Forearms might seem like they don’t have anything to do with leg exercises or back exercises, but a strong grip is essential to almost every pushing and pulling workout. If you want to get strong and add a ton of mass, you need to build powerful forearms.
Strong forearms mean you’ll be able to squeeze your weights harder, engage more muscles, and generate more force in every move. Over time, stronger forearms will allow you to increase your numbers on exercises that seem unrelated like the bench press, deadlift etc. You’ll also increase your overall strength and muscle mass.
1. Farmer’s Carry
The farmer’s carry is an essential exercise to build a vice-like grip and powerful forearms. It also develops a stronger core and improves your shoulder stability.
Grab a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand, stand tall, and start walking.
Keep your abs braced, your chest tall and your shoulders pulled back at all times.
To use this as a warmup drill to stimulate total-body stability, do 2-3 sets for 20 yards.
Or save it until the end as a brutal finisher and carry the weights as far as you can for 10 minutes.
Pull-ups already build a strong grip and thick arms. Gripping a towel instead of the bar, however, skyrockets the work on your forearms—now, you have to crush the towels just to stay up and squeeze even tighter to pull yourself up. Don’t be surprised if you can only do one or two on your first try.
Wrap two towels around a pullup bar.
Grabbing a towel in each hand, perform your pullups, keeping your chest up and your shoulders down as you rise.
If this is too hard, however, start with just one hand grabbing a towel and the other hand grabbing the pull-up bar.
Blast your forearms by holding a kettlebell upside down. You’ll have to pulverize the handle just to keep the kettlebell stable and balanced, and as you press overhead, you’ll also tighten all the muscles in your body to drive force from the ground to your arm.
Grab a kettlebell in the bottoms-up position: holding the handle with the round, weighted part above your hand.
Squeeze the handle, brace your abs, tighten your glutes and press the kettlebell straight overhead.
Plate tosses build a machine-like grip and massive forearms because you’ll have to snatch a heavy, moving target from the air. Not only will you build a strong grip, but you’ll also develop an explosive grip.
In an athletic stance, hold a bumper plate by its end in front of you.
Start about waist-high, drop the plate, and reach down to catch it by its end.