If you’ve been looking to grow big arms, the last thing you want is to have skinny forearms.

Not only does having small forearms affect how your body looks, but they’re a weakness in your chain of movement and will negatively impact your other lifts, such as deadlifts.

This article gives you the best forearm dumbbell exercises to stimulate muscle growth and increase your forearm strength.

There are a wide range of benefits to training your forearms regularly. Here are some of the main ways in which you can benefit from forearm training:

1. Improved Athletic Performance

You'll perform better during athletic activities such as rock climbing, martial arts, baseball, weightlifting, golf, and many other sports. 

2. Better Aesthetics

If you're looking to improve your physique, then you don't want skinny forearms. Well developed forearms can make your upper arms (biceps and triceps) look more balanced and impressive. 

3. Prevents Injury

Strong forearms and wrists help you avoid annoying strains, sprains, and injuries that can occur during everyday use.

Wrist injuries can set your training back months, so keep your forearms strong and keep injuries at bay.

4. Increased Strength

If you're looking to increase your strength, then you can't let your forearms be a weakness in your chain of movement.

By having stronger forearms, you'll perform better with pulling, pushing, and gripping. It makes every day tasks easier, and improves your lifts such as deadlifts, pull ups, and rows. 

5. Enhanced Endurance

Strong forearms can improve your muscular endurance during tasks that require prolonged holding and gripping such as rowing, climbing, or even carrying the groceries back to your house. 

Importance Of Regular Forearm Exercises

Whether you’re opening a jar, carrying luggage, playing golf, baseball, football, boxing... you name it, your forearms will no doubt be working.  

The forearms are a series of muscles located between your elbows and wrist; they allow you to open and close your hands, rotate, and bend your wrist.  

By training them, you’ll develop more muscle and increase your strength in everyday activities and sports. Plus, developing strength in your forearms provides you with more power during your workouts, allowing you to lift more increasing your overall body strength.  

Under trained forearms create a weakness in your movement chain and negatively impact the amount of weight you can lift, especially during movements such as deadlifts.  

Training your forearms is for everyone; having increased forearm strength helps protect your wrists from injuries and ensures you remain strong as you age. 

One of the most versatile ways to train forearms is to use dumbbells. You can see from the list below that you aren’t short of options.  

20 Best Forearm Workouts With Dumbbells

1. Dumbbell Wrist Curls 

Man Doing Dumbbell Wrist Curls

The dumbbell wrist curl is one of the best dumbbell exercises for forearms. It’s an effortless movement to perform and isolates the forearm muscles effectively, helping to stimulate muscle growth.  

As this movement is performed iso-laterally, you can focus on working each forearm individually, ironing out any muscular imbalances that you might have. 

This forearm dumbbell exercise is suitable for all ability levels and has easy progressions you can follow to make the exercise more challenging.  

I've used this exercise for years to strengthen my forearms, and it works. 


  • Simple to perform.
  • Suitable for all abilities. 
  • Doesn't require a lot of space.

How To Do It: 

  1. Sit on a bench and hold a dumbbell in both hands with your palms facing up.
  2. Place your forearms on your thighs, so your wrists can move up and down freely without hitting your legs.
  3. Allow the weight to pull your wrists downwards, stretching your forearm muscles, and allow the weight to roll to your fingertips.
  4. Curl your wrists and dumbbells upwards, hold for a second and slowly return to the start.
  5. Repeat to complete your set.

Tips From A Trainer!

Keep the movement as slow as possible. This isn't the type of exercise you want to perform fast, you want every muscle fiber in your forearm to switch on and activate.  

2. Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curls 

Man Doing Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curls

If you want to build forearms with dumbbells, you can’t miss out on the dumbbell reverse wrist curls. This movement is pretty similar to the exercise mentioned above, but you have a pronated grip (palms down) which is the opposite of a regular wrist curl.

The dumbbell reverse wrist curl works all of your flexors and extensor muscles in your forearm, resulting in hypertrophy, giving you thicker, stronger forearms. 

Even though this exercise is suitable for most people, if you’re performing the movement incorrectly, it can damage your wrists. Always ensure you’re using the correct form.  

I always pair this movement with the regular wrist curl. They're two staples in my forearm workout routine.


  • Develops your flexors and extensors.
  • Gives you thicker looking arms. 
  • Strengthens your grip.

