Muscle Strengthening of Forearms

Develop all of the muscles in your forearms with a pair of dumbbells.

Develop all of the muscles in your forearms with a pair of dumbbells.

The muscles throughout the forearms are responsible for performing wrist flexion, wrist extension, supination and pronation. Wrist flexion involves bending your wrist to pull your palm toward your forearm and wrist extension involves straightening your wrist to push the back of your palm toward your forearm. Wrist supination is moving your wrist from a palms-down to a palms-up position and wrist pronation is moving your wrist from a palms-up to a palms-down position.

Wrist Flexors

The wrist flexor muscles include the flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, palmaris longus and flexor pollicis longus muscles. To develop these muscles, you must flex your wrist against resistance, such as when performing wrist curls and wrist roller curls. To perform wrist curls, hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand with your elbows bent to 90 degrees so your forearms are parallel with the floor. Extend your wrists to drop the dumbbells down toward the floor to get into the starting position. Curl up the weight by flexing your wrists as far as you can. The wrist roller is a weighted implement that involves a rod with a rope wrapped around the center and then attached to a weighted plate. Grip each end of the rod with your hands and hold it out in front of you with palms facing upward. Roll the rod in your hands to wind the rope around the rod and bring the weight up toward your hands.

Wrist Extensors

The collection of wrist extensor muscles includes the extensor digitorum, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, extensor carpi ulnaris, extensor indicis, extensor digiti minimi, extensor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis muscle. The reverse wrist curl and wrist roller extension exercise develop the wrist extensors. The reverse wrist curl is similar to the regular wrist curl, except while your forearms are parallel to the floor, your palms are facing downward. Curl your wrists to drop the dumbbells down toward the floor, and then extend your wrists as far as possible to lift the weights up toward the ceiling. When performing wrist roller extensors, hold the wrist roller unit out with palms facing downward and extend your wrists to wrap the rope around the rod and bring the weight up toward your hands.

Pronators and Supinators

To develop your pronator muscles, which include the pronator quadratus, pronator teres, flexor carpi radialis and anconeus muscles, perform dumbbell lying pronation. Lie on your side and hold a single dumbbell in your top hand. Hold your elbow into your torso with it bent to 90 degrees so your forearm is parallel to the floor. Begin with your palm facing as upward as possible and then rotate your wrists to move from a wrist-up to wrist-down position. To target your supinator muscles, which include your supinator and biceps brachii, perform dumbbell lying supination. Dumbbell lying supination is similar to lying pronation except you move from a palms-down to palms-up position.


The brachioradialis muscle is located at the side of your forearm, running from up near your elbow to the bottom of your thumb. It’s responsible for assisting with elbow flexion. Although the biceps brachii muscle is primarily responsible for elbow flexion, the brachioradialis muscle contributes when your wrist is pronated or in the position between pronation and supination. Both dumbbell hammer curls and reverse dumbbell curls place the wrist in these positions and develop the brachioradialis. To perform hammer curls, stand and hold a pair of dumbbells down by your sides with palms facing your thighs. Keep your elbows into your torso and bend them to bring the weights up to your shoulders. Reverse dumbbell curls involve holding a pair of dumbbells down in front of your thighs with palms facing your thighs. Reverse curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and then extend your arms back down to bring the weights back to your thighs.

About the Author

Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.

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