There are many different ways to improve your current exercise routine. What about doing forearm twists, what will the effects be?
Forearm twists are an exercise where you hold your arms slightly away from your sides and twist your wrist. Usually, while holding dumbbells to make the movement more challenging.
Forearm twists mainly work the muscles responsible for this movement. These include your pronator teres, pronator quadratus, and supinator.
Additionally, you work your forearm flexors and forearm extensors to some extent to keep your wrist straight.
Forearm twists are a relatively specific exercise but they can lead to some of the associated benefits of better forearm strength.
Keep in mind that forearm twists can be challenging for your wrists. As long as you don’t overdo it this can lead to more strengthening. On the other hand, you may need to start with other strengthening exercises to avoid injuries.
Whether you should add forearm twists or alternatives to your routine ultimately depends on things like your personal situation, personal preference, and training goals.
How to do a forearm twist
Forearm exercise equipment like dumbbells is ideal for forearm twists since they are compact and don’t swing too much. In theory, you could also use other options like kettlebells, medicine balls with a grip, or weight plates with a grip.
To do a forearm twist with dumbbells take the following steps:
- Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your hand palms pointing towards each other for now.
- Move your arms slightly outward.
- Turn your wrists to one side as far as comfortable while keeping your upper arm in more or less the same position.
- Turn your wrists to the other side in a similar way.
- Alternate between steps 3 and 4.
Different from most other resistance training exercises you can pick up the pace with forearm twists. You can measure progress both in time and or repetitions.
It is also possible to do the same movement with your upper arms against your sides and elbows at a 90-degree angle. This can make it easier to only move your forearms.
Forearm twists muscles worked
Forearm twists mainly work the forearm muscles responsible for the wrist-twisting motion. These include muscles like your pronator teres, pronator quadratus, and supinator.
Additionally, your forearm flexors and forearm extensors will have to work to some extent to keep your wrist straight. Especially if you do the bent-elbow variation. These are the muscles responsible for moving your hands back and forth.
The way you build muscle in places like your forearms is by engaging these muscles so that they get damaged enough. This may sound counterintuitive but this damaging makes it so your body repairs these muscles, and adds a bit more to be better prepared to exert similar efforts in the future.
If you stick to exercises with the same weight, as your muscles become stronger this same effort may not damage your muscles enough to promote extra muscle growth.
By gradually increasing the resistance in exercises like forearm twists you are better able to damage the muscles in a shorter amount of time.
If you don’t overdo it, give your body enough nutrients, and give your muscles enough rest this can in turn lead to faster and more forearm muscle gain.
Forearm twists benefits
Some people question how useful forearm twists can be but this exercise can offer you some of the following amazing benefits:
- Stronger muscles: Forearm twists are a type of resistance training that can help you strengthen your forearm muscles.
- May reduce or prevent wrist pain: Wrist strengthening exercises like forearm twists can reduce or prevent wrist pain. If you currently have wrist pain you do want to be careful and talk to an expert before implementing this exercise.
- Carry strength in daily life: When carrying heavy objects like moving a couch, carrying grocery bags, holding a heavy backpack, etc. stronger forearms make the task easier.
- Lift heavier weights: When doing certain exercises like deadlifts, pull-ups, and hanging core exercises, forearm muscles can fatigue before the target muscles of the exercise. Forearm twists can help you avoid this a small amount.
While inevitably some workouts are better for some of these benefits than forearm twists, it is amazing that you can get helpful benefits from adding one activity to your routine.
The main thing to keep in mind is that forearm twists can be hard on your wrists, even if you implement the right technique. If you are weak or sensitive in your wrists you may need to do other strengthening exercises first.
Especially if you have any pain in this body part, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before implementing forearm twists into your workout routine.
How heavy your weights should be for forearm twists varies from individual to individual. If you are not sure how much weight would be right for you, you can start with light or no weights and slowly build up from there. In general, the weights used for forearm twists are relatively low.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that forearm twists are not (yet) for you.
Forearm twists alternatives
While forearm twists can be a good addition to your workout routine, there are also some alternatives available for training similar aspects of your physical health. Some of these forearm twist alternatives include:
- Rotating bicep curls
- Zottman curls
- Arnold presses
Which one of these options is the best depends on things like your personal situation, training goals, the equipment you have available, etc.
Many people will benefit from adding forearm twists with the right technique to their routine. Gradually increase the weights you use as you get stronger to keep seeing muscle growth and strength progress.
Do remember is that forearm twists can be hard on your wrists, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are sensitive or weak in your wrists you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. If you have any wrist pain, you may want to talk to your primary care provider before doing more forearm twists.
Also keep in mind that consistency is an important factor for any workout plan. The more you love the exercise you do the easier it becomes to do it consistently. If doing forearm twists is a workout you love, great. If not, other exercises can also offer a lot of benefits.
If you do decide to implement more forearm twists make sure you give your body enough nutrients, rest, and sleep to repair and grow your muscles.