How To Do It: 

  1. Sit on a bench holding a dumbbell with an overhand grip. 
  2. Place your forearm on your knee with your palm facing down.
  3. Allow the wrist to bend towards the ground, stretching the top of the wrist.
  4. Curl the dumbbell upwards by bringing your knuckles toward you.
  5. Slowly reverse the movement back to the start.
  6. Swap arms and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Start with a light weight. This movement is quite difficult when performed correctly, and you shouldn't be using a ton of weight for it.  

3. Single Dumbbell Wrist Curls 

Man Doing Single Dumbbell Wrist Curls

This exercise gives you an excellent forearm workout at home with dumbbells. It’s virtually identical to the first exercise mentioned in this article, except for the fact you are using a single dumbbell rather than two dumbbells.  

As this is a single dumbbell exercise, it allows you to focus your efforts on each arm singly, ensuring maximum effort is put into each side.  

This is the ideal forearm exercise for working out at home. I often mix between this movement and using two dumbbells (it depends on how I'm feeling on the day). 


  • Uses minimal space.
  • Only one dumbbell needed.
  • Suitable for all abilities.

How To Do It: 

  1. Sit on a bench, holding a dumbbell with one arm. 
  2. Place your forearm along your leg, leaving your wrist unsupported.
  3. Let the dumbbell hang towards the floor, stretching your wrist and forearm.
  4. Curl your wrist and squeeze your forearm at the top of the movement.
  5. Reverse the movement and repeat to finish your set.
  6. Swap hands and go again.

Tips From A Trainer!

Start by using a light dumbbell as you want to keep the movement super strict to get the most from the exercise. 

4. Standing Pronated Wrist Curl 

Man Doing Standing Pronated Wrist Curls In The Gym

While this move is almost identical to the reverse wrist curl, this movement is far more difficult, and it involves you standing up and holding the dumbbells out in front of you while curling your wrists up and down.

Sounds tough, doesn’t it? – That’s because it is.

The movement requires a lot of shoulder and core strength to keep the dumbbells in front of your body; some gym-goers may struggle.

I recommend this movement for more advanced lifters as it really is difficult. 


  • Great for more advanced lifters. 
  • Minimal space needed.

How To Do It: 

  1. Hold two dumbbells and stand up tall. 
  2. Raise the dumbbells in front of your body, so they are parallel to the floor, and keep your arms straight, palms facing down.
  3. Let the dumbbells draw your wrists downward.
  4. Curl the dumbbells up, squeezing your forearms, and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Don't lean back too much during this exercise. If you do it'll place excess strain on your lower back.  

5. Standing One-Arm Palm-Down Wrist Curl 

Man Doing Standing One-Arm Palm-Down Wrist Curl

This is the same movement as above, except it’s using one arm at a time.  

As the movement is working on one side in isolation, it is slightly easier to control the weight, making it easier for beginners... Even if it is still one of the more challenging movements on this list. 


  • Suitable for most abilities. 
  • Isolates each arm separately. 

How To Do It: 

  1. Stand up and hold one dumbbell in front of you, so it’s parallel to the floor with your palm facing down. Be sure to keep your arm straight. 
  2. Allow gravity to pull the dumbbell downwards, so it stretches your wrist.
  3. Curl the dumbbell up, raising your knuckles and squeezing your forearm.
  4. Slowly lower and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you find yourself leaning backwards too much, then you're probably using too much weight. Don't be afraid to start lightly.  

6. Neutral Wrist Curl 

Man Doing Neutral Grip Wrist Curl Exercise

So far, we’ve covered supinated and pronated grip wrist curls, so it would be a shame to miss out on neutral grip wrist curls, which are fantastic forearm builders.  

This exercise helps develop your extensor carpi radialis and abductor pollicis longus (two key muscles in your forearms) and the tendons around your radius [1].

It’s vital that you train your forearms in multiple directions, allowing you to develop overall forearm strength [2].

I used this exercise during my wrist rehab several years ago and it helped me rebuild my wrist strength. 


  • Strengthens your tendons. 
  • Develops your overall forearm strength.
  • Suitable for all abilities.

