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10 Exercises to Maximize Hand, Wrist, and Forearm Strength

There are many reasons to strengthen your hand, wrist and forearm muscles. You use these muscles in everyday tasks such as opening jars and lifting groceries. Strong arms and hands can increase your work performance if your job requires that you use your hands and arms frequently, for example. Athletes of all types can also benefit from strength training in the hands and arms.

Flex and extend all fingers, while making a complete fist for 30 seconds. Next, open and close your fingers do 2 sets of each for a total of a minute.

Flex your wrist and hold in maximum flex for 30 seconds with the elbow straight but not locked.

Extend your wrist with the elbow straight for 30 seconds. Do 2 sets for a total of 2 minutes. These initial three stretching exercises will prepare you for the more complex and more intense weight-bearing exercises to optimize muscular development and the strength of the forearm.

Seated Wrist Hammer Curls - In a seated position with your back straight, place your forearm on your thighs with your thumbs pointed upward. Use a 5-, 10-, or 20lb weight in a hammer position and lift it back and forth slowly for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. This will develop your brachioradialis muscle, which inserts at the distal aspect of the forearm at the wrist. Greater hypertrophy of this muscle will give more definition and balance of the forearm.

Seated Wrist Straight Curls - This is to develop your flexor muscles. In a seated position, with your forearms on your thighs and palms facing upward, with a 5-, 10-, or even 20lb weight in hand, flex your wrist upward. Keep the forearms well placed against your thighs for greater stability and isolation of the wrist and forearm musculature. Be careful to place the wrist three to four inches away from the knee to allow the full range of motion. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Seated Reverse Wrist Curls - This is to develop your extensor muscles and is also done in a seated position with your forearms on your thigh, palms facing downward, with the wrist three to four inches away from the knees. Grasp the weight and extend the wrist fully. Do this for 3 sets of 20 and be sure to not lift the elbows from the thighs when extending the wrists. Keep the palms down.

Finger Curls - This is an easy exercise to perform and will develop finger and hand strength. Simply sit and hold a 5-, 10-, or 15lb in weight your hand. Turn your hand with the palm upward with the back of your wrist on your thigh. Allow the weight to roll down your fingers, and now curl your fingers back holding the weight securely. Remember to keep the back of your wrist against your thigh throughout the execution of the exercise. Use weight which you can effectively control and execute the exercises properly.

Dumbbell wrist curls - involve wrist flexion and therefore target the wrist flexors. Grab a light dumbbell with your right hand and sit on a bench. Set your right forearm on your right thigh with your wrist hanging over your knee and your palm facing the ceiling. Maintain your elbow and wrist in the same plane with your forearm parallel to the floor. Flex your wrist as high as you can. Slowly lower the dumbbell as you extend your wrist, allowing the dumbbell to roll into your fingers. Complete three sets of 12 reps. Repeat on the other side.

Wringing Tools - Grip your wringing tool firmly with both hands. There may be a designated section for each hand. If not, place your palms on opposite ends of the tool, a few inches apart in the center and an inch or two away from the ends. A rolled up hand towel can substitute for a wringing tool.
Wring the tool in opposite directions. While one hand turns forward, the other should move back toward your body. This movement is similar to wringing out a wet towel.
Repeat the wringing motion several times. You don't have to change positions or actions because the wringing motion works both hands in different directions as you move back and forth.

Dumbbell Radial and Ulnar Deviation - Assume the same position as in dumbbell wrist curls with your palm facing up and your wrist just beyond your knee. Keep your right forearm parallel to the floor on your right thigh. Hold the weight in your right hand. Bend your wrist to the left by moving the pinking side of your hand laterally to the left. Bend your wrist to the right by moving the thumb side of your hand laterally to the right. Complete three sets of 10. Supinate your forearm by flipping your palm down toward the floor. Repeat the same motion for three sets of 10.