the width of the hips. Gripping a dumbbell with the right hand, place the back of the forearm on the thigh so the palm of the right hand faces up, with the hand hanging out in front of the knee. Place the palm of the left hand over the right arm so the forearm doesn't rise off the thigh. Curl the dumbbell toward the forearm, then lower it, repeating for the desired number of repetitions. Switch arms to train the left forearm.


The reverse seated wrist curl is done simply by turning the arm over, so the palm of the hand faces down. Again, hold the right arm with the left hand, and lift the wrist up. Switch to train on the left side. Seated wrist and reverse wrist curls can also be done with a barbell. Seated curls are easiest to do on a weight bench by placing the backs of the forearms on the bench and then lifting the barbell. Turn the hands over for a reverse curl.

To use a barbell for a standing wrist curl, begin by holding the barbell at the thighs with an underhand grip, palms facing out. Keep both arms stationary and lift the bar toward the forearms, then lower it and repeat. To reverse the standing curl, hold the barbell with the palms facing the thighs. Keep the arms still and lift until the palms of the hands are parallel to the ground.

Caution is recommended in forearm training if the wrists have been injured in the past. If the wrists are weak or have been injured, less weight can be used and the range of wrist motion should be decreased. Of course, weight can also be added in forearm training when the exercises no longer feel as challenging.


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