Forearm Workout: Best Forearm Exercises to Reach “Popeye Status”

Your forearms may not be the most glamorous muscle group in the world to work out but they are very important to your overall arm development.

Building strong and muscular forearms has many benefits. The first benefit from regularly performing incredible forearm workouts is for pure aesthetics.

When you build the muscle in your forearms and have more vascularity in your lower arm you will have the appearance of bigger arms and a more powerful looking physique – and that is never a bad thing!

The second benefit from forearm workouts is you will be increasing your grip strength. Your grip strength will help you on many of the more important compound exercises such as the dead lift, barbell row, pull-ups and even bench press. Many old school bodybuilders and power lifters would perform grip strength exercises to maximize their compound exercises.

The third benefit to great forearm workouts is injury prevention. Your wrists are susceptible to injury on many common exercises such as the barbell bicep curl. Many experienced lifters injure ligaments and tendons in the wrist and forearm whey their upper arm strength is much stronger than their wrist and forearm strength.

This creates a dangerous muscular imbalance and can only be corrected through intense forearm exercise training.

Interested to see what the best forearm exercises to reach “Popeye status” are? Let’s dive in and check out the 3 best forearm exercises.

Forearm Exercise #1: Reverse Grip EZ-Bar Curl

If you want to build the muscle and thickness of your upper forearm the reverse grip EZ bar curl is your cure. Not only this does exercise work your bicep muscles – but it places a ton of overload on your forearms.

You should be performing 3 sets of the reverse grip EZ-bar curl in the 8-12 rep range. Remember that perfect form and not swinging your back into the contraction of the movement is the key to amazing results. Let’s check out how to perform the reverse grip EZ-bar curl.

How to perform the reverse grip EZ-bar curl:

The reverse grip EZ-bar curl is similar to the traditional EZ-bar curl except for one major variation: You will be placing your hands palms down instead of palms up. This simple hand placement switch creates one of the best forearm exercises of all time!

The key to getting an effective forearm workout is to tuck in your elbows as close to your body as possible throughout the movement.

Stagger your feet and have a slight knee bend so you can get a great angle on the contraction of the exercise. Squeeze your biceps and forearms as you come up and make sure to control the weight slowly on the way down so you can get maximum contraction in your forearms.

Forearm Exercise #2: Standing Dumbbell Wrist Extensions

The standing dumbbell wrist extension exercise puts a ton of overload directly on your wrists. Injuring your wrists is very common with guys trying to curl too much weight. Not only is this exercise fantastic for building big forearms – but its going to help build up the strength in your wrists.

You should be performing 3 sets of standing dumbbell wrist extensions and keeping your repetitions between 10 and 15 reps per set. This is an exercise where you want to go light and control the weight and keep your repetitions high to build the stabilizers in your wrist and prevent injury.

How to perform the standing dumbbell wrist extensions:

Start off by holding two light dumb bells in both your hands and stand straight up. Put your arms straight out while holding the dumb bells like you are grasping a pickle jar or some object.

The starting position should be your arms straight out in the air and holding the dumb bells with your palms down.

Rotate the dumbbells up by moving your palms from the “facing down” position to “facing out” while controlling the weight with your wrist and forearms. Keep the weight in motion the entire time so you can build the forearms and increase wrist strength.

Forearm Exercise #3: Dumbbell Farmers Walk

The dumbbell farmer’s walk is one of the best exercises in the world for improving your grip strength. This is the exercise you will want to go really heavy on and focus on squeezing the dumbbells throughout the process to build powerful and vascular forearms.

The more weight you can do with the dumbbell farmers walk the more success you will have with compound lifts that incorporate grip strength such as the barbell deadlift and barbell row.

You should be performing 3 sets of dumbbell farmers walks at 30 seconds under tension per set.

How to perform the dumbbell farmer’s walk:

The dumbbell farmer’s walk is performed by simply carrying around the heaviest dumb bells you can handle without straps. You can wear lifting gloves but make sure you do not wear lifting straps as that will take the overload off your grip strength and forearms.

Walk in a straight line and aim to hold the dumb bells for a full 30 seconds per set. Relax your arms and put all of the emphasis on gripping the heavy dumb bells as hard as you can and getting a pump in your forearms.


Now that you know how to perform 3 of the best forearm exercises for aesthetics, grip strength, and injury prevention you are probably curious how you can incorporate this into your bodybuilding routine.

I definitely don’t recommend an entire workout dedicated to solely the forearms. Since they are a minor and small muscle group you should perform this forearm routine at the end of your main workout 2-3 times per week.

A little goes a long way with your forearms. Between these three exercises you will be working your forearms from 3 different angles and will improve quickly. Expect to see powerful results in less than a month if you incorporate this routine at the end of your training sessions 2-3 times per week.

Time to reach Popeye Status! Good luck bro.

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