Dumbbell Forearm Twist (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)


Dumbbell Forearm Twist is an excellent rotational forearm exercise that can absolutely cook your forearms. They’re also beginner-friendly – very easy to learn and easy to do, but extremely effective even for advanced lifters.

In this guide, I will teach you how to do Dumbbell Forearm Twists including important coaching tips, muscles worked and a few alternatives.


How To Do Dumbbell Forearm Twists


Equipment Needed

  • Dumbbells

Muscles Worked

  • Biceps (Biceps Brachii)
  • Forearms (Brachioradialis, Pronator Teres, Pronator Quadratus, Supinator Muscle)

How To

  • Grab dumbbells in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart*.
  • Curl the dumbbells up until the elbows are at 90 degrees (forearms should be parallel to the ground).
  • Now, begin rotating the forearms – alternating between palms up and palms down positions.
  • Count each rep when palms turn up.

Coaching Points

*Forearm Twists can also be done seated with forearms resting on the thighs. Or, forearms resting on a bench. I prefer standing because it keeps the biceps more engaged during the movement.

Don’t rush through. Time under tension is important for Dumbbell Forearm Twist. Stay under control of each rep.

How Many Reps?

Dumbbell Forearm Twists generally need to be done at higher rep counts to really be effective. I like to program Forearm Twists as 2 sets of 20 – 25 reps.


Dumbbell Forearm Twist Alternatives


Looking for an alternative for Dumbbell Forearm Twist? Here are a couple of exercises you may be able to use as a substitute.

Zottman Curls

Zottman Curls are basically forearm twists combined with dumbbell curls. You curl with the palms up, rotate the forearms and then lower the dumbbells down with the palms down.

By curling in this fashion, you can really emphasize both the biceps and the forearms, all in one exercise.

Barbell Reverse Curl

Reverse Curls Anatomy
Photo Credit (Makatserchyk / shutterstock.com)

If you don’t have any dumbbells, Barbell Reverse Curls can be a great alternative. Obviously, you’re not able to rotate the forearms with a barbell, but reverse curls will really challenge the forearm extensors as well as the biceps.


More Links and Info


If you’d like to see more forearm exercises make sure to check out the Arm Farm section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of biceps, triceps and forearm exercises – all with complete step-by-step instructions.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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