Pure Gym Limited

Forearm & Grip Exercises

Why should I train forearms and grip?

See all forearm and grip exercises

If you're mainly building muscle for aesthetic reasons, chances are you've been neglecting your grip and forearm strength. While big forearms may not look as impressive as bulging biceps, training your forearms and grip can have serious benefits, including improvements in almost all of your lifts. 

Deadlifts, pull ups, bench press, and so many more exercises rely on strong grip, wrists, and forearms - and while these muscles are getting worked in any exercise where you hold equipment, they often don't progress fast enough without specific training. While wrist straps can help in the gym to some extent, having a strong grip will allow you to lift heavier for longer. 

Getting stronger at the gym isn't the only reason to train your grip and forearms. You use your grip and forearms daily, from carrying the shopping to using a computer, so they're prone to overuse injuries. Strength training can help to increase endurance and prevent injuries from occurring. 

Check out our other arm and shoulder exercises: Bicep curls, Front raises, Lateral raises, Rear delt exercises, Shoulder presses, Tricep extensions, Upright rows

Commonly asked questions on forearms and grip strength

How often should I do hand grip exercises?

If you are lifting weights regularly, you'll already be training your forearm and grip to some extent. Try adding 1 or 2 exercises to the end of your workouts 2-3x a week.

Do wrist curls improve grip strength?

Wrist curls are an isolation exercise that strengthen the muscles in the forearm and hands, and can be used to improve your grip strength.

What muscles does the farmer's walk work?

The farmer's walk exercise, also known as farmer's carry, works multiple muscles in the body including muscles in the hands (grip), forearms and arms, shoulders, back, core, and even the legs and glutes.

How often should you do farmers walks?

The farmer's walk is an excellent exercise but can be quite taxing. You should look to add this exercise into your routine 1-2 times a week.

Forearm and grip exercises

How To Do Farmer's Walk (Farmer's Carry)

Level: Beginners to advanced

Equipment: Dumbbells or kettlebell

The farmer's walk involves carrying heavy weights while walking for a certain amount of time or distance. Choose a weight that is challenging to hold.

  1. Place a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells on the floor hip-width apart from each other and stand in the middle. 
  2. Squat down and grab the weights, than drive through your heels back to standing.
  3. Engage your core, straighten your spine, and pull your shoulders back and down.
  4. Begin walking while maintaining this posture. Complete your intended distance or time walked, then squat down to place the weights on the floor.
  5. Rest and repeat.

How To Do A Plate Pinch

Level: Beginner to advanced

Equipment: Weight plates

  1. Select the plates you want to use. Having two lighter weights (e.g. two 5kg instead of one 10kg) is harder than one heavier weight.
  2. With the plate resting on the floor, grip the edge of the plate with your fingers on the outside and thumb on the inside. 
  3. Stand up and pinch the plate as hard as you can, for as long as you can (or for desired time) before placing back down. 
  4. Repeat on the other side.

How To Do Wrist Curls

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Equipment: Dumbbells, bench

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and kneel in front of a flat bench.
  2. Hinge forward, resting your forearms on the bench, palms facing up. Your hands should be off the bench.  
  3. Curl your wrists to bring the dumbbell up as far as you can comfortably able, keeping your arms flat on the bench. 
  4. Slowly release your wrists back to the starting position.

How To Do Wrist Extensions

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Equipment: Dumbbells, bench

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, kneel in front of a flat bench and hinge forward at the hips.
  2. Place your forearms on the bench so your hands rest over the edge, with your palms facing the floor.  
  3. Bend your wrists down until you feel a light stretch on the top of your forearm, then squeeze your forearms to extend the wrist back up as high as you are comfortably able to.
  4. Repeat for desired reps.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.