[Updated on 1 January 2024] It’s not uncommon to neglect your forearms during a workout. For most of us, elbow and wrist mobility isn’t part of our daily exercise. Let’s face it; they are not the most exciting parts of our bodies. What you might not know is that your wrists and forearm muscles are essential and especially when playing squash.
The strength of your forearm muscles plays a significant role when it comes to lifting heavy weights for more extended periods. Strengthening the muscles of the wrist and forearm helps with daily living activities such as lifting. Improving your forearm muscles may also help decrease the chances of developing conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Your wrist and forearm extensors play a significant role when it comes to sports, and functional exercise like push-ups, pull-ups, throwing balls, swinging bats, gripping weights and even yoga poses. Neglecting these muscles can lead to injury and imbalanced muscle development. Several muscles make it possible to do all these activities. They include:
- Wrist extensors
- Wrist Flexors
Why should we do wrist and forearm muscle exercise regularly?
The ligaments and muscles in your hands and forearms not only help you move your hands in various directions, but they also prevent the rubbing together of your forearm and wrist bones. If you have weak forearm and wrist bones, medium impact exercises could lead to injuries.
Furthermore, since most of us spend a lot of time working on our computers, typing action strains our wrists. Wrist strength is vital when it comes to lifting weights, which is needed when building upper body strength.
Benefits of forearm and wrist exercises
Training your hands, forearms, and wrists will help you improve your grip, increase your dexterity, while at the same time reducing wrist and elbow strain.
Increasing your flexibility by strengthening your wrists and forearms improves excellent motor skills especially for individuals who are continually typing or play musical instruments.
Having muscular forearms and wrists is essential since they allow an individual to develop biceps, triceps, deltoids, back, and chest. During workouts. Being able to grip and control weights through a full range of motion is a vital part of any strength training routine.
Reduced joint pain
Ever heard of tennis elbow? You probably experienced it. Well, this condition is caused by overusing your elbow joint. Having well-developed forearms can help reduce or relieve the strain during activity by equally distributing the load over the arms when indulging in activities such as sports, lifting, and carrying things.
- Weak forearms and wrists will lead to the following:
- Discomfort when lifting or moving heavy objects.
- A decline in efficiency in activities that require skill such as typing, texting or playing instruments.
- Reduced progress at the gym in strength training routines
While improving your wrist and forearm muscles isn’t something you can do overnight, it’s something you can do at home with a few simple workouts. We’ve compiled a list of simple exercises you could include in your daily home workout routine.
This exercise is perfect for your wrists and helps strengthen the wrist flexors in your forearm. For this exercise, you will need a 3 to 5-pound dumbbell. To effectively perform this exercise, sit on a chair or bench holding the dumbbell in your right arm.
Ensure your right forearm is resting on your right thigh with your palm facing upwards. Let the dumbbell roll out of your palm down to your fingers. Raise the dumbbell back up by gripping it and pointing your knuckles as high as possible. Lower your dumbbell and repeat the process.
Reverse Wrist Curl
This exercise helps strengthen the extensors in your forearm. To perform this exercise, you will need a 3 to 5-pound dumbbell. You will need to sit on a chair or bench gripping the dumbbell with an overhand grip with your hand facing downwards to the floor.
Rest your forearm on your thigh and keep your wrist below your knee. Contract the extensors of your arm and raise the dumbbell with your knuckles facing the ceiling. Return your knuckles to the ground and repeat the exercise.
Wrist supination exercise
Wrist supination is the action of turning your wrists over, so your palm is facing upwards. The primary muscle that works to help your wrist over are the bicep muscles that are located in your upper arm and the smaller muscles located in your forearm.
To do this exercise, sit on a bench or chair with your forearm resting on a table. Make sure your wrist and arm are at the edge of the table. Hold one end of a three to the five-pound dumbbell, make sure it is resting on your palm, like holding a hammer. In a gentle motion allow your hand and wrist to rotate over, so your palm is facing upwards towards the ceiling. Hold this end position for a few seconds then slowly turn your hand back up allowing the dumbbell to sit up straight again.
