Forearm Exercises to Make You Look like Popeye

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Forearms tend to be a symbol of power, especially amongst men. There is just no way that a person can develop big, forearm exercises to make you popeyepowerful muscles in their lower arms without putting in a certain amount of time and effort. Of course plenty of people completely skip forearm exercises when training arms, settling on just working biceps and triceps while neglecting the lower arms.

That is a big mistake. Strong forearms not only symbolize strength, but they are also important in the context of a balanced physique and a useful one. You need those strong forearms to handle lifting the heavy barbells and dumbbells that create more muscle size and power.

So what forearm exercises should you be including in your routine to bring out the rope-like muscles in the lower arms?

The Top 5 Forearm Builders

  • Barbell Wrist Curl – This is a classic that really works the flexor muscles of the forearm. Sit on a bench with your forearms resting on your thighs and a barbell in hand with palms facing down. Curl the barbell towards the ceiling using only the hands and then lower towards the floor for one complete repetition. This can also be done with dumbbells for a slightly different effect.
  • Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl – This forms a great one-two combo with the exercise above with the difference being that this exercise works the forearm extensor muscles on the underside. Do the exact same set-up and movement as with barbell wrist curls except with palms facing up. This can also be done with dumbbells for a slightly different effect.
  • Barbell Reverse Curls – This works the extensor muscles, brachialis, and biceps. You can use a straight or EX-Curl bar, or even alternate between them each week. Hold the bar with a palms facing down grip and while standing. Then with the elbow locked at your side simply perform a barbell curl.
  • Hammer Curls – These are a hybrid between the barbell curl and barbell reverse curls. Using dumbbells allows for a neutral grip with the thumb pointing up and palms facing inward. This is a great brachialis builder.
  • Grip Holds – This is more of an old-school method of training. You can use a barbell or dumbbells. Simply pick up the heaviest thing you can and hold it as long as possible. It works strength and endurance as your force your arms to squeeze that weight tight to hold it in place due to how heavy it is.

You should probably only do about two exercises per training session. A great method for incorporating all of these forearms builders is to rotate them into your routine for variety.  Set and reps will vary, but for the most part a range of 8 to 12 reps works just fine. Lower reps can put a bit of strain on the wrist joints in certain movements.

The Bottom Line

Forearms should never be overlooked. They are important for a well balanced body and you need strong forearms if you expect to use heavy weights to build the rest of your body. Do not skip out on your forearm exercises because the muscle group is just as important as any other on your body.

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