How To Do It: 

  1. Hold the end of a dumbbell (not the handle but the widest part). 
  2. Sit on a bench and rest your forearm on your leg.
  3. Place your hand in a neutral position, so your thumb is facing up to the sky.
  4. Slowly tilt the dumbbell towards the floor, stretching your wrist.
  5. Curl your wrist back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat and swap arms.

Tips From A Trainer!

Start with a light dumbbell. When I began this exercise I used a TV controller... and even though it was super light, it's what I needed for my wrist rehab.  

7. Rear Fronted Rotations 

Man Doing Rear Fronted Rotations At Home

This exercise is straightforward to perform and is hard to get wrong, making this a brilliant exercise option for beginners.

During the movement, the main areas targeted are the brachioradialis, and the extensor carpi radialis, both of these areas are key to maximizing your forearm growth.

I like this exercise because of its simplicity. You don't need much equipment or space, and it's ideal for all ability levels. 


  • Extremely simple to perform. 
  • Minimal equipment needed. 
  • You don't need a lot of weight. 

How To Do It: 

  1. Stand while holding two dumbbells (one in each hand) using a neutral grip. 
  2. Let your arms hang at your side.
  3. Place your hand in a neutral position, so your thumb is facing up to the sky.
  4. Allow the dumbbells to tilt forward, and curl your wrists upwards until the dumbbells point upwards.
  5. Slowly reverse the movement and complete your set.

Tips From A Trainer!

Use a small dumbbell that will fit in your hand. If you choose a dumbbell with a large head, it might be difficult to hold.  

8. Dumbbell Wrist Rotations 

Man Doing Dumbbell Wrist Rotations

This is one of the best beginner dumbbell exercises for forearm development, and it can be performed either seated or standing up.

It works best when performed at the end of a workout, with the aim to fully exhaust the forearms, encouraging muscle growth and strength increases.

Dumbbell wrist rotations are performed by many gym-goers as they’re easy to do and difficult to get wrong.

This move is great for boxers. If you're into boxing, check out our complete guide to building a boxing home gym!


  • Simple to perform. 
  • Doesn't require a lot of weight. 

How to do it: 

  1. Stand up while holding two dumbbells in front of your hips with your palms facing you. 
  2. Bend your arms to 90-degrees and hold them in position.
  3. Slowly rotate the wrists, so your thumbs point outwards, then turn them back until they face each other.
  4. Repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Don’t let the rotations become erratic, maintain control throughout the movement to maximize forearm stimulation.  

9. Farmer’s Walk 

Man Doing Farmer’s Walk Exercise

Farmer’s walks are one of the most underrated forearm and grip strength developers around. Not only does this lift help you improve your forearm size and strength, but it’s an excellent core developer.  

This movement allows you to lift large amounts of weight to place huge loads through your forearm muscles. Overloading the forearms promotes muscular hypertrophy, resulting in larger and stronger forearms. 

Ever seen a skinny armed farmer? Of course, you haven’t. 

If you can't tell, I'm a HUGE fan of this forearm exercise, it's one of the most effective on this list and you should add it to your workout routine.

This exercise can be hard on the wrists if you're not careful. Review our guide to the best workout and gymnastics grips to prevent wrist strain.


  • Strength carry over for movements like the deadlift. 
  • Simple to perform. 
  • Suitable for all abilities.

How to do it: 

  1. Grab a heavy dumbbell in each hand and stand up tall. 
  2. Retract your scapula (shoulder blades) and brace your core muscles.
  3. Walk 10-15 yards, turn around and make your way to where you started from.
  4. Rest and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Try maintaining core stability throughout the movement, no swinging and swaying side to side as you walk.   

10. Reverse Curl 

Man Doing Reverse Curls

I couldn’t create a list of the ultimate forearm dumbbell exercises without including the reverse curl.

This bicep curl variation reverses the grip throughout the curl movement to increase the activation of the brachioradialis forearm muscle. By developing this muscle, you’ll take your arm development to the next level.

The reverse curl is one of the best forearm dumbbell exercises around for all ability levels and only requires two dumbbells.  

It's been one of my go-to exercises during my arm training and it never disappoints. 


  • Strengthens your biceps. 
  • Suitable for all abilities. 
  • Improves grip strength.

How to do it: 

  1. Hold two dumbbells with an overhand (pronated) grip. 
  2. Perform a bicep curl lifting the dumbbells towards your shoulders.
  3. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells until your arms are fully stretched.
  5. Complete your reps and repeat for 2-3 sets.

