While all upper-body weight training will help develop your forearms, getting to grips with the best dumbbell forearm exercises will work them in isolation for greater benefits…

Grab your favourite dumbbell set and discover the best exercises to target your forearm muscles. Although most strength training – particularly heavy, compound lifts such as deadlifts and overhead presses – will work your forearms to a degree, accessory work to isolate your lower arms will reap the greatest rewards.

And if your main aim is to pull big numbers on those aforementioned lifts, directly training your forearms will be a major benefit: ensuring your grip strength doesn’t fail you before your target muscles do.

These are some of the best dumbbell exercises to directly target the forearms, suggested by personal trainer, running coach, fitness consultant and co-founder of Track Life Ldn, Omar Mansour.

Best dumbbell forearm exercises 

  1. Dumbbell reverse biceps curl 
  2. Dumbbell wrist curl 
  3. Dumbbell Zottman curl  
  4. Dumbbell Farmer’s walk  

Keep reading for full instructions on how to master the best dumbbell forearm exercises.

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Man performing a DB forearm curl - best dumbbell forearm exercisesMan performing end of a DB forearm curl - best dumbbell forearm exercises
1. Dumbbell Reverse Biceps Curl 

Recommended reps: 8-12

  • Begin with legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Then, hold two dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip.
  • Next, raise your forearms, flexing from your elbow joint until your palms face forward and the dumbbells are shoulder height.
  • To finish, slowly return the dumbbells to the start position and repeat. 

Man performing a dumbbell wrist curl - best dumbbell forearm exercisesMan performing end of a dumbbell wrist curl - best dumbbell forearm exercises
2. Dumbbell Wrist Curl

Recommended reps: 12-15

  • Firstly, place your wrist on the edge of a chair or surface, holding a dumbbell with palm facing downwards.
  • Next, curl your wrist upward as you inhale. Perform this movement slowly to engage the forearms and prevent the weights from straining your wrist. 
  • Extend your wrist downward as far as it will comfortably go on and inhale.
  • Then, return your wrist to a neutral position. 
  • Repeat on the other side.

Man performing a Zottman curlMan performing end of a Zottman curl
3. Dumbbell Zottman Curl 

Recommended reps: 8-12

  • Start by holding a pair of dumbbells at arms length, palms facing forwards.
  • Then, using an underhand grip, curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders.
  • At the top of the movement, rotate your forearms to an overhand position. Then, slowly lower the weight back to the start. 

Man performing a farmer's walkMan performing a farmer's walk
4. Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk 

Recommended reps: 30-45 sec walk

  • Firstly, squat down safely and pick up two challenging dumbbells.
  • Create a tall, strong, upright standing position, with your shoulders back, chest high and core tightened.
  • Then, step forward and begin walking, keeping all muscles engaged and a strong, rigid, upright position. 

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  2. Best dumbbell back exercises
  3. 30-minute dumbbell workout