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Best forearm exercise equipment and workout tool devices for building strength in 2021

We separate the best forearm workout equipment from the latest forearm exercise tool fads.
Written By Liam Brown
Last Updated on 3rd March 2021
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Two hand grip trainers

If you want to discover the best forearm workout tool for you, then you’re in the right place. This guide will show you exactly how to select the best forearm exercise equipment on the market.

We’ll discuss general forearm exercises equipment categories (grip trainer, finger trainers, etc.), but I’ll also show you specific products that you can use and trust.

Best forearm exercise equipment (top 7 products)

Learn the pros and cons of each major forearm exercise tool. Don’t miss the specific equipment recommendations at the end of each section!

1. Hand grip trainer

NIYIKOW Grip Strength Trainer, Hand Grip Strengthener, Adjustable Resistance 22-132Lbs (10-60kg), Non-Slip Gripper, Perfect for Musicians Athletes and Hand Rehabilitation Exercising (Black, 1 Pack)

Hand grip trainers are 100% portable. As a result, you don’t even have to go to the gym anymore to train your forearms. Of course, this saves you time and a whole lot of money on pricey membership fees.

Grip trainers are arguably the best forearm workout tool on the market because they directly strengthen your grip (unlike, say, wrist curls), while also working your forearm flexors and extensors.

As such, hand grip squeezes are a great compound exercise for the lower arms. Using your gripper regularly will help you to build functional strength that’s useful in your everyday life. No longer will you need to ask someone to unscrew the lid from the jar. Your strong lower arms will be able to handle any household task with ease.

Best of all?

Grippers are really quite cheap. You can pick something up for less than $20 in many cases. That said, I tend to prefer metal grippers because they’ll last a lifetime and also because I enjoy grip training and want to see how strong I can get. Still, if you just want to improve your general strength, a cheap and cheerful grip trainer will do just fine.

2. Weight plates

CAP Barbell 2-Inch Olympic Grip Plate (5-Pound (Set of 2))

You weren’t expecting weight discs to be on our list of forearms workout equipment, were you?

It’s counterintuitive, but humble weight plates are some of the best forearm strength equipment out there. Plus, you can use them for tons of other exercises for different body parts.

As for the forearms, though, you can perform plate pinches for your grip strength. And you can also use these weight plates for regular wrist curls.

While these two exercises might not seem overly exciting, it’s often the simple training drills that produce the best results. People are always trying to flog the latest and greatest forearm builder products, but truth be told, basic equipment like weight plates go along way to improving your strength and muscularity.

3. Forearm blaster (aka wrist roller)

Vikingstrength Forearm Blaster- Fat Thick Grips Forearm Strength Excercise Equipment for Men and Woman. Thick Wrist Roller Grips for Muscle Building and Injury Prevention Hand Grip Strengthener

A wrist and forearm blaster does precisely what you would think; it puts your forearms through one heck of a workout. Like grip trainers, these devices are ultra convenient because you don’t need a gym membership to use them.

Your forearms will burn like nothing else when you do this exercise, but you’ll also see noticeable improvements in strength, muscle mass, and definition after a short while.

Overall, this old-school muscle builder is easily one of my favourite pieces of forearm training equipment because it simultaneously improves your grip and dynamic muscle strength.

4. Dumbbells

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Version 2 | Two Adjustable Medium Dumbbells | Black, Red & Grey

Like weight plates, simple dumbbells might not seem like the most obvious piece of forearms exercise equipment at first glance. However, the versatility offered by even a basic pair of dumbbells is simply unrivaled by most dedicated forearm equipment.

With dumbbells, you can develop a mighty grip by doing loaded carries. You can also use them at home (or in a gym if you’re so inclined) to perform wrist curls.

Moreover, unlike a special forearm tool, you can use dumbbells to train your other muscle groups. That’s why I’m such a big fan of basic but proven fitness equipment.

5. Forearm weights

SPRI Wrist Weights Adjustable Arm Weights Set for Women & Men (3lb Set - Two 1.5lb Weights)

Wearable weights are another excellent forearm device, and I’m not talking about wrist weights, either. I’m on about actual sleevesforearm weights— that you wear on your lower arms for extra resistance.

These products are commonly used by athletes, such as basketball players, who want some extra challenge while dribbling and shooting hoops.

However, we can use them to our advantage, too, by wearing them while we go about our daily activities. This method of weighting will make tasks feel much easier once we take the sleeves off.

But you can also wear them during your regular exercise regime. They might feel strange at first, but after a while, you probably won’t even realize that you have them on!

6. Wrist curl machine

A wrist curl machine for working the forearm muscles

A forearm curl machine is a large financial investment most commonly reserved for commercial gyms with a focus on bodybuilding. They offer a unique way to isolate your forearms by taking your other muscles out of the equation.

Personally, unless I was opening a gym, I’d stick to more portable forearm building equipment. Don’t get me wrong, these machines do the job just fine, but they’re rather bulky and pretty pricey if you ask me.

7. Finger trainer

D’Addario Varigrip Hand Exerciser–Improve Dexterity and Strength in Fingers, Hands, Forearms- Adjust Tension Per Finger– Simulated Strings Help Develop Calluses- Comfortable Conditioning

When you’re searching for the best forearm equipment, it’s easy to forget all about the fingers. But that’s a mistake. After all, many of the forearm muscles actually insert into the fingers. So it’s absolutely critical to train your fingers if you want forearms that are functional as well as muscular.

Sometimes, you can get finger exercisers in a package with a grip trainer. For many people seeking an improvement in their general strength, these kinds of products are just fine. [1] But if you’re on the market for something a bit more heavy-duty, then picking up a dedicated finger tool is a great idea because they’re generally more robust.

Read more: Black Diamond Grip Trainer

Finding the best forearm workout tool for you

Forearm tools come in all shapes and sizes today, and the quality and prices can vary wildly. So I’ve created this mini shopping guide to let you know exactly what to look for in your next piece of forearm workout equipment.

Portability

FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener Workout Kit (5 Pack) Forearm Grip Adjustable Resistance Hand Gripper, Finger Exerciser, Finger Stretcher, Grip Ring & Stress Relief Grip Ball for Athletes (Black)

Squat racks and barbells are great for building muscle. But neither are particularly portable.

Grip trainers and dumbbells, on the other hand, are easy to use at home in limited space. Plus, you can bring them in the car on road trips so that you don’t have to sacrifice your workout regime while traveling.

Also, for a body part as small as the forearms, I see no reason to invest in bulky or expensive equipment. Any of the tools mentioned in the list above will do just fine.

Versatility

Grip trainers and dumbbells are both versatile in their own ways. But if I could pick only one piece of forearms exercise equipment, it’d definitely be the dumbbells.

Even though grip trainers are a forearm-specific workout tool, [2] dumbbells actually offer more exercise possibilities overall.

Still, since these hand grips aren't exactly bank-breaking, you might want to use both in your workout routine to get the best effects.

Skill level

Black Diamond Equipment - Forearm Trainer

A product like forearm weights has the lowest barrier to entry because you literally just put the sleeves on before your regular workout and then take them off after.

On the other hand, using weight plates for your forearms takes a bit more skill. If you’ve ever tried plate pinches before, then you’ll understand what I mean.

Ultimately, you’ll need to assess your current skill level and decide which piece of forearm exercises equipment is most suitable.

Price

The fitness industry is like any other industry; it’s full of consumers looking for a quick fix, and it’s crammed with people looking to make a quick buck.

So don’t be sucked into the latest forearm workouts equipment crazes. These fads will pass. But the likes of dumbbells and hand grippers will always be here to stay. So spend your money on the basics and refuse to pay for shiny objects.

Durability

IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Gripper - Point Five

While I’m not fond of wasting my money on fancy fitness fads, I don’t like to buy the cheapest forearm exercise tool products on purpose, either. And that’s because I’ll end up spending more money in the long run when my plastic gripper invariably breaks under my increasing strength and usage.

So, spend a little more upfront to get a quality product. If you take good care of it, then you might never need to spend a penny on forearms workout equipment again.

Read more: Marcy WEDGE

The verdict on forearm workout equipment: Which tool is right for you?

So we’ve established that the best forearms workout equipment is likely either dumbbells or grip trainers for most people. Which is to say, you don't need anything fancy. [3] That said, we don’t all share the same needs or have the same goals.

For example, if you’re an older adult or an athlete that relies on their arms during sports, then you might want to give forearm (or wrist) weights a try during your regular exercise regime. This way, you don’t have to dedicate any additional time to your forearms. Yet, you still get many of the strengthening benefits provided by weight lifting.

On the other hand, if you’re a musician (or just want strong fingers), then a simple finger exerciser might be the best forearm workout tool for you. Like many things in fitness, the optimal solution depends on your requirements, and I hope that this article has addressed those for you.

References

  1. Whitney, D. G., & Peterson, M. D. (2019). The Association Between Differing Grip Strength Measures and Mortality and Cerebrovascular Event in Older Adults: National Health and Aging Trends Study. Frontiers in Physiology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01871
  2. Amaral, C. A., Amaral, T. L. M., Monteiro, G. T. R., Vasconcellos, M. T. L., & Portela, M. C. (2019). Hand grip strength: Reference values for adults and elderly people of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. PLOS ONE, 14(1), e0211452. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0211452
  3. Tate, D. F., Lyons, E. J., & Valle, C. G. (2015). High-Tech Tools for Exercise Motivation: Use and Role of Technologies Such as the Internet, Mobile Applications, Social Media, and Video Games: TABLE 1. Diabetes Spectrum, 28(1), 45–54. https://doi.org/10.2337/diaspect.28.1.45
Liam Brown
Liam Brown has been coaching clients as a personal trainer for more than 12 years. Raised by his athlete mother and physiotherapist father, he understands the critical importance of learning the proper technique for both avoiding injury and building muscle.
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