Tips From A Trainer!

Eliminate all swinging of your body during this movement. You want the curl to be controlled and not erratic. 

Related Article - Best Brachialis Exercises

11. Towel Dumbbell Curl 

Man Doing Towel Dumbbell Curls

This is another fantastic bicep curl variation that increases the amount of work done by the biceps throughout the curl.  

It involves wrapping a towel around the dumbbell handle to thicken the grip, making it more challenging to hold and requiring greater grip strength. You can buy devices out there to thicken the handles on barbells and dumbbells, but using a towel is equally as effective and is a lot cheaper.

The towel dumbbell curl is an excellent overall arm developer, helping increase mass in your biceps and forearm simultaneously. 


  • Cost effective. 
  • Simple to perform. 
  • Strengthens your grip. 

How to do it: 

  1. Wrap a towel around the handle of a dumbbell. 
  2. Grip the dumbbell and towel.
  3. Let the weight hang by your hips.
  4. Curl the dumbbell upwards until it reaches your shoulder height.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the movement.

Tips From A Trainer!

Always ensure that the towel is tight around the dumbbell. The last thing you need is to drop the dumbbell on your toes... Ouch! 

12. Finger Curls 

Man Doing Finger Curls Exercise

Finger curls are relatively unheard of, and you won’t see many people performing this movement in the gym. However, they offer a series of benefits you can make the most of, and they are one of the best ways to develop your forearms. 

The movement works your forearm flexors through a massive range of motion, increasing muscle activation.  

This movement is beneficial if you participate in sports such as rock climbing, grappling, or other activities that require a lot of grip strength.  


  • Develops your forearm flexors.
  • Improves finger strength. 

How to do it: 

  1. Sit on a bench and pick up a dumbbell. 
  2. Rest your forearm on your leg with your palm facing up.
  3. Allow the dumbbell to roll down your hands, stretching your fingertips open.
  4. Stop the dumbbell before it falls and curl the weight back up until you’re gripping the dumbbell fully in your hand.
  5. Squeeze your forearms hard and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Use high reps during this movement to develop strength and endurance. 

13. Drag Curl 

man doing dumbbell drag curl exercise at home

While the drag curl is primarily a biceps exercise, it does require your forearms to perform the movement. It’s simple to perform, and if done correctly, it’ll leave your biceps and forearms with one hell of a pump.  

I’m a big fan of super-setting this movement with hammer curls or reverse curls. Performing the two exercises back to back is one of the best forearm workouts with dumbbells for mass.  

Most people will find the drag curl easy to perform, making it an excellent exercise for beginners to try out.


  • Provides a HUGE bicep and forearm pump. 
  • Simple to perform. 

How to do it: 

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated grip (palms facing up). 
  2. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, opening your chest.
  3. Push your elbows back and curl the dumbbells upwards, dragging them up your body (hence the name).
  4. Slowly bring the weights back to the start and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Make sure the dumbbells are in line with your body throughout the entire movement. I always ensure the dumbbells are touching either side of my torso during each rep.  

14. Bent-Over Row 

Man Doing Barbell Bent Over Row

The bent-over row is a fantastic compound exercise that allows you to overload your body with large amounts of weight. By using dumbbells for this movement, you have an increased range of movement, and using dumbbells, increases the amount of work done by your forearms.  

This exercise primarily uses your lats and biceps but requires a large amount of grip strength to keep hold of the dumbbells throughout the movement, much more than is required during a barbell bent-over row.  

While performing this movement is not overly tricky, some beginners might struggle to achieve the correct form. 


  • Allows you to overload your forearms.
  • Increase grip strength. 
  • Develops your lats.

How to do it: 

  1. Hold two dumbbells (one in each hand). 
  2. Maintain a straight back and hinge from your hips, letting your arms hang in front of your body.
  3. Draw your shoulder blades back and lift the dumbbells towards your body.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells.
  5. Repeat the movement.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you struggle with lower back pain during this exercise, place your chest against an incline bench. By doing so it'll reduce the strain on your lower back.  

Related Article - Dumbbell Row Vs Barbell Row

15. Push-Up To Row 

Man Doing Push-Up To Row Exercise

This exercise challenges your forearms and grip strength, and that’s before you start the actual exercise.  

