See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Barbell Wrist Curls –
Isolated Exercise, Pull Movement
Kneeling before a bench, grasp barbell with underhanded grip (palms up) and rest forearms on bench with wrists extending out over the bench. Lower the wrists and allow the barbell to roll out of grip and onto fingers, then re-grip the barbell and extend the wrists upward.
Tips and Techniques:
Keep forearms glued to bench. Do not grip the barbell too tight as this will limit your range of motion. Keep a loose grip and let the forearm muscles focus on bringing the barbell through a full range of motion.
Letting the barbell fall to the ends of your fingers at the bottom of the exercise is optional. It does add a bit of difficulty to the exercise and can help to better stress the muscles.
Specifically, Wrist Curls target your wrist flexors which are the muscles that make up a large part of your inner forearm (or the bottom of your forearm if you are holding your forearms out palms down).
There are ways to do Barbell Wrist Curls other than across a bench as shown. One of the more popular ways is to do them while seated length-wise on a bench and then bending over to allow the forearms to stick to the bench and the wrists to hang over the edge.
They are also commonly done seated on a bench with the forearms resting on the thighs and the wrists hanging in front of the knees.
Whatever is most comfortable for you is fine. The key is to keep the elbows and wrists at the same height where you will be able to create the greatest tension.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
15-20 reps the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion. (The forearms tend to respond better to high reps for most people).
- Reverse Wrist Curls
- Dumbbell Wrist Curls – Same movement with dumbbells
- Standing Wrist Curls – With barbell hanging in front, moving wrist up and down in same motion.
- Behind-The-Back Wrist Curls – Standing, with barbell behind the back, moving wrist up and down in same motion.
- Machine-Based Wrist Curls – Cable and certain lever machines allow you to perform wrist curls.
Wrist Rollers (a bar with a weight attached to a rope, you grab the bar with both hands out in front of you and roll the weight up and down on the bar) offer a decent substitute for targeting the hard-to-target forearms.
Bench, Barbell and Weights
Couple more articles you may like…
Find out about the different muscle fiber types and how to target and use progressive overload to force them to grow.