5 Best Forearm Exercises To Increase Grip Strength

Remember PopEye’s bulges? We know everyone likes them, but not many can progress that far. Even after spending a lot of time at the gym, no substantial progress is seen. This is because many bodybuilders always depend on either a helper or some rack to hold the bars, ignoring the weak forearms. It would be a shame and hence you need forearm training on top of your gym schedule.

Forearm training builds your grip strength, giving you confidence in every lift, which is vital to progressing on your major pulling movements like the row and deadlift. Not only lifts, it can help you progress faster in your chest and shoulder pressing exercises as well.

For steady progress, you need bigger and stronger forearms, and the quicker you do, the sooner your hands look like PopEye’s and impress one and all. And the better your arms are going to look and the better you’re going to progress in your weight lifting.

Top 5 Best Forearm Exercises for Bulging Muscles and Extreme Strength

Follow these exercises to the end and get ready to have the PopEye type bulging muscles and also get a strong grip to lift whatever loads you wish.

1. Machine Wrist Curl

This exercise can be done either standing or while sitting. Each has its own benefits. Go with the one that suits you the most, and then try the other.

Starting Position (Standing type)

  1. Note where your arms end up at your back.
  2. Position the bar so that it is around 6 inches lower than your fingers.
  3. With your back to the bar, exhale as you bend down slightly and grasp the bar. You can bend your knees.
  4. Roll the bar from the fingers to the palm and then after waiting for a second, allow slowly the bar to again fall to the fingers, while inhaling.
  5. Repeat the steps 15-20 times and then keep the bar back to the rack.

Do not go very heavy because our wrists are not so designed. Gradually increase the weights and still, never go very heavy.

Also Read: Top 5 Shoulder Exercises for Building Muscle Mass

2. Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl

This exercise uses dumbbells and helps you get a vice type grip. It looks easy, but not so.

Starting Position

  1. Sit in a comfortable position.
  2. Grab a dumbbell with overhand grip.
  3. Rest your forearm on the thigh with the wrist just ahead of your knee.
  4. Now raise the dumbbell by pointing the knuckles upward as high up as possible.
  5. Return back until the knuckles are pointing downwards as far as it is possible.
  6. Return and repeat this exercise. Around 20-25 reps are ideal.

Always keep your elbow to the approximately wrist height to maintain the resistance, while you do the motions. You can keep your other hand under the wrist to stabilize the operation.

Also Read: 5 Best Back Exercises to Build Wide and Thick Back

3. Barbell Wrist Curl

This exercise is very similar to the above, but now uses barbell and using both hands. However, owing to the weight and balancing the barbell, the benefits are immense and you will feel them coming.

Starting Position

  1. Sit erect and then grasp the bar to shoulder width underhand grip.
  2. Rest your forearms on your thighs and keep your wrists just ahead of your knees.
  3. Allow the barbell to easily roll from palms to your fingers.
  4. Now raise the barbell back up by gripping and then pointing your knuckles up as high as possible.
  5. Lower again and repeat. 15-20 repetitions suggested.


  1. Always keep your elbows approximately up to wrist height so as to maintain the resistance throughout the entire motion.
  2. Do not overload the barbell, just what is comfortable.

Also Read: 8 Best Chest Exercises for Building Muscle

4. Dead Hangs

This exercise is a good one and used to introduce to bar training and also to develop foundation body strength. It is a simple exercise with great results involving hanging from an overhead bar or rings to develop your fundamental grip strength.  And once you get used to it, it can be graduated to the pull-ups.

Starting Position

  1. Grip the overhead bar or the rings and hang with your feet suspended from the floor while keeping the arms extended.
  2. Try to maintain the dead hang hold for as long as possible.
  3. Gradually increase the hanging time, which helps you strengthen your grip.
  4. Take some rest and then repeat. Do not overdo.


  1. Always try to hang for at least 10 seconds initially.
  2. Keep your shoulder blades down and chest up to totally engage your back muscles.

Initially, keep your width equal to shoulder and to increase the intensity, widen this gap.

Also Read: Top 6 Best Exercises to Build Bigger Biceps

5. Wrist Roller (The Best Forearm Exercises recommended by the experts)

It is best to do this exercise at the end of your workout session. You can do it at the gym or even other places and you do not need any special equipment. You just need a roller, a string capable of lifting weights and which can be rolled. Just tie the weights together, attach a string’s one end to the roller and other to the weights.

Starting Position

  1. Better stand on a platform which is at least a feet above the ground level.
  2. Now hold the roller down at your waist and the weights on the ground.
  3. Roll the roller using both hands so that it wraps the string while lifting the weight up.
  4. When done, release the weight slowly to the ground and repeat.


  1. Start with around 5-6 kilos and gradually increase the weight.
  2. You need to prevent the roller slipping to the other side, and thus increase your grip.


Without a strong grip, shaking hands is something bodybuilders avoid. A large palm, vice like grip is something associated with strong forearms. These exercises help you get the firm grip and you will never hesitate to grip others hands.

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