When we think of workout, it’s mostly the abdomen, arms and thighs that we target. The forearm, which is the part of the arm that starts from the elbow and goes on to the wrist, should not be ignored. That’s because when you do exercises to make your forearms stronger, you are basically improving your grip strength, something that’s very important. Researchers measured grip strength in almost 140,000 people in 17 nations as part of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological study published in 2015. During the study, for which researchers followed health of the participants for about four years, a device called a dynamometer was used to assess their grip strength. It was found that each five kg decrease in grip strength during the study was linked to a 17 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease. So, it’s time to do forearms exercises to improve grip.
A well-developed forearm is a clear indication that the person is into physical activities, especially resistance training. This is because of its basic function which is gripping, notes certified fitness trainer Rachit Dua.
Exercises to strengthen forearms
A stronger grip means that you can lift, hold things or move things easily. So, incorporate these exercises in your workout routine.
1. Wrist curls
• Take dumbbells or a weighted barbell and kneel down behind a bench.
• Bend forward and rest your forearms on the bench, with your wrists in a neutral position that is not lifted or lowered.
• Curl your wrists upward, but do it slowly to engage your forearms and prevent the weights from straining your wrists.
• Extend your wrists downward then return your wrists to a neutral position.
2. Reverse barbell curl
• Stand with your back straight, head up.
• Hold the barbell with your hands while keeping your palms down.
• Begin with the bar at an arm’s length against your upper thighs and curl the bar up towards your shoulders.
• Keep your upper elbows close to the side and then lower the bar back to starting position.
3. Hammer dumbbell curls
In the hammer dumbbell curls, which work on our brachioradialis which is one of the major forearm muscles, you just need to hold the dumbbells in a neutral position just like a hammer and perform the curls, says the expert.
4. Farmer’s walk
In farmers’ walk, you just need to hold the dumbbells or plates and walk. This exercise mimics the suitcase carrying movement that we often do while travelling. If you have any lower back issue, avoid lifting the weights from the ground. You can place them at a bench or pick from the rack itself.
5. Dead hang
Dead hang simply means that you must hang to a pull bar as long as you can or reach failure. Failure here means that you start losing the grip after a while when you are hanging at the bar.
6. Crab walk
• Begin in a reverse tabletop position with your feet placed under your knees.
• Keep your hands under your shoulders. Your fingers should face toward your feet.
• Walk forward by moving your hands and feet forward.
7. Plank shoulder tap
• Get into a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, and spread your fingers wide.
• Put your weight on your left hand as you lift your right hand up and then tap your left shoulder.
• Place your right hand down and lift your left one up to tap your right shoulder.