June 15, 2010 posted by

Forearm Training

Unless you play baseball you’re probably not too interested in how your forearms look. However, strong forearms are more important than they appear. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, along with most finger, wrist, and elbow injuries stem from muscular imbalance in your forearms. This video shows a simple workout that can keep these injuries at bay.

In my series I add one more extensor exercise, which is driving your closed hands deep into the bucket and opening them outward. I think this is the most important exercise in the series for muscular balance. This simple 5 -10 minute workout, done a few times each week, is a great insurance policy against many common maladies. It will also, undoubtedly, help impress your colleagues at your company softball game.

My bucket is a gardening pot, wide enough for both hands to open next to each other, filled with 20lbs of rice. In the past I’ve used sand, which provides a bit more resistance. Either way, it’s a cheap and easy insurance policy.


  • A question arises in my mind when you bring up the topic of forearm training. How do I train my forearms for power aside from dynos on campus? Big weight seems to be a bad idea to me, because at around 3-4 rep count I feel as if I'm putting too much strain on the wrist.

  • This has not been well studied. I just read some pretty conclusive evidence that seems like very heavy weight training for forearms does not seem to increase strength as much as it should (study using very heavy forearm work, like write rolls with a lot of resistance). My own anecdotal work has confirmed this. I used to do a lot of very heavy write work that had little to no increase in forearm strength.Perhaps because the forearms have a higher percentage of slow twitch muscle fibers they respond much quicker to high volume work such as the rice bucket. They respond okay to "normal" hypertrophy work such as reverse wrist curls.They also resond well to campus/hangboard and other style of power training but volume should remain fairly low as this is a small muscle group.

  • Awesome. Like straight from Chinese Movie Night.– Hawk

  • I have used the Powerballs and they make a huge difference for me. They are gyros and create up to 35lbs of resistance or you can go easy for rehab purposes. Either way you will feel and see changes in grip strength and endurance. I love them!

  • Marbles or rocks would be better. -Bruce

  • Mmmm, I LOVE nice, toned forearms on guys. So thank you for sharing this. :)And I imagine doing those exercises with marbles or rocks would be pretty rough on the hands and wrists.

  • I feel so shamed now. Maybe I'll throw some glass and nails in with the rocks.

  • Steve – This seems like an effective forearm training and Tony does say you need to shake things up –

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