- Sit on a flat bench, and lean forward.
- Grasp a dumbbell with an overhand grip (i.e. palms down) and rest your forearms on either the bench or your knees.
- Using your wrists alone (i.e. wrist motion alone), curl the weight upward, exhaling throughout the movement.
- Slowly lower the weight as low as is comfortable, inhaling throughout the movement.
- Repeat steps 3-4 for as many repetitions as are desired.
Note that although the movement of this exercise is slight, the difficultly and burn can be substantial. Take care not to hyperextend the wrists. To help avoid hyperextension, keep some tension present at the bottom of the movement. In other words, do not let the wrists completely relax.
This exercise presents a rare case where one piece of equipment is explicitly recommended over another; that is, using a barbell is much preferred over a dumbbell. For this exercise, dumbbells are awkward and make the wrists more susceptible to injury than need be, especially when heavier weight is being lifted. Simply put, this exercise is more effective and safer with the use of a barbell. However, advanced lifters may choose to use dumbbells if their wrists are already quite strong and/or they would like the ability to self-spot.
Forearm exercises, in general, pose a high risk for wrist strains/sprains and other related problems. To help avoid problems of this sort be sure to practice strict form and use lighter weights at least until a strong comfort level is achieved. Forearms are like calves in that they can perform a rather high amount of repetitions and still acquire the desired result, whether it be overall strength or mass.