10 Best Forearm Exercises for Men
Whether you want to have a killer forearm like a bodybuilder or you are looking to exude personality and confidence in the business world, a forearm workout regime will help you accomplish that.
The best forearm exercises don’t just help you open pickle jars. Besides improving your grip strength, it plays a vital role in preventing injuries. If you can’t muscle up due to mobility issues, you may have weak forearm strength. Smoking your forearm muscles will significantly improve your overall workout, especially when it comes to lifting weights.
This article highlights 10 forearm exercises that can build your muscles, strengthen your forearms, and improve your grip. But first, here’s a quick rundown of what your forearm muscles are.
The Forearm and its Muscles
Your forearm is the part of your hand between the wrist and elbow. Buried under that fine flesh are the radius and ulna bones – two long bones that combine to form the radioulnar joint. A handful of muscle groups are found in the forearm, including the extensors, flexors, digits, supinators, pronators, and flexors of the elbow. These muscles are responsible for turning the hand up or down, dexterity, gripping, and lifting.
The forearm is composed of the posterior and anterior compartments. The muscles in the former are generally called the extensor muscles. Their primary function is to produce an extension that helps you move your wrist and fingers. The radial nerve innervates the extensor muscles. The flexors are deep in the anterior compartment and are majorly innervated by the median nerve.
Blood supply to the forearm comes through the two main arteries in the forearm, namely, the radial and ulnar arteries.
Okay, that’s about all the anatomy class we can get into for now. Let’s turn our focus on how we can improve these muscles.
Whether you workout daily or not, you use your forearms in some way every day. Even the simple act of opening doors, typing, texting, driving, or carrying groceries cannot be done without engaging the muscles of the forearm. And if you hit the gym regularly, there’s already a plethora of ways that your exercise routines train your forearm muscles.
Unfortunately, many people overwork their forearms without even realizing it.
But isn’t the goal of exercising the forearm to exercise it? What’s wrong with a little bit of “overworking?”
Overworking the forearm is not the same as training the forearm muscles in isolation. The forearm extensors and flexors, as well as the wrist, are often engaged in sports and exercises, including yoga, planks, burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, throwing balls, swinging bats, and gripping weights.
However, many people prioritize movements that engage the forearm extensors or those that keep the wrist lower than the fingertips. In other words, while burpees, planks, push-ups, and many similar exercises are great, focusing on them alone will leave you with tighter forearm extensors and less flexible and weak forearm flexors.
And even if you are not a gym junkie, you can overwork or strain your forearm with certain lifestyle habits. Here’s how:
- Keeping your elbows close to your side while texting with both thumbs
- Consistently typing with a keyboard that is a tad too high for comfort
- Hooking the heels of your hand over the top of the steering wheel while driving or pressing the heels of your hand into the steering wheel
Any of these habits can lead to muscle imbalance in your wrist and forearm.
But whether you are making any of these mistakes or not, you can use a combination of the following best forearm exercises to isolate, strengthen, and build the muscles in your arm and wrist.
