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The Best Exercises To Keep Your Forearms Healthy

By Tyler Woodward

The Best Exercises To Keep Your Forearms Healthy


Forearm Anatomy:

Forearm Anatomy

The forearm makes up the lower half of the arm and is made up of 2 different bones: the ulna and the radius. Both the ulna and the radius attach to the humerus, the upper arm bone on one end and the carpal bones or wrist bones on the other.The ulna is a relatively fixed bone that supports the lower arm and wrist. The radius rotates around the ulna allowing for the wrist to rotate up and down, known as pronation and supination. 

Due to the extreme dexterity required to articulate the fingers and hand there are a lot of small muscles that allow for this to happen. The forearm muscles are primarily made up of three types of muscles:

  • The Flexor Muscles - These muscles are responsible for pulling or flexing the wrist and fingers towards the wrist.
    • Flexor Digitorum Longus
    • Flexor Carpi Ulnaris
    • Flexor Carpi Radialis
    • Flexor Retinaculum
    • Flexor Digitorium Superficialis
    • Palmaris Longus
  • The Extensor Muscles - These muscles extend the hands and wrist up 
    • Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus
    • Extensor Carpi Ulnaris
    • Extensor Digitorum
    • Extensor Digiti Minimi
    • Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis
    • Extensor Retinaculum
    • Extensor Indicis
    • Extensor Pollicis Brevis
    • Extensor Pollicis Longus
  • The Pronator & Supinator Muscles - These muscles are responsible for the rotation of the wrist, either pronation or supination
    • Brachioradialis
    • Brachialis 
    • Abductor Pollicis Longus
    • Supinator
    • Pronator Teres

Read More: Movement Is Medicine | A Guide To Moving Better

Movements Of The Forearm:

Movements Of The Forearm

Although the forearm may seem not to move much, it’s jam-packed with all the muscles necessary to articulate your hands, wrist and fingers. The forearm is capable of moving in a variety of ways:

  • Pronation - Turning the palm of your hand down to the floor
  • Supination - Turning the palm of your hand up toward the air
  • Flexion - Flexing the wrist up, making a fist or pulling the fingers up down toward your palm
  • Extension - Extending your palm and/or fingers up away from the body
  • Elbow Flexion - The brachialis and brachioradialis play a role in flexing the lower arm up towards the shoulder

How To Keep Your Forearms Healthy:

How To Keep Your Forearms Healthy


The best way to keep your forearms healthy, like many other things is to use them for a variety of tasks. If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all exercise for forearms then my recommendation is wrist articulations using a broomstick or any sort of handle. You can check out this video here. But if you’re most interested in a variety of exercises or movements there are a ton of forms of exercises that utilize the forearms:

  • Rock Climbing
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • Weight Lifting
  • Bodyweight Training
  • Yoga

But even smaller movements like typing, sewing, knitting, and writing can also contribute to keeping your forearms and hands healthy.


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