Build Powerful Forearm Muscles Quickly

April 29, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

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Forearm strength facilitates a powerful swing on the baseball diamond, tennis court, golf course or lacrosse field. (See Improve Bat Speed With Forearm Exercises.)

The following forearm exercises are quick and simple. Use them to add forearm size despite your busy practice and game schedule. Try incorporating one or two per workout on non-consecutive days.

Exercises for Forearm Muscles

Tennis Ball Squeezes

Tennis Ball Squeezes are the most convenient method to build forearm muscle. They can be done anywhere. Just squeeze a tennis ball several times a day.

Sets/Reps: 3x10

  • Exhale while squeezing hard for three seconds
  • Inhale and release for one second

Horizontal Pull-Up and Hold (Inverted Row)

The wide overhand grip builds the outer forearms, biceps, upper back and shoulder muscles, while the close underhand grip targets the inner forearms, biceps and middle back. Both movements improve grip strength for batting or throwing a ball and handling a golf club, racquet or lacrosse stick.

  • Place a weighted barbell on a rack three to four feet off the ground
  • Lie beneath the bar in a supine position with your legs extended, hips off the floor and back straight
  • Take a shoulder-width overhand grip and pull your chest up close to the bar
  • Hold for 30 seconds
  • Immediately lower, take a close underhand grip and repeat the 30-second hold
  • Rest one minute and do two more combo hold sets

Med Ball Wall Roll-Ups

Sets/Reps: 3x10 (resting 1 minute between sets)

  • Hold a 10- to 20-pound medicine ball against a wall at chest level
  • Roll the ball up as high as possible using your fingertips while raising your heels off the ground
  • Slowly lower to start position

Dumbbell Wrist Curls and Extensions

Supine-grip wrist curls strengthen the inner forearms (flexors); neutral and prone-grip curls build the top and outer forearms (extensors). Strong wrist extensors and powerful wrist flexors are advantageous for backhand strokes in tennis, and powerful wrist flexors are important for following through on a pitch or throw in baseball.

  • Sit at the end of a bench
  • Hold two light to moderately heavy dumbbells in an underhand (supine) grip just over your knees
  • Slowly curl the dumbbells toward your forearms
  • Hold one second, then lower five times
  • Without rest, hold the dumbbells in a neutral grip position (palms facing each other) for five curls
  • Immediately do prone (overhand) grip extensions
  • Rest one minute and repeat the sequence twice.

Wrist Rollers

Prone Roll-Ups build the extensors while Supine Roll-Ups work the inner forearms.

Set/Reps: 3x5 for each position (resting 1 minute between)

  • Attach a weight (e.g., a 10-pound plate) to a rope connected to a short bar
  • Hold the bar at chest level with the rope uncurled and the weight on the floor
  • First use an overhand grip
  • Roll the weight up to meet the bar
  • Slowly reverse the roll to the ground

Check out more grip-strengthening exercises.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
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