Best Forearm Exercises for Men
1. Pull-Up Bar Hang
Let’s start with one of the simplest forearm exercises that just about anyone can do. The pull-up bar hang works your lower arm muscles and, at the same time, engage your core. Your finger flexors and wrist will benefit from this exercise. Here’s how to do this exercise:
- Reach up and grip a pull-up bar with your palms facing forward, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart
- Lift yourself off the ground and remain in a hanging position with your ankles crossed behind you
- Remain hanging at arm’s length for 30 seconds
- Return to the starting position
Reps: 5 reps for 30 seconds each
2. Farmer’s Carry
The farmer’s carry (also called the farmer’s walk) is one of the staple routines for gym-goers. Even folks who don’t set out to do any workout tend to perform this basic forearm exercise unknowingly. Heck, you can perform this move with just about any heavy object at home. It is an excellent move that trains your finger flexors, wrist, and a host of other body muscles. Want to get the best from this common exercise? Do this:
- Hold a pair of heavy weights (kettlebells or dumbbells) in both hands
- Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your palms facing in
- Keep your spine straight, core tight, and engage your shoulders as you walk straight ahead
Reps: 10 sets of 15 steps
3. Dumbbell Wrist Flexion
The dumbbell wrist flexion is relatively simple to do, but don’t ignore it, especially as it is one of the best forearm exercises that can quickly strengthen your wrist flexors. And because it is somewhat easy to perform, you can repeat it until absolute muscle failure. Follow these steps to perform the exercise:
- Hold a dumbbell in one hand while sitting on the edge of a bench
- Place the hand holding the weight on your tight, with the forearm facing up and the back of your wrist hanging over your kneecap
- Lower the dumbbell as far as you can, making sure your grip remains tight
- Curl the dumbbell toward your bicep, ensuring that your arm stays firmly on your thigh
- Slowly lower the dumbbell again
- Switch hands and repeat
Reps: Until failure
4. Towel Pull-Up Bar Hang
Target your wrist adductors with the towel pull-up bar hang. It’s pretty straightforward to perform, like this:
- Hang two pieces of towels over a pull-up bar, keeping them shoulder-width apart
- Tightly grip the towels, one in each hand
- Tighten your core and lift your feet off the floor
- Hang for 30 seconds with your ankles crossed behind you
Reps: 5 sets for 30 seconds each
5. Standing Reverse Curl
The standing reverse curl is best performed with an EZ bar (basically, a barbell with a zigzag middle section) because it effectively isolates the biceps. This move builds strength in the forearm and maximizes blood flow. Here’s how to do this exercise correctly:
- Grab an EZ bar using a pronated grip, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart
- Slowly curl or bring the bar upward, keeping your arms at your side
- Squeeze at the top position
- Return to the starting position, making sure to use controlled movements
Reps: 3 sets of 12
6. EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
Here’s a move that isn’t just great for your forearm but also maxes out your biceps. The EZ-bar preacher curl is an excellent workout when it comes to smoking the lower arm. The tension created by contracting the elbows is sure to build those muscle groups and lead to strength gain. To perform this move:
- Grab an EZ curl bar using an underhand grip at shoulder width while sitting at a preacher’s bench
- Extend your arms with a slight bend your elbows
- Curl the bar, making sure the back of your arms are resting against the bench
- At the top position (just before you get to the perpendicular point), give your biceps a really good squeeze
- Slower return to the starting position
Reps: 3 sets of 10
Although the chin-up move seems too simplistic, yet it is one of the best forearm exercises for smoking your flexors. Perform this move using these steps:
- Place both hands shoulder-width apart on a pull-up bar with your palms facing toward you
- Tighten your core, bring your shoulder blades together, and pull yourself upward
- Pull up until your chin goes above the bar
- Pause at the top
- Slowly return to the starting position
Reps: 3 sets of 8
8. Behind-the-Back Cable Curl
This move allows adequate blood flow via the brachioradialis contraction. Your forearm has a greater engagement in this move since it emphasizes elbow contraction. You’re going to need a cable station to do this properly. Do this when you have the necessary setup:
- Attach a D-handle to the cable station at the low pulley
- Hold the handle in one hand, turn your back to the machine, and step about 2 to 3 feet away from it, making sure there is enough tension in the cable
- Curl the D-handle, ensuring that your arm is behind your back and the movement is at your forearm
Reps: 3 sets of 10
9. Crab Walk
At first, this might seem too easy or even silly, but it is one of the best forearm exercises you can add to your regimen. Besides your forearm, the crab walk is an excellent drill that helps with shoulder extension and can help you muscle up. Although it appears easy to do (who can’t walk like a crab?), many people perform it incorrectly. Here’s how to do it correctly:
- Sit on the floor with your palms down at shoulder width behind you
- Make sure your palms are facing sideways – not backward or forward
- Lift your hips until it is in line with your shoulders so that you are on all fours but facing upward
- Walk forward as quickly as you can, keeping your arms straight throughout
Reps: 10 steps to and fro
10. The Zottman Curl
The Zottman curl is performed with dumbbells or kettlebells using compound arm movements. It strengthens the forearm and builds muscles in your upper arm. To perform this move:
- Stand with a pair of dumbbells in both hands
- Turn your hands so that your palms are faced to your sides
- Keep your upper arm in place as you curl the dumbbells
- Lift the dumbbells using controlled movements and simultaneously turn your palms toward your bicep as you reach the top position
- Now turn your palm downward and slowly lower the dumbbells
Reps: 3 sets of 12
Benefits of Forearm Exercises
Thin forearms on men aren’t sexy, and trust me; you don’t want any of that. Men are built to exude confidence. And nothing screams masculinity more than a well-structured forearm. So, let’s just say that being attractive is one of the very first benefits of building a strong and muscular forearm.
