How to Wrist Curls

About the Wrist Curls

The barbell wrist curl, as the name suggests, exercises the muscles responsible for flexing the wrist, including the flexor carpi ulnaris.

You can perform the barbell wrist curl in two slightly different ways. The first is to simply flex the wrist joint whilst grasping onto the barbell. The alternative involves extending the fingers as the wrist extends, allowing the barbell to roll down the fingers, and then re-gripping the barbell by flexing the fingers while flexion of the wrist occurs during the ascent. The latter is more challenging, but we would advise trying both and sticking with the one you feel is most comfortable and effective.

How to perform

Preparation

  1. Load barbell with correct weight and place on the safety collars
  2. Sit on a weight bench with thighs in front of you
  3. Grasp the barbell with an underhand (supinated) grip and rest your forearms on your thighs with your wrists overhanging past your knees

Execution

  1. Controllably extend at the wrist allowing the barbell to descend, allowing the barbell to roll down your fingers if you wish
  2. Re-grip the barbell by flexing your gingers whilst also flexing at the wrist to curl the barbell upward to peak contraction
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

About the Wrist Curls

The dumbbell wrist curl targets the wrist flexor muscles, such as the flexor carpi ulnaris, in an isolated manner. Gym-goers may find the dumbbell wrist curl more comfortable than the barbell variation due to the wrist able to take a more natural position during the movement.

The exercise can be performed in two ways. The first option is to simply flex at the wrist, maintaining a sound grip on the dumbbell throughout. Alternatively, you can allow the dumbbell to roll down your fingers during the descent and then re-grip the dumbbell as you flex your wrist. The latter of the two options is slightly more challenging, but we would advise trying both and sticking with the one you feel most comfortable with.

How to perform

Preparation

  1. Find a set of dumbbells of a suitable weight
  2. Sit on a weight bench with thighs in front of you
  3. Grasp the dumbbells with an underhand (supinated) grip and rest your forearms on your thighs with your wrists overhanging past your knee

Execution

  1. Controllably extend at the wrist allowing the dumbbell to descend, allowing the dumbbell to roll down your fingers if you wish
  2. Re-grip the dumbbell by flexing your gingers whilst also flexing at the wrist to curl the dumbbell upward to peak contraction
  3. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

About the Wrist Curls

Useful for those who wish to directly target their forearms, the behind the back wrist curl isolates the wrist flexor muscles, including the flexor carpi ulnaris. It is best to experiment with different width grips to find one which feels most comfortable to you, starting with shoulder width which most people will find suitable.

If you do not find the behind the back wrist curl comfortable instead try either the traditional barbell wrist curl or dumbbell wrist curl, both of which are performed to the front of the body.

How to perform

Preparation

  1. Load barbell with correct weight and place on the safety collars
  2. Stand erect, grasping the barbell behind you with an underhand grip

Execution

  1. Keeping your torso erect and arms stationary, allow the barbell to roll down your fingers
  2. Grip the barbell back with a firm grip, and flex the wrists to curl the barbell upward until peak contraction is reached
  3. Slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

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