Now, allow your wrist and hand to slowly rotate over with your palm facing downward, a position known as pronation. Hold the pronation position for up to two seconds then slowly rotate your hand back up letting the weight point towards the ceiling. Repeat this exercise 15 to 20 times. You can perform two to three sets of this exercise a few times a week.
Resistance Band Wrist Flexion Exercise
This exercise helps improve your wrist flexors and extensors for better mobility during lifting, carrying as well as upper body development during weight lifting in the gym. This exercise can be incorporated into your daily home workout routine repeated a couple of times in a week.
To perform this exercise, you will need to sit on a bench or chair. Wrap a tube resistance band around your right palm while stepping on the other side of the band with your right foot. Put your right elbow on your right thigh making sure your palm faces upwards. This is the starting position.
Slowly begin moving your fist down towards the floor, then hold the pose for a second. Flex your wrist upwards towards your body. Repeat these 10 to 15 times. Do the same for your left hand.
Resistance Band Wrist Extensor Exercise
You will need a tube resistance band to perform this exercise. For the starting position, sit on a chair or bench. Take your tube resistance band in your right palm and step on the other end with your right foot. Put your right elbow on your right thigh. Make sure that your palm is facing down.
Flex your fist up towards your body slowly, hold this position for about a second, then extend your wrist towards the floor. Do this action ten times. Do the same for your left hand. To maximum results perform two sets of ten reps with each side.
One of the easiest ways to develop your wrist and hand muscles at home is by doing fingertip pushups. It will not only help create the look of muscular vascularity, but it will also develop its strength through constant tension.
To perform this exercise assume the pushup position. Make sure your chest is on the floor. Place your hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers supporting your palms off the floor. Like you would perform your standard push up, push yourself up. Depending on your fitness level, it may be challenging to do more than a few reps. Therefore, after performing as many reps as you can, drop to your knees and continue with the exercise.
Hand Grip Exercise
For this exercise, you will need a hand grip exerciser. While it is not a household instrument, it’s inexpensive and can be easily found in your local convenience store. The hand grip exerciser has been around for quite some time and has been extremely beneficial when it comes to developing powerful wrists and forearms.
There are several ways you could use this exercise. One method is by isometrically trying to squeeze it for as long as possible without letting it go. You could also do conventional repetitions. A bonus about this exercise is that it can be performed during your sitting time going to work on a train, in the bathroom or while sitting watching television.
Throw in the towel exercise
Yes, you heard right, the lowly towel in your home offers much more benefit than wiping your sweat after a workout. To perform this exercise, get a towel or any other large piece of garment, even a rope will do. All in all, it recommended that you use a towel since it is easier to grip and hold comfortably for an extended period.
First, you will need to find a high flat surface like a bench, low table or a chair. Lay your arm flat palm upwards or downwards. Your wrists need to be just off the edge of the surface. Grip your towel around the middle with your table side hand and the hanging end of your towel with your free hand.
Now, pull steadily downward with your free hand while trying to flex your table side wrist up.
Dead hang exercises
Your body weight can be advantageous when it comes to strengthening your wrists and forearms without equipment at home. Dead hangs are a type of exercise where you hold onto something, supporting your weight with your grip. Since there is a lot of tension on the grip, you need to squeeze harder and longer to work your forearms.
For a more intense version of the workout, you can do a dead hang for a few seconds at the bottom of every chin-up. Wall forearm stretch
To perform this exercise, you will need to find a plain wall free from clutter or objects that could come in between your workout. Stand with the right side of the body facing the wall. Place your right palm against the wall. Then, place your left hand by your side with your palm facing forward.
Gently push on the wall with the bottom of your hand. Hold this position for up to six deep breaths. Turn around and perform another set of the stretch with your left arm. Repeat this exercise three times per arm.
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