One of my favourite exercises to strengthen the forearms and build grip strength, as well as teaching scapula control and rotator cuff strength, is the Kettle Bell (KB) Bottoms-Up from Eric Cressey. (If you don’t know who he is, follow him, he’s got amazing content!). This is also an amazing way to strengthen the core.
Using the KB provides the instability to get a great training effect without requiring a lot of external loading. (ie, we don’t always have to lift heavy things in order to get strong). This exercise shifts the stress to the right spots, the deeper muscles, in the shoulder girdle to build stability.
Start with a light weight to get a feel for it. Not going to focus on how to lift or rack the KB in this post and we aren’t looking for any heavy weight lifting. Generally, go with something between 10-15lbs.
Use both hands to assist with the positioning of the bottom up.
The elbow will be slightly below the shoulders. About an 80-110 degree of flexion for the shoulders. The greater the degree, the more advanced it can become, so just watch out for any pain or pinching in the bicep tendon area (front of shoulder). Lower it if it starts to hurt and think about wrapping the scapula into a slight upward rotation.
Keep the elbow under a neutral wrist, make a double chin, and place the other hand at the base of the ribs as a reminder to avoid hyper extension in the spine. This will keep the core engaged.
Another advanced variation is the waiters walk.
Check out my video to see it in action: