Get a Grip: 5 Minute Forearms
Your wrists work hard, day in and day out. – and you may not even realize all they help you accomplish in everyday activities and fitness pursuits alike. Fun fact: your grip strength is one of the best indicators of how strong your entire body is since so many exercises and daily tasks involve the forearms in some way. In Gymnastic Strength Training, grip strength and endurance are essential for all sorts of bodyweight exercises. From pull-ups to hanging leg lifts, grip can make or break your ability to perform exercises properly and get the results you seek. See how yours stacks up with this quick circuit that’ll be sure to put your forearms to the test!
Here we go folks, let’s get started. This routine is meant to be done circuit style, 3 times through:
Exercise 1: False Grip Ring Rows- 30 Seconds
False grip exercises on the rings are part of the reason gymnasts have such incredibly strong forearms. To get a feel for what it takes to maintain this sort of a grip, we’d like you to give it a shot while performing bodyweight ring rows! First, let’s practice the false grip itself:
Grab ahold of the rings and adjust your hand position so the thickest part of your palm, just above your wrist bones, is making the most contact. Now, wrap your fingers around the rings and bend your wrist as much as you can, flexing your forearm muscles. Nice work! Now hold on tight and get ready for some rows.
For the rows, YOU DECIDE the angle that you can maintain for 30 seconds with the false grip. We’re going to be keeping a straight body, glutes and core engaged. Be sure to pull your chest all the way to the rings and maintain the proper false grip for the entire 30 seconds.
If the angle shown here is too difficult for you, place your feet on the ground and walk back until you find an incline that allows you to maintain a straight body and proper form.
Exercise 2: Dumbbell Pinch Hold- 30 Seconds
For this second exercise, you’ll need two dumbbells. You’re going to be turning them upright and pinch one side of them as shown below. The focus here is to extend the wrist as much as possible during the entire hold. Think of pulling the dumbbell as high as you can using only your wrist strength.
This wrist position is the exact opposite of the falsegrip hold and will build up the extensor muscles in your forearms, helping to maintain balance and prevent injury. The heavier the dumbbell, the wider the grip! Be sure to choose a dumbbell that you can hang onto for the entire 30 seconds.
Exercise 3: Undergrip Hang- 30 Seconds
The third exercise in this circuit is an undergrip or chin-up grip dead hang. Stand under a pull-up bar, flip your palms so they’re facing toward you, and slowly lower into a hang. If you can’t quite comfortably hang with your entire bodyweight yet then keep your toes on the floor or a box. If you want a little more, stick your legs straight out in front of you and maintain a hanging L, as shown in the top image. Hang out, don’t forget to breathe, and enjoy the stretch for 30 seconds before moving on to the final exercise.
Exercise 4: Side to Side Wrist Stretch- 15 seconds
To help you with your forearm mobility and to get you prepared for the next round in the circuit or cool your forearms down, let’s stretch the wrists out. Kneel on the floor, place your hands flat, and rotate them so your fingers are facing away from each other. Gently rock side to side, stretching out your exhausted forearms! The closer your hands are to each other, the deeper the stretch will be. Healthy wrists are essential for all grip related work so don’t skip this important drill.
After you complete 3 rounds, let us know how your forearms feel in the comments! We’re always looking for new and exciting ways to challenge our athletes and we’re curious what you think of this quick routine. Working on increasing your wrist strength will be helpful to you whether you enjoy weekend sports like rock-climbing, tennis, rowing or everyday activities that require strong and mobile wrists for greater ease and comfort in computer work or driving. For more GymnasticBodies workouts to challenge your strength and mobility, be sure to check out our online training courses!