How to Get Bigger Forearms: 7 Exercises to Blow up Your Arm

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 29, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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Looking to bulk up your forearms?

Leveraging my sport and exercise science background, I'll guide you through understanding your forearm muscles and choosing the right exercises.

Your journey to bigger forearms begins with a mix of exercises tailored to your comfort level, gradually incorporating more challenging ones.

Remember, consistency in your workout routine and a protein-rich diet are key to achieving those gains.

Quick Summary

  • To build bigger forearms, incorporate exercises like the farmer’s walk, wrist curls, towel pull-ups, etc.
  • A balanced forearm workout routine should target both flexor and extensor muscles and include movements for wrist adduction and abduction.
  • A 2004 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research supports that consistent forearm training enhances strength and form.
  • Integrating climbing activities like bouldering with gym exercises, based on my hands-on experience, can significantly boost forearm strength and size.

7 Best Exercises for Bigger Forearms

The best exercises to get bigger forearms are farmer’s carry, wrist curls, towel pull-ups, performing wrist rollers, reverse grip barbell curls, and palms-down and up dumbbell wrist curls.

Combining these 7 exercises will help you add strength and muscle mass to your forearms and maybe even improve your grip.

Incorporating these workouts, simple meal prep, and high-quality protein supplements might give you the boost you need to achieve the massive forearms you desire.

1. Farmer’s Walk

Farmer’s Walk

Grab dumbbells, kettlebells, or a trap bar and stand up straight from a squat position. Walk 25–50 yards holding these weights, repeating eight times.

This exercise works your whole body and especially strengthens your pronated grip.

Alternative: Plate pinch exercise—pinching weight plates between your fingers and thumb.

2. Wrist Curls

Wrist Curls

Sit with dumbbells in hand and your forearms on your thighs. Curl the dumbbells with your wrists, then lower them, keeping your elbows still.

This isolates your forearms, and you can switch to a barbell for variation.

3. Towel Pull-Ups

Towel Pull-Ups

Instead of a regular pull-up bar, use a towel draped over it, avoiding knots.

Pull yourself up using the towel sides to strengthen your forearms and enhance pronated grip strength.

Related Post: Best Power Towers

4. Performing Wrist Roller Exercises

Wrist Roller Exercises

Use a wrist roller, rotating it slowly with an overhand grip at shoulder height and winding a weight-attached rope around it.

Increase the weight as you get stronger.

5. Reverse Barbell Curl

Reverse Barbell Curl

With an overhand grip, lift a barbell (or curl bar) to your shoulders, keeping your biceps still. Lower after a pause. Do 15-20 reps for 3 sets.

Repeat 15-20 reps for 3 sets.

See here for more curl bar exercises.

6. Palms-Down Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Palms-Down Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Kneel, forearms on a bench, and overhand grip a dumbbell in each hand. Curl your wrists up without moving your arms.

Hold, then lower.

Do 15-20 reps for 3 sets.

7. Palms-Up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Palms-Up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Similar to above, but with an underhand grip and palms up. Curl the dumbbells using only your wrists. Keep your forearms on the bench throughout.

Do 15-20 reps for 3 sets.

Alternative: Finger curls with a barbell or dumbbell.

You can also watch this video to learn more about this exercise.


What is a Good Forearm Routine?

When training your forearms, you need a routine that targets the right muscles with the correct weight.

Remember to balance exercises for both flexors and extensors and include moves that work on wrist adduction and abduction.

No need to scour the internet; we've got a great routine for you! Aim for three sets of this routine weekly, twice if you can, doing 15-20 reps per exercise.

Feel free to swap in any exercises we've previously mentioned, aiming for 3 sets of 3 different exercises.

Related Posts:

1. Reverse Barbel Curl

Reverse Barbell Curl

Sets: 3
Reps: 15-20
Rest: 60 sec

2. Palms-up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Palms-Up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over a Bench

Sets: 3
Reps: 15-20
Rest: 60 sec

3. Wrist Roller Exercise

Wrist Roller Exercises

Sets: 3
Reps: 4-5 Reps
Rest: 90 sec

Tips on Building Forearms


Forearm workouts are crucial for strength gains. A 2004 study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and my experience as a performance psychology specialist confirm that consistent training is the secret sauce for stronger forearms [1].

But there's more you can do for better results:

  • Indirectly Work Your Forearms
    Sneak in some forearm training, even during other exercises. Grip that pull-up bar or dumbbell like you mean it. As someone who's been there, I can tell you it's a game-changer for muscle activation and growth.
Indirectly Work Your Forearms
  • Use Thick Bars and Dumbbell Handles
    Use thicker bars and dumbbell handles when possible. They work more muscles in your arms and hands. No thick bars? Tools like Fat Gripz can make regular bars bulkier.
  • Bouldering or Rock Climbing

    For an outdoor kick, give rock climbing or bouldering a go. As an enthusiast climber myself, I can vouch for their effectiveness in bulking up your forearms. It's not just a blast; it's a serious workout for forearm endurance and strength.


Should I Use Straps?

No, you should not use straps if you want to get bigger forearms. Using straps may help you perform a couple extra reps, but they don’t help muscle growth or grip strength, as stated in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy journal study [2].

Straps actually take some of the load off your upper arms, which can be a good thing if you can’t lift heavy weights. However, if you are targeting your forearms, it won’t help their muscle growth.

Should I Use Chalk?

It depends. Chalk is mainly used to help you get a better grip on the equipment you are using and to prevent slippage when lifting a heavy dumbbell.

While this is helpful, not using chalk can actually activate more muscles and make them work harder.

According to the study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, trying to maintain a grip when your hands are sweaty or you feel the equipment slipping can activate more muscles as you try to keep everything steady [3].

Basically, it is up to you and how comfortable you are with using the equipment.

Should I Take Supplements?

If you nail the basics (sleep, nutrition, and training hard), then you will see growth in your forearms, even without supplements.

However, if you want to take your body to the next level in a safe, natural, and legal way, then consider CrazyBulk. They're 100% natural, safe, and legal steroid alternatives.

I was skeptical at first but I decided to give it a go since pro bodybuilders and fitness experts use CrazyBulk. After trying it for 2 months, I gained . I even recommended them to one of my clients and the results speak for themselves:

crazybulk tony-before-after


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About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
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Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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2 thoughts on “7 Best Forearm Exercises to Increase Size & Strength

  1. I usually have a massive forearms workout, but with these variations, I don’t think I’ll ever get bored.

  2. So far, I’ve tried a few of the things listed here on how to get forearms big. So far, so good!

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