While it’s a brilliant forearm exercise, it’s not suitable for everyone. It requires a lot of upper body and core strength to remain stable throughout the movement, and beginners may struggle to support their body weight on the dumbbells.  


  • Develops your core. 
  • Suitable for more advanced lifters. 

How to do it: 

  1. Place two dumbbells on the floor shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Assume a push-up position with your hands placed on each dumbbell handle.
  3. Brace your core and slowly lower your body towards the floor.
  4. Pause for a second and push yourself up back to the starting position.
  5. Row one dumbbell up to your chest, supporting your body weight on the opposite dumbbell.
  6. Lower the dumbbell back to the floor.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tips From A Trainer!

Don't rotate your hips during each movement. If you feel your body twisting, you're doing the movement incorrectly. 

16. Hammer Curl 

Man Doing Band Hammer Curls

If you’re looking to build forearms with dumbbells, the hammer curl is an excellent choice of exercise.  

It mainly targets the long head of the bicep, which will help add thickness to your upper arms. However, one of the main secondary muscles it uses is the brachioradialis, a key forearm muscle.  

One of the best things about this exercise is that it’s easy for beginners to learn and doesn’t take too long to master. It’s one of the first exercises I teach my clients who are looking for improved forearm development.  

If I had to choose a forearm movement with the most bang for your buck, this would be up their with the best. 

Jump over to our head to head comparison of hammer curls vs bicep curls to see which one you should do.


  • Develops your biceps.
  • Increases overall arm thickness. 
  • Improves strength.

How to do it: 

  1. Stand up straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand. 
  2. Hold the dumbbells so your thumb is facing forward (neutral grip).
  3. Curl the dumbbells up until your thumbs are pointing at your shoulders.
  4. Squeeze your biceps at the top and slowly perform the negative part of the movement.
  5. Complete your reps, rest, and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you're on the move and don't have dumbbells available, try using a resistance band for this exercise.  

17. Zottman Curl 

Man Performing Zottman Curls

The Zottman curl, invented by the 19th-century strongman George Zottman, is one of the best bicep curl variations for increasing forearm activation. You’d have to be a fool to leave this exercise out of your dumbbell forearm workout.  

Along with the biceps, the Zottman curl works your brachioradialis, which is responsible for your arm’s flexion and rotation (supination and pronation) during this movement.  

It’s an unusual variation that can have a considerable impact on your forearm development if performed correctly.  

While it's a great exercise, I wouldn't recommend this movement to newbie gym-goers as it's extremely difficult. 


  • Works all areas of your arm. 
  • Improves grip strength. 

How to do it: 

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand up tall. 
  2. Place your hands in a supinated position, with your palms facing away from you.
  3. Slowly curl the weight upwards.
  4. When you reach shoulder level, rotate your hands into a pronated position and return the dumbbells to the start.
  5. Rotate your hands back to a supinated position (palms facing away from you), and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Keep your reps slow and controlled to get the most from this exercise.  

18. Dumbbell Holds 

Man Doing Dumbbell Holds

Dumbbell holds are a type of isometric hold which involves engaging the muscles without any movement occurring.

It follows a similar principle as the farmer’s walk, but minus the walking, making it an ideal forearm developer if you’re working out in a small home gym with minimal space. The movement is as simple as it sounds, making it ideal for all ability levels.  

The dumbbell hold has carryover into sports such as baseball, hockey, tennis, climbing, and any other grip-intensive activity.  


  • Suitable for all abilities. 
  • Improves grip strength. 

How to do it: 

  1. Place two dumbbells standing upright on the floor (so the handle is vertical). 
  2. Stand between the two dumbbells and place your hands around the top of the dumbbells without hooking your fingers over the edges.
  3. Deadlift the dumbbells up until you’re standing upright.
  4. Hold the dumbbells with your fingers for a set amount of time.
  5. Place the dumbbells back down, rest, and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

Ensure your dumbbells are small enough to hold from the top. Hex dumbbells and smaller circular ones are ideal.   

19. Bicep Curls 

Man Doing Bicep Curls Exercise

Even though the standard bicep curl doesn’t utilize a modified grip or technique to increase the forearm activation, it’s still one of the best dumbbell exercises for forearm mass development.  

The regular standing bicep curl mainly works your biceps brachii (long head of the biceps) and trains your brachioradialis, brachialis, and forearm flexors, making it an all-round arm blaster [3].  

