The twenty-first century is an exciting time for the health and fitness industry. We see new training techniques, programs, supplements, and equipment released every few weeks, with forearm weights being one of the latest addition.
What are forearm weights?
Forearm weights are weighted arm sleeves that can help improve your workouts by adding resistance and enhancing your recovery after workouts.
Forearm weights should not be confused with wrist weights or compression sleeves. While wrist weights serve a similar purpose, they are not as effective as forearm weights while partaking in high-intensity sports as they run a chance of loosening or interrupting your play by moving up and down your forearm.
Compression sleeves, on the other hand, are mostly used to alleviate stress, delay fatigue, and reduce the chances of cramps, DOMS, injury, and tanning.
Forearm weights are a modified version of the compression sleeves with slots for inserting weights. Contrary to wrist weights, forearm weights have a snug and comfortable fit.
The weighted sleeves wrap around your lower arms and can be worn while playing sports or any time during the day.
Benefits of Forearm Weights
Adding forearms weights to your routine can have the following advantages:
1. Improved Overall Performance
Wearing forearms weights while playing sports or during your day can help build strength and endurance in your arms, which is great news as you need to use your upper body for most tasks during the day.
How does wearing forearm weights improve performance, you ask?
Most of us have been in a situation where we had to carry around heavy luggage, but as soon as we take some stuff out of the bag, lifting it feels like a piece of cake. The same thing happens with every task you do while wearing forearm weights.
If you play basketball, baseball, or lift things while wearing forearm weights, you’ll find the task incredibly easy as soon as you take off the sleeves.
Wearing the forearm weights adds resistance to every physical activity, which helps build strength. Over time, as you get stronger, you’ll perform at the same level while wearing the forearm weights as without them.
Must Read: 8 Ways to Speed Up Recovery After Training
There are many specialized training equipments for every sport that claims to improve a certain aspect of your game. These tools are expensive, require technical know-how, and time to set up.
However, forearm weights are relatively sturdy and inexpensive. You can get your hands on a high-quality forearm weighted sleeve without breaking the bank. Most forearm weights are in the $15 to $40 range.
3. Better Recovery
Forearm weighted sleeves can be a godsend for people recovering from an arm injury. An arm injury can cause a loss of mobility and strength, which can wreak havoc on your gains.
Stretching is one of the most popular rehabilitation methods. However, you can speed up the recovery process by adding light forearm weights to your routine.
Besides acting as additional resistance, forearm weight sleeves compress your muscles and have been shown to improve recovery after injuries. According to The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) can help you recover from a strain, sprain, or other similar traumas faster and get back to everyday activities.
Wearing compression sleeves enhances your blood flow to your forearms, which helps get oxygen and nutrients to the damaged muscle cells, improving recovery.
Related: Natural Joint Pain Remedies
4. Helps Building Muscle Mass
Wearing forearm weights can improve your lower arm strength as your forearms aren’t accustomed to being under direct tension. Most exercises you perform in the gym require solid grip strength, engage your biceps, and do close to nothing for your forearms.
Using forearm weights puts your lower arms under constant resistance, which helps build strength and endurance. Since you’ll be wearing the weights on your forearms, you’ll also experience significant biceps recruitment as you perform various tasks.
5. Better Muscle Oxygenation
The compression offered by forearm weights helps increase the amount of oxygen your muscles receive during exercise. Plus, compression gear can promote blood flow, improving your exercise performance. It can also reduce or prevent swelling and pain during exercise.
6. Versatile Training Equipment
Unlike dumbbells, barbells, or kettlebells, forearm weights are a versatile piece of training equipment and can blend into your daily routine. You could wear them to the gym or while watering your plants, making dinner, or running random errands throughout the day.
Risks of Using Forearm Weights
While forearm weights can be a great way of building your lower arms, using gear that is too tight can cause discomfort and numbness. They are also not the right fit for people suffering from health conditions such as malnutrition and broken or damaged skin. 
Can I wear the forearm weights for the whole day?
It is not recommended to wear forearm weights for the entire day. While more research is needed on the subject, you should limit the use of forearm weight to 30 minutes a day.
Are forearm weights and wrist weights the same?
No. Forearm and wrist weights vary in shape, size, and weight. Wrist weights are small, and some come with a thumb lock. Forearm weights, on the other hand, look like forearm sleeves and have compression capabilities.
Can all forearm sleeves be used as forearm weights?
No. Forearm weights have compartments for weights. Conventional forearm sleeves are mostly used for compression and UV protection.
Can I wash my forearm weights?
It depends on the brand. You can machine wash most forearm weights after removing the weight. However, you might notice wear and tear on sub-standard equipment after the first wash.
Forearms weights are a versatile training tool that can be used by beginner or advanced athletes alike. Plus, they are great equipment for people recovering from an injury.
If you want to build strength in your arms but do not have time to hit the gym, you should add forearm weights to your daily routine. You’ll be surprised by the results after a few months of weighted forearm sleeve use.
- Goto K, Morishima T. Compression garment promotes muscular strength recovery after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Dec;46(12):2265-70. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000359. PMID: 25003778.
- Xiong Y, Tao X. Compression Garments for Medical Therapy and Sports. Polymers (Basel). 2018;10(6):663. Published 2018 Jun 14. doi:10.3390/polym10060663