Most arm exercises focus on your biceps and that annoying loose skin in your triceps area, but building trim and toned forearms helps complete the sexy-arm look. Working your forearms doesn't have to mean hitting the gym. You can strengthen your forearms at your desk, while watching TV or while standing in line at the coffee shop by using a stress ball.
What You're Working
Forearm workouts give you a three-for-one deal. It's difficult to concentrate an exercise on your forearm without engaging other muscles, most commonly your wrist and hand muscles. Every time you squeeze something in your fingers, such as handling a stress ball or opening a jar, you work your forearm muscles as well. The same thing goes for your wrist -- when you move your wrist up and down or side to side, your forearm muscles help support the movement.
Types of Stress Balls
Stress "balls" often come in funky shapes, such as the alien whose eyes and ears pop out when you squeeze him, as well as the standard round ball. Round stress balls can be soft, medium or firm, helping you work out your forearms at different intensities. Instead of buying a selection of stress balls, move from a soft stress ball to a tennis ball, then use a racquetball for a more advanced workout.
Do some wrist circles -- about two minutes' worth -- to get your forearms warm and ready to exercise. Hold a soft stress ball in one hand and squeeze it tightly 10 times, holding the squeeze for three to five seconds with each repetition. Work up to three sets of 10 with both hands. Once that become less of a challenge, switch to a firmer ball.
Like pairing your favorite pair of jeans and outfits, the stress ball goes with more than one exercise. If you squeeze one while you're performing your wrist circles or lift and lower your wrist in a curl, you keep the forearm muscles engaged through the full range of motion. You can also squeeze the ball with alternating fingers, pressing it against your thumb with your index finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinkie. Hold each squeeze for three seconds. This increases your finger dexterity while strengthening the muscles on all sides of your forearms.
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images