What You Need To Build Bigger Forearms

Written by Jack Boardman

Build Your Forearms

The forearms are often a neglected part of a weight lifter’s workout plan – or are they? You can work on your forearms, the same as any muscles, to make them thicker and to add symmetry to the work you’ve put into your upper arms. Many people are unaware of the various other muscles they are working when focussing on others. For example, on chest day when determined to build your pecs on the bench press you are also working the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, scapulae fixers, trapezii, and the triceps.


That said, you might not be aware when your forearms are being worked as a result of focussing on others. The benefits of training your forearms also include a stronger grip, which you will undoubtedly benefit from in other areas of your weightlifting. To develop your forearms, the pronator teres is the muscle along the underside of your forearm that turns your hand so that the palm faces down. To exercise this, you should focus on wrist curls with your elbow stationary and palm facing upwards.


The brachioradialis covers the top and outer part of your forearm and flexes your arm at the elbow. To exercise this, do the opposite to the pronator teres by performing wrist curls with your palm facing down. Here a few examples of forearm workouts that cover some of the various movements that will work your forearms. From these, with a little ingenuity and deductive skills, you’ll be able to figure out which other exercises build these muscles.

Kirk Miller

Single Dumbbell Wrist Curl


As mentioned above, sit down with your legs bent at right angles and feet firmly planted and, with your elbow resting on your thigh, curl the weight with your wrist so that your elbow does not move. Vary this by facing your palm down for one muscle, and facing up for the other.

Hand Grip


Your forearm strength considerably determines the strength of your grip. A simple place to start for this is the classic bit of equipment, the hand grip, which you squeeze and release in order to strengthen your grip.

barbell biceps curls

Band Finger Extension


This one may sound so simple you don’t know how you didn’t think of it before. Loop a small, tight resistance band around your fingers and thumb so that they’re bunched together, then spread your fingers out, stretching the band.

Wrist Flexion/Extension


Bend your right elbow and clasp your left hand over the fingers on your right hand. Gently bend your wrist back so the back of your hand is closer to your forearm, then extend your right arm to feel the stretch. After 60 seconds, stretch the opposite muscles, bending your fingers and wrist so your palm is closer to your forearm.

bicep curl

Kroc Row


This is an example of an exercise you’ve likely been using to build other muscles, including your bicep and back, without realising your forearms are also being pumped. Rest your left knee and hand on a bench and grasp a heavy dumbbell with your right hand. Keeping your back in its natural arch, explosively row the weight to your side—you can use less-than-strict form.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile organisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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