What Dumbbell Workouts Make Your Wrists & Forearms Stronger?

You don't need heavy dumbbells when performing forearm exercises.
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Running along your forearm are muscles that bend, extend and rotate your wrists. Often neglected, these muscles are involved in moving and maintaining the position of your wrist whenever you perform upper-body exercises. With a pair of dumbbells and a table, you can effectively target and develop strength in all of the forearm muscles.

Workout Plan

To effectively develop strength in your forearms, you’ll want to complete your workout two days per week. They are smaller muscles that contribute to more complex exercises, so if you’re going to incorporate these exercises into your weight-training workout, you’ll want to fit them in at the end of your session so that your forearms aren’t fatigued when performing the larger exercises. Do two to three sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise and choose a weighted dumbbell that makes it challenging for you to finish all 15 of the repetitions.


Dumbbell wrist curls develop strength in the muscles on the inside of your forearms. Those muscles are responsible for bending, or flexing your wrists. Stand beside a table with a dumbbell in the hand closest to the table. Lean over and place your elbow onto the table with your wrist just hanging off the edge and your palm facing upward. Extend your wrist to drop the dumbbell toward the floor and then flex your wrist to bring the weight up toward your forearm. After you’ve completed the set, switch arms.


The muscles that run at the back of your forearms extend, or straighten your wrists. Dumbbell wrist extensions are similar to wrist curls except that set your elbow on the table and have your wrist hanging off the edge with palms facing downward. Bend your wrist to lower the weight toward the floor and then extend your wrist as far as you comfortably can. Switch to the other arm once you’re finished with the set on the original arm.

Supinators and Pronators

Your forearm muscles also perform supination, which means they rotate your wrists from a palm down to a palm up position, and pronation, which means they rotate your wrists from a palm up to a palm down position. Set your elbow on the table with your wrist hanging off the edge. Begin with your palm down and then open up and rotate your wrist so that you finish with your palm facing up. Rotate your wrist back to return to a palm down position. Don’t forget to switch arms.

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