Best Workout for Forearms with Dumbbells

Though some people might take them for granted, your forearms are an essential component of your body. These muscles help you perform daily tasks like carrying a duffle bag up a staircase or opening a pickle jar. They are also quite useful in sports like basketball, golf, swimming, and racquetball. The best workout for forearms with dumbbells are then a vital aspect of improving your forearm’s ability to function. 

Top Workout for Forearms with Dumbbells

Here are five exercises for the best workout for forearms with dumbbells you can use to strengthen your forearm muscles.

Make your first step toward a fit and lean physique with this full body workout program.

Man lifting a dumbbell with one hand

Farmer’s Carry/Walk

This is probably one of the safest forearm exercises you can do with dumbbells. The key, however, is using heavy dumbbells weights.

This exercise targets the muscles in your upper body, including your upper back, shoulders, triceps, forearm muscles, and triceps. It also helps strengthen your lower body, including the hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles, and quadriceps. 

The movement in this exercise contracts your forearms, also improving your overall strength.

Farmer’s carry also challenges your posture, as the weight of the dumbbells helps you maintain a stable spine while you walk. The recommended set number for a farmer’s carry workout is 4 sets.

How To Do a Farmers Carry

  • Grasp a set of dumbbells, one in each hand. Make sure that the weight you choose is heavy enough to challenge you and light enough for you to keep an upright posture while walking.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be at your side with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • While carrying the dumbbells, walk for a designated amount of time or distance. Make sure you keep your head up, shoulders back, and spine tall.

Wrist Curls

Your wrist joint is responsible for circumduction, adduction, abduction, and flexion-extension. Simply put, these are combinations of movements that allow your hand to move circularly. Working on your forearms allows you also to strengthen your wrist.

Woman lifting an 8kg dumbbell in each hand

Wrist curls work on the two biggest flexor muscles in your anterior forearm— the flexor carpi radialis and the brachioradialis. The flexor carpi radialis helps you flex your hand at the wrist joint while the brachioradialis enables you to flex the upper part of your arm. By doing wrist curls, you help in strengthening these muscles.

You should do 3 sets of wrist curls with reps of 15.

How To Do Wrist Curls

  • You only need one dumbbell for this exercise. First, sit on a bench and then proceed to lean forward.
  • Grasp the dumbbell with your palm up and rest it on either your knee or the bench
  • Slowly bend your wrist upward.
  • Make sure you exhale as you move your wrist.

Hammer Curl

The term hammer curl comes from the way you hold the dumbbell while performing the curl. This forearm exercise with dumbbells has become famous over the years because of the muscles it targets as you do the exercise.

The 3 muscles the hammer dumbbell curl targets are the biceps, brachioradialis, and the brachialis. Rotating your hands while doing this exercise, exerts a lot of pressure in each of these muscles. Your biceps then adapt to this resistance by growing in size and becoming stronger.

The recommended sets for the dumbbell hammer curl is 3 sets.

How To Do Hammer Curls

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, place your hands on your sides with your palms facing each other.
  • As you lift, make sure your elbows are stationary, as this enables you to move your forearms only.
  • Next, curl the dumbbells until the dumbbells almost touch your shoulders. Then, hold for a moment.
  • Slowly go back to your starting position, you have completed one rep.
Man lifting a dumbbell while the other hand is holding another one on his side

Finger Curl

This is an exercise that targets the forearm and hand muscles. As the name suggests, this workout involves the fingers when doing it, as this helps in stretching the wrist flexors.

The primary purpose of the dumbbell finger curl is to help strengthen your wrist flexors. This, in turn, increases the size of your forearms. The recommended set number for the dumbbell finger curls is 3.

How To Do Finger Curls

This workout requires you to use the assistance of a flat bench while in a kneeling position to support your arms.

  • Once you have assumed this position, grasp two dumbbells, one in each arm with your palms facing upwards,
  • Proceed to place your arms on the bench. Make sure that your palms are facing upwards, and your wrists are hanging over the bench’s edge. Your arms should remain in this position the entire time.
  • Next, roll down the dumbbells to your fingers. This transfers all the dumbbell weight from your wrists to your fingers.
  • Move both wrists upwards at the same time, you have completed one rep.

Zottman Curl

Like another curl, the zottman curl is better with heavier dumbbells. This exercise helps rotate and overload your forearms.

Unlike other dumbbell forearm exercises, the Zottman curl is for fitness enthusiasts looking to spice up their forearm routine. This exercise overloads your forearms and contracts your biceps. However, despite the constraints, it still helps build muscle.

Man holding a pair of 15kg dumbbells in each hand

This workout is more effective if done in certain set ranges. The recommended set range is 3.

How To Do Zottman Curls

  • Stand with your palms-up and dumbbells in each hand. Make sure you wrap your thumbs around the dumbbell handles for extra safety while doing this workout.
  • Curl the dumbbell weights with your forearms as your elbows remain stationary.
  • Once the dumbbells get to your shoulders, squeeze your biceps.
  • Rotate the dumbbells and proceed to lower your hands back down.
  • Flip your dumbbell grip again and start another rep.


Forearm strength is the foundation for having an excellent grip. With an excellent grip, you can perform daily activities and not experience any strain while performing them. The added benefit of forearm strength is that you build lean muscles as well. 

However, working out is just one part; make sure you also have a proper diet and the right supplement stack along with the best workout for forearms with dumbbells. Finally, don’t forget to master proper form for each exercise before adding more dumbbell weight.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.