10 Forearm Exercises To Improve Grip Strength And Wrist Flexibility

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Best Forearm Exercises And Wrist Stretches

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing my best 10 forearm exercises to improve grip strength and wrist flexibility.

These forearms exercises and wrist stretches will help strengthen your grip, so you can:

If you are a regular viewer of our video blog, I just want to thank you for your continued support.

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We’re often asked:

Well, we did a post on our 1 rep max for squat, bench, and deadlifts here.

Our 1 Rep Max For Squat, Bench, and Deadlift

Increasing Grip Strength Is Key To Maximizing Your Workouts

However, when was the last time you were asked about you grip strength?

Probably never.

That’s too bad, because grip strength is essential to maximizing calorie crushing lifts, including:

By now you know these moves are not only great for building power and strength, they’re also some of the best exercises to build lean muscle.

How To Trigger The Afterburn Effect With Live Lean Afterburn 2.0

They also maximize the afterburn effect, by burning more fat, at a faster rate, over a longer period of time.

As the old saying goes, “If you can’t grip it, you can’t lift it”.

Therefore, if your grip strength is weak, you won’t be able to get the best results from most exercises.

Often times, the weak part of your muscular chain is your grip strength.

Think about it, if you’ve hit a plateau with your deadlift, do you think your hamstrings are giving out first, or is it your grip strength?

For a lot of people, it’s your lack of grip strength.

If this sounds like it could be an issue to you, it’s time to strengthen your grip.

How To Improve Grip Strength For Weight Lifting

Have You Tried Thick Bar Training?

You’ll notice I’m a fan of thick bar training.

I use these blue Fat Gripz to wrap around the handle of the weight.

8 Forearm Exercises To Improve Grip Strength And Wrist Flexibility

Using Fat Gripz has been shown to improve neural drive, thus increasing forearm and hand strength.

They can also potentially help improve tendinitis and elbow pain.

Here’s a link to Amazon to get your own Live Lean approved fat gripz.

6 Forearm Exercises to Strengthen Your Grip

Include these forearm strengthening exercises to your workout routine.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #1: Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Standing dumbbell hammer curls are similar to dumbbell bicep curls, however the main difference is the grip.

When curling the dumbbells:

  • The classic bicep curl uses a supinated underhand grip.
  • The dumbbell hammer curl uses a neutral semi-supinated grip, with the palms facing each other.

The neutral semi-supinated grip, used during dumbbell hammer curls, shifts more of the tension to target strengthening of the main muscles of the forearms, the:

  • Brachioradialis
  • Brachialis

This neutral grip is great for increasing grip strength since the weight is not resting in your palms.

The weight is actually being held up by your fingers throughout the entire range of motion, during the rep.

This makes the standing dumbbell hammer curl an excellent one two punch exercise, to hit the biceps and forearms.

Note: to make the standing dumbbell hammer curl even more difficult, try adding Fat Gripz to the dumbbells.

How To Do Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls

  1. Pick up the dumbbells and hold them to your side.
  2. Keep your elbows locked to your sides.
  3. Turn on all the muscles in your body by planting your feet firmly into the ground, with a shoulder width or less stance.
  4. Keep your glutes and abs tight, while keeping your ribs in and shoulders pulled down.
  5. Initiate the curling movement by feeling the biceps and forearms firing.
  6. Under control, lift the weight explosively, squeeze, then under control lower the weight.
  7. The eccentric lowering of the movement is where you’ll be building the most strength in your forearms.
  8. Don’t cheat the movement by allowing your elbows to move forward, since this helps use momentum to move the weight.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #2: Seated Dumbbell Wrist Curl

The next forearm exercise are seated dumbbell wrist curls.

This is a really great exercise to isolate and strengthen your forearms.

Note: if you don’t have access to a bench, you can also complete the seated dumbbell wrist curl on a swiss ball.

How To Do Seated Dumbbell Wrist Curls:

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells, then sit on a bench, box, swiss ball, or chair.
  2. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, rest your forearms on your thighs.
  3. Allow your wrists to bend back towards your knees.
  4. To get full extension, allow the weights hang down all the way to your fingertips.
  5. Curl the dumbbells up by flexing your wrists.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #3: Seated Barbell Wrist Curl

Another version of the wrist curl is the seated barbell wrist curl.

Note: If you don’t have access to a bench, you can also complete the seated barbell wrist curl while sitting on a swiss ball.

Adding Fat Gripz to the barbell is a good way switch up the exercise to challenge your forearms.

How To Do A Seated Barbell Wrist Curl:

  1. Sit down on a bench and grip a barbell with both hands, with an underhand shoulder width grip.
  2. Rest your forearms on your thighs with your wrists hanging off your knees.
  3. Under control, slowly extend your wrists to feel a good stretch, then curl the bar by flexing your wrists.
  4. Repeat.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #4: Standing Barbell Wrist Curl

The standing barbell wrist curl is another way to modify the wrist curl.

It follows the same motion at the seated barbell wrist curl, however the angle is vertical, rather than horizontal.

