When you’re in the gym, you usually focus on building your glute, quad, and calf strength. But, having solid grip strength is also important when it comes to riding longer and stronger and avoiding arm pump. That’s why Noam Tamir, certified strength and conditioning specialist and founder of in New York City, created this circuit with five forearm exercises to help you build some serious grip strength.
These forearm exercises work the flexion and extension of the wrist and the fingers, which you need to grip the brakes, maneuver the bars, and hold yourself upright on the bike. Plus, the moves improve shoulder strength and can help you avoid overuse injuries or tendinitis from imbalances in the muscles, Tamir says.
“A lot of pressure and movement is generated from the handlebar, so the stronger and the better functioning the wrists and hands, the better the performance,” says Tamir.
How to do it: Perform each move for the specified number of reps. Complete the circuit 3 times. Rest and shake out your wrists for 30 seconds between each set. You’ll need a bench or chair, set of light dumbbells, two kettlebells (or heavier dumbbells), and an option yoga mat to protect your knees.
Sit on a bench or chair. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing up, forearms resting on thighs. Extend your wrists down, and bring them back to starting position. Perform 10 to 12 reps.
Reverse Wrist Curl
Sit on a bench or chair. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing down, inner arms resting on thighs. Extend your wrists up, and bring them back to starting position. Perform 10 to 12 rep. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Overhand Grip Biceps Curl
Start standing with your feet hips-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in. Your wrists, elbows, and shoulders should be stacked in a straight line about shoulder-width apart. Bend elbows to lift dumbbells up toward shoulders, keeping your elbows in close to your torso. Slowly lower the weights to starting position. Perform 10 biceps curls.
Kettlebell Farmer’s March
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell (or dumbbells) in each hand at sides. Keeping back straight, chest proud, and shoulders down, march in place without allowing weight to cause an imbalance in your posture. Complete 12 to 15 marches on each leg.
Half-Kneeling Kettlebell Isometric Hold
Start in a 90-90 position with your left knee in front and right (back) knee on the ground. Grab one kettlebell by the horn and curl it up so the bell is next to your ear and your elbow is at a 45-degree angle. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat on left side.