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The Best Forearm Exercises

Even the most committed gym-goers will often neglect to work on their forearms. It’s a hard part of the body to target and, much like your calf muscles, one that requires a lot of training to add muscle mass to.

It’s worth putting in the time, though, because working on your forearms will improve your grip strength and also make your wrists more resistant to injury, both of which will pay dividends when tackling all manner of other lifts.

Add these three exercise to your training schedule and you’ll quickly reap the benefits in the form of stronger forearms and a powerful grip sure to impress every time you have cause to shake someone’s hand.

Reverse-grip barbell curl

Why By turning your palm over, you deactivate the biceps and place the emphasis on the brachioradialis, which links the biceps to the forearm, and the upper forearm muscles such as the carpi radialis.

How Hold the bar with your hands hip-width apart. Keep your palms facing down throughout the lift. Curl the bar up slowly, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Pause at the top of the lift, then lower the bar slowly under control.

Dumbbell forearm rotation

Why This exercise strengthens the stabilising muscles in the wrist, making it vital for anyone keen on avoiding injury during weights workouts – so everyone.

How Holding a dumbbell in each hand, kneel down and rest your forearms on a bench. Relax your shoulders and rotate the dumbbell outwards, keeping your hands in line with your forearms. Then rotate the weight inwards.

Barbell wrist curl

Why This move targets the wrist flexors. You need these muscles to be strong in any move that involves holding a bar or dumbbell – in other words, a lot of what you do in the weights room.

How Holding a barbell, kneel down and rest your forearms on a bench. Curl the barbell towards you, moving only your wrists, and pause at the top of the curl for a beat or two. Lower the bar slowly and open your hands so that the bar rolls onto your fingers. Make sure you keep your shoulders back throughout the move so that your wrists stay in line with your forearms.

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