You never skip glute and leg day, and you’re pretty good about arms, back, and chest day. You work your core too. But when was the last time you did exercises for your forearms?

OK, so they’re not a part of the body most of us think about when we’re working out. After all, do they really even do all that much?

They do plenty — and we’ve put together a complete list of exercises to pump up those forearms.

“Forearm strength is important for functional activities,” says Alex Tauberg, DC, CSCS, a Pittsburgh chiropractor and certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Functional strength isn’t about “gains.” Instead, it focuses on training your body through all planes of movement (side to side, front and back, rotational) so you’re better prepared for your everyday activities.

Strong forearms can help if you’re opening a jar of pickles or turning a wrench at home, Tauberg says, so don’t neglect these muscles just because they’re small.

Forearm and grip strength are also super important in the gym, adds New Jersey personal trainer and chiropractor-in-training Nick Occhipinti, CPT, CSCS, MS.

“Almost every exercise we do involves holding onto a weight in some way,” Occhipinti explains. “A stronger grip means more stability to the wrists and elbows as well as more force production in exercises that require a strong grip.”

Here are some expert-approved exercises to help you get stronger forearms, stat! Work them in at the end of your strength training routine a couple of times a week.

These forearm exercises with bodyweight are easy to do at home. (The final move requires a pull-up bar, so you might need to save it for the gym.)

Isometric wall push

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  1. Stand in front of a wall with your hands on the wall.
  2. Keeping arms straight (but not locking elbows), press firmly into the wall for 30 seconds.
  3. Release. Repeat 2–3 times.

Sphinx push-ups

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  1. Start in a forearm plank position, either on your toes or on your knees.
  2. Press hands down firmly and try to lift forearms until arms are straight.
  3. Lower back down with control.
  4. If you can’t go all the way at first, just do an inch or two at a time.
  5. Release. Repeat 2–3 times.

Pull-up bar hang

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  1. Grip a pull-up bar with your hands about shoulder-distance apart, palms facing forward.
  2. Hang for up to 30 seconds, with arms straight and ankles crossed behind you.
  3. Release. Repeat 2–3 times.

Make it harder: Wrap two small towels around the bar and grip those instead.

If you have access to a gym or have the equipment at home, give these forearm exercises with weights a try.

Wrist dumbbell curls

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  1. Sit on a bench or chair, holding a moderately heavy dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place forearms on thighs, so wrists are on top of knees. Palms can be facing up or down.
  3. Slowly lower the weights as far as you can. Grip the weights tightly, and move only your hands.
  4. Curl the weights up as far as you can.
  5. Return to the starting position. Repeat until you’ve done 3 sets of 12 reps, or until your muscles are done for. Alternatively, you can do one side at a time.

Farmer’s walks

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  1. Stand tall, holding a pair of heavy-to-you dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides.
  2. Slowly walk from one end of your workout space to the other end and back.
  3. Aim for 30–45 seconds per set.
  4. Rest. Repeat 2–3 times.

Pinch-grip plate holds

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  1. With straight fingers, pinch and hold a relatively heavy weight plate between your thumb and four fingers. Do one side at a time.
  2. Hold for 30–45 seconds per set, or as long as you can.
  3. Rest. Repeat 2–3 times.

Reverse barbell curl with thumbless grip

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  1. Stand, holding a barbell with your palms facing down and hands shoulder-distance apart. Keep your thumb alongside the rest of your fingers for a “thumbless grip.”
  2. Keeping elbows close to your sides, slowly bring the barbell toward shoulders.
  3. Work on bending only at your elbows to focus on your forearms.
  4. Return to the starting position, moving slowly the entire time.
  5. Try to do 3 sets of 12 reps, focusing on a very slow lowering phase.

Rest is as important as your workout, so don’t overdo it on these forearm exercises.

“Stretching and recovery of any muscle you train with high intensity is crucial,” says Occhipinti. “The forearm muscles that we use for gripping objects and interacting with our environment are used daily, not just when we train.”

He recommends always following your forearm workout routine with wrist stretches in all directions:

  • Flex your wrists: Curl your fist or fingers down, like you’re trying to touch the underside of your forearm.
  • Extend your wrists: Curl your fist or fingers up, like you’re trying to reach the top of your forearm.
  • Side to side: Stretch your wrists toward your thumbs and then toward your pinkies.

Self-massage can also help. Try “foam rolling or using a massage gun to help relax and aid in recovery of the forearm muscles,” Occhipinti adds.

  • Keep in mind that you have to use your forearms in your everyday routine, so don’t overdo it, because it can hard to give them a proper rest.
  • If you spend a lot of time typing or working with your hands, be sure to leave more time for recovery or squeeze in some self-massage.
  • Don’t try to “max out” your weight at first. Use challenging weights to gain strength, but work your way up slowly to avoid straining these muscles if they’ve been ignored for a long time.