Everyone has their own problem areas, and some areas can be annoyingly resistant to weight loss and toning. If your forearms are giving you trouble, they're harder to conceal than your stomach or thighs, but there's no need to hide under long sleeves forever. Your body type and muscle mass might not make it possible to develop ripped forearms, but you can still take steps to tone the area. The muscles of your forearm are primarily responsible for moving your wrists, so exercise routines that get your wrist in on the action are especially effective.
Get cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. Cardio is the most effective way to lose excess fat, and if your forearms look flabby, it may be that you just haven't burned enough fat yet. If you used a particular cardio routine to lose weight, keep at it to help trim your forearms. Otherwise, consider cycling, running, jogging and similar exercises that work your whole body. Cardiovascular exercises that work your forearms such as jumping rope can be particularly effective. The Mayo Clinic points out that you might need 300 minutes of cardio a week to lose weight.
Warm up and stretch your forearms and wrists by extending your arms out and then rotating your wrists clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Do 10 reps in each direction. Then flex your wrists downward and then upward five to 10 times. Get on your hands and knees with your palms flat and your fingers facing toward your knees. While keeping your palms flat, shift your weight toward your legs until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. If you feel pain while stretching, continue your stretching routine for several days before you begin exercising your forearms.
Kneel in front of a workout bench. The bench should be at stomach level. Put your forearms, wrists down, over the bench with your hands hanging off the other end. While holding a dumbbell in each hand, curl your wrists upward as high as they can comfortably go. Do five to 10 reps. Then, while still holding the dumbbells, do a hammer curl. Stand up with your spine straight and hold the dumbbells at either side of your body. Lift the dumbbells up by bending your elbows and do five to 10 reps.
- Choose dumbbells that allow you to do several reps without pain but that aren't effortless to lift. The right weight for you will vary with your size and fitness level.
- It might take several months before you see results.
- Before you begin an exercise routine or change your routine, talk to your doctor. If any exercise is painful, don't force it.
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.