Besides your head, the forearm is the first unconcealed body part that is noticeable from a mile away. And if you want more effect, simply roll up your shirt sleeves or show up in a V-neck T-shirt looking like a god! Creating a great first impression is quite easy if you take the time to develop your forearm.
Try to picture this bulky dude with impressive shoulders, triceps, and biceps but scrawny forearms. That’s an incomplete look, don’t you agree?
Maybe all of this is just superficial, but who’s to say there’s something wrong with wanting to look good? You’re definitely going to appear out of proportion if you are aiming for a bigger and muscular look, but you ignore your forearms.
Okay, enough said about outward benefits. With consistent practice, you will notice some or all of these other benefits:
- Your wrist, hands, and elbows are strengthened. This makes it a lot easier to perform your other workout routines, especially when you need to squeeze, pull, or push with a lot of force.
- It doesn’t matter whether you’re lifting the heaviest weight in the gym or simply carrying groceries; you’ll find it easier to grip and lift objects. This is so because training your forearm is important for developing your deltoids, triceps, biceps, chest, and back. All strength training routines require the ability to properly grip and control weights all through the different range of motions.
- You are less likely to have injuries in your wrist that can occur due to imbalanced muscle development. Tennis elbow is a joint strain caused by overusing the elbow joint. Forearm exercises can prevent or minimize this strain by redistributing the load in your arms during lifts, sports, or when you carry heavy items as part of your daily activities.
- Working to improve your forearm will lead to increased flexibility in your wrist and hands. Improving agility in your forearms and writs brings about fine motor skills. So, if you play any musical instrument or do a lot of typing, this is your cue to include some of these best forearm exercises in your workout regime.
Signs of Weak Forearms
You’re not going to lose your arm or experience some other grave consequence just because you didn’t train your forearms. You’ll probably lead a happy life, but with some physical discomforts. If you experience any of the following, you’re likely neglecting your forearms.
- Pain or discomfort when you carry heavy items during your daily routine
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), tendonitis, and other related ailments
- Slow progress in strength training
- Reduced efficiency in texting, typing, and other activities that require dexterity
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get bigger forearms and wrists at home?
Indeed, you do not have to hit the gym to build bigger forearms. Some simple yet effective forearm exercises can be performed at home to give you the results you want. Some of the best forearm exercises you can do at home include the Zottman curls, dumbbell wrist flexion, crab walk, and farmer’s carry.
Can I do forearm workouts every day?
It is best to do forearm exercises for short periods daily, especially if you engage in strenuous activities every day. Carve out time once or twice weekly for longer forearm training sessions, and get at least one full day of rest between long exercise sessions. This will give your muscles enough time to recover. Whatever you do, ensure that you don’t fatigue your muscles.
How do I get veiny forearms?
In addition to forearm exercises, perform strength-building workouts to increase your muscle mass. This will cause your veins to come toward the surface of your skin.
How do you lose forearm fat?
Besides increasing protein in your diet and cutting down on refined carbs, start lifting weight in addition to isolating your forearm muscles using some of the best forearm exercises such as the farmer’s carry, dumbbell wrist flexion, and Zottman curl.
What is the best workout for strengthening the lower arm muscles?
When performed consistently, the farmer’s carry is one of the best exercises that provide continuous engagement for the muscle groups in your lower arm and, in turn, helps to develop and strengthen the lower arm.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather WatchCheck Price
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.