It’s one of the first movements most gym-goers learn as it’s not complicated and yields excellent results when performed right.  


  • Improves overall arm mass. 
  • Increases grip strength.

How to do it: 

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand tall. 
  2. Rotate your hands, so your palms face outward in a supinated position.
  3. Bend the elbows and curl the dumbbells to your shoulder height.
  4. Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the movement.
  5. Slowly lower the weight.
  6. Repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you can feel yourself "cheating" the reps, it may be time to lower the weight. Keep your reps slow and controlled with minimal swaying to get the most from this exercise. 

20. Crush Grip Curl 

Man Doing Crush Grip Curl

The crush grip curl or crush curl is another variation of the bicep curl, which not only destroys your biceps but will put your forearms through their paces too.  

There are two ways to perform this movement, with one dumbbell or with two. I’ll explain both below.  

Each movement utilizes your brachioradialis and brachialis to stabilize the dumbbell throughout the exercise.


  • Provides a HUGE bicep pump. 
  • Increases forearm activation. 

How to do it (One Dumbbell): 

  1. Hold a dumbbell with both hands placed on either side of the dumbbell. 
  2. Squeeze the dumbbell as if you’re trying to “crush” it.
  3. Curl the dumbbell upwards to your shoulders while maintaining the crushing pressure.
  4. Lower the weight in a controlled manner and repeat.

How to do it (Two Dumbbells): 

  1. Hold two dumbbells by their handles with your hands facing outwards. 
  2. Push them together in a crushing motion.
  3. Curl the dumbbells to your shoulders while pressing them together throughout the movement.
  4. Control the negative portion of the movement and repeat.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you want to make this movement a little more challenging, add a resistance band into the mix. The added resistance will provide a new challenge for your arms and forearms.  

Training Schedule For Forearm Workouts With Dumbbells

If you’re looking to introduce forearm training to your gym routine, you may be wondering how often, how many sets, and how long should you train them for.  

When you first train your forearms, you’ll most likely notice they fatigue quickly, so it’s best to train them little and often to begin with.

I’d recommend selecting 2-3 exercises from the dumbbell exercises above and performing a few sets every couple of days. Don’t make it too strenuous to start with, and listen to your body regarding recovery time. 

Depending on whether you're isolating the forearms or training them alongside another muscle group, e.g., Zottman curl, the workout time is different.  

For isolation: 10-15 minutes  

Alongside muscle group: Throughout the workout 

Example workout: 

Perform each exercise for 10-12 reps x 2-3 sets:

  1. Bent over row
  2. Farmers walk
  3. Reverse curl
  4. Drag curl
  5. Dumbbell wrist curl
  6. Reverse dumbbell wrist curl

Common Dumbbell Forearm Workout Questions

Do forearms get bigger naturally? 

No, like any muscle, forearms won’t grow unless you stimulate them for growth.  You don’t always need to train forearms directly for them to develop, there’s only so far they’ll grow. Isolating the forearms using the exercises above is the best way to increase forearm muscle mass.

Is it hard to grow forearms? 

No, while forearms are always thought of as difficult to grow, it’s usually due to lack of stimulus and half-hearted training attempts. Your genetics also plays a massive role in the development of your forearms. 

Are forearms push or pull? 

Forearms are classed as a pull exercise as they are one of the most important muscles used for pulling movements, such as pull-ups. While your forearms are needed for stability during push exercises, they’re not stimulated enough to create any significant muscle development.  

Do strong forearms help you punch harder? 

No, having strong forearms doesn't always mean you’ll punch harder. Yet, they will increase your wrist and arm stability allowing you to hit with a more solid punching technique. Having strong forearms helps you tighten your fist harder, reducing your risk of injury. 


Small looking forearms not only affect your aesthetics but hinder your athletic performance.

Luckily, the list above gives you 18 of the best muscle building forearm exercises around that you can perform in your home gym with no more than a set of dumbbells. 

Try adding a couple of these movements to your workout; your other lifts will thank you for it.





Lee Kirwin

Lee Kirwin

Lee has worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years. He's trained hundreds of clients and knows his way around the gym, including what you need for your garage gym. When he's not testing products, he loves weightlifting, Ju Jitsu, writing, and gaming.