Note: to make the standing barbell wrist curl even more difficult, try adding Fat Gripz to the barbells.

How To Do A Standing Barbell Wrist Curl:

  1. While standing, grip a barbell with a shoulder width, underhand grip.
  2. Under control, slowly flex your wrists to curl the barbell towards your forearms.
  3. Feel a good contraction in your forearms, then extend your wrists to lower the barbell.
  4. Repeat for reps.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #5: Single Arm Kneeling Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl

The next forearm exercise is the single arm kneeling dumbbell reverse wrist curl.

You’ll perform the same motion as the dumbbell wrist curl, however your wrist will be facing the opposite way, with your palms facing down.

Note: You can place your arm on a bench or swiss ball to complete the movement.

How To Do A Single Arm Kneeling Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl:

  1. While kneeling, hold a dumbbell in one hand, with an overhand palm facing down grip.
  2. Extend your arm to rest on top of a bench or swiss ball, with your hand and wrist hanging off the edge of the bench or swiss ball.
  3. Under control, flex your wrist by lowering the dumbbell towards the floor, then slowly raise the dumbbell back up by extending your wrist towards your forearm.
  4. Focus on getting a full range of motion and squeezing the muscles in the forearms as you fully extend your wrist.
  5. Repeat.

Forearm Strengthening Exercise #6: Standing Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl And Extension

You can also do the reverse wrist with a barbell.

The standing barbell reverse wrist curl and extention is a great way to target the overall forearms with a barbell.

Note: To make the movement a little more challenging, add fat gripz to the barbell.

How To Do A Standing Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl And Extension:

  1. While standing with a shoulder width stance, hold a barbell down by your thighs, with a shoulder width, overhand grip.
  2. Using just your wrists, curl the weight towards your body by flexing your wrists, then fully extend your wrists away from your body by doing a reverse wrist curl.
  3. The only movement comes from the wrists, as your arms should be extended and stationary in front of your body.
  4. Repeat for reps.

Best Forearm And Wrist Stretches

If you are not used to targeting the forearms with these strengthening exercises, you will notice your forearms will be sore and tender after this workout.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure you also stretch your forearms and wrists.

Here are a few of the best wrist and forearm stretches that I do.

Forearm And Wrist Stretch #1: Kneeling Wrist Stretch

The Kneeling Wrist Stretch puts your body in a position to give your wrists and forearms a great stretch. To get started:

  1. Kneel down on the floor with the palms of your hands fully pressed into the floor, with your fingers pointing towards your knees.
  2. If you are really tight, you can move your fingers outwards to make the stretch less intense.
  3. Under control, slowly lean back, while keeping your palms firmly pressed into the floor.
  4. You can either hold this static stretch for the entire duration, or add a little dynamic movement by slowly rocking side to side and back and forth, while keeping your palms pressed firmly into the floor for the duration of the stretch.

Forearm And Wrist Stretch #2: Straight Arm Plank Wrist Stretch

The Straight Arm Plank Wrist Stretch is an advanced progression to the kneeling wrist stretch. The inward reversed position on your fingers gives your wrists and forearms a great stretch. To get started:

  1. Kneel down on the floor with the palms of your hands fully pressed into the floor, with your fingers pointing towards your knees.
  2. Get into a straight arm plank position by extending your legs back, with your toes planted into the floor, and your hands pressed into the floor, directly below your shoulders.
  3. Your body should form a straight line from heels to head.
  4. Under control, slowly lean back, while keeping your palms firmly pressed into the floor.
  5. You can either hold this static stretch for the entire duration, or add a little dynamic movement by slowly rocking side to side and back and forth, while keeping your palms pressed firmly into the floor for the duration of the stretch.

Forearm And Wrist Stretch #3: Kneeling Single Arm Wrist Extension Stretch

The Kneeling Single Arm Wrist Extension Stretch is a great way to focus on improving the flexibility of each wrist. To get started:

  1. While kneeling on the floor, grab the 4 fingers on one hand with your thumb right behind your knuckles.
  2. With your palm facing away from you, pull your fingers back with your elbow fully extended.
  3. Hold for time.
  4. Shake it out, then switch arms and repeat.

Forearm And Wrist Stretch #4: Kneeling Wrist Circles

Kneeling Wrist Circles are a great way to improve the flexibility and mobility of your wrists. To get started:

  1. While kneeling on the floor, make a fist with your hands, then extend your forearms arms out in front of your body, with your palms facing the floor.
  2. In a circular motion, slowly rotate both of your wrists inwards, until your palms face up.
  3. Reverse the circular motion as you slowly rotate both of your wrists outwards, until your palms face back down.
  4. Repeat.

Those Were The Best 10 Forearm Exercises To Improve Grip Strength And Wrist Flexibility

If you enjoyed this video post showing some of the exercises that I’m incorporating into my workouts, make sure to go follow me on Instagram at @BradGouthro.

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Question Of The Day:

  • Do you train your forearms and stretch your wrists?
  • Which of these forearm exercises and wrist stretches have you tried?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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