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What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls?

Aug 18, 2018

What are the benefits of wrist curls — and should you prioritize them?

Well, do you want bigger lifts on compound exercises?

Then explore what the benefits of wrist curls are so you can build stronger, flexible and muscular wrists/forearm muscles.

As an exercise that many people ignore, or are just ignorant of, wrist curls don’t get the shine they deserve.

Most people are asking what are the benefits of wrist curls? primarily because they don’t even know what they are.

To get straight to the point, wrist curls are one of your most intense and targeted isolation movements.

Build up those lagging wrists, forearms, and boost your grip strength.

It’s time to realize that you can’t be at your best until you diversify your isolation movements.


You are as Strong as Your Weakest Link

If you build up your forearms and wrists you will be able to lift more weight while performing other exercises.

The majority of the exercises you do at the gym involve using your hands to hold on to resistance.

The strength in your hands comes from your forearms.

The benefit of adding wrist curls to your routine is you’ll be able to hold more weight in your hands.

When you first start out in an exercise program, the weights aren’t that heavy.

However, once you start adding on some muscle and start lifting heavier weights, you realize something is holding you back.

You are limited by your forearm strength—or lack of forearm strength!

Related: Can You Work Forearms Every Day?


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? Strong Forearms are Critical

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Muscular Forearm

When we think of bodybuilding, we think of arms and abs.

When we think of football and soccer we tend to give our legs priority.

And sports like soccer and baseball make us think of shoulder joints and rotator cuff tendons.

But, the often-forgotten forearms play a huge part in success on the courts, ball fields and achieving bodybuilding goals.

Although we use them constantly throughout the day, underdeveloped forearm muscles can hold the key to success in breaking through training plateaus and/or taking sports performance to the next level.

Not only are forearms rarely, if ever, prioritized in a training routine, they are often completely neglected and forgotten.

Related: Forgotten Forearms: What Exercises Do You Need To Build Great Forearms?


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? Understanding your Hand and Forearm Muscles

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Wrist Curl Muscle Anatomy

The tiny wrist joint is responsible for adduction, abduction, flexion-extension and circumduction.

It is a combination of movements that allows the hand to move in a circular fashion.

The forearm’s supinator muscle controls the rotation or supination, while the pronator teres and pronator quadratus allow for medial rotation of the arm.

When was the last time you worked your pronator quadratus?

Your wrists and fingers can move in all kinds of directions.

Unlike your legs at the knee joint, for instance, which can only move forward and backward.

Flexor muscles flex your wrist toward your forearm and extensor muscles extend your muscles back to the straight position.

Two of the biggest flexor muscles in the anterior forearm are the brachioradialis and the flexor carpi radialis muscles.

The brachioradialis is used when you do bicep exercises because it’s an elbow flexor muscle.

The flexor carpi radialis flexes your hand at the wrist joint.

By doing wrist curls you are performing these movements with weights to strengthen the muscles involved.


Your Forearms and Bodybuilding

When weightlifting each and every time you wrap your hands around a barbell or dumbbell these muscles are being used.

Your forearm muscles are used in each and every workout.

Now do you see the importance of training this muscle group?

Dr. Michael Yessis believes that the benefits of forearm training include both enhanced performance and injury prevention.

Both critical factors to consider when designing training routines.

Even injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by adding wrist curls to your training routine.

In addition, stronger forearms lead to increased effectiveness while training.

Build up your forearms and wrists and you will be able to lift more weight while performing other exercises.

Adding wrist and forearm training to your workout program will create strong wrist flexors.

They will allow your wrists to withstand the stress of the hyper-extended position needed for overhead lifts.

Don’t forget the added benefit of developing shapely, defined forearms.


Selecting the Ideal Weight

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the ideal weight should feel comfortable to handle and should not cause great muscle fatigue when lifting.

When using the correct weight, you should be able to complete the ACE fitness recommended five to eight repetitions without breaking form.

Start by lifting 70 to 80 percent of your one repetition maximum. This is the most you can lift in one rep.

Use the One-rep Max Predictor, according to ExRx.net to estimate the most you can lift in a single rep.

Related: What Is the Ideal Weight for Wrist Curls?


Equipment to Exercise Your Wrist


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Dark Iron Fitness Leather Gym GlovesYou can strengthen your wrist muscles by using either a barbell or dumbbell.

Barbell wrist curls allow you to strengthen both your wrists at the same time.

While dumbbell wrist curls allow you to focus on one wrist at a time.

Our Dark Iron Fitness Leather Gym Gloves offer a tight supporting hold so your wrists are completely protected while still flexible enough for comfort and ease of use.

Barbell curls have more limitations on your movement.

You will have a greater range of motion with the dumbbell.

You can stick with dumbbell wrist curls or use both techniques to strengthen your wrists.


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? Wrist Curls for Flexion

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Wrist CurlsWith your forearms placed firmly on the bench, extend your hands off the edge of the bench to allow for full movement of the wrist joint.

Many lifters like to kneel on the floor and face the bench in a perpendicular manner when executing this lift.

If height is not an issue, the kneeling position is preferable because you can keep the shoulders a little farther back which creates additional stress on the muscles involved.

Many weightlifters make the mistake of sitting on the bench and placing their forearms on their knees.

This position should be avoided because it creates an unstable condition for lifting.

Use a supinated position, with your palms up, to lower and raise the barbell through a full range of motion.

The optimal rep range of 12-15 is desirable.

If the weight is too heavy this can result in wrist injury and/or mobility.

Plant your elbows firmly on the bench throughout the entire lift.

This way you are isolating the desired muscles.

Once you compromise your lifting form, other muscles are recruited to perform the lift.

Below: Watch How to Properly Do Wrist Curls

Related: How To Increase Hand Strength: 5 Trusted Exercises That Work


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? Reverse Wrist Curls for Extension

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Lowering bar for Reverse Wrist CurlKneel perpendicular to the bench, and place your forearms on the bench for stability.

Hands are extended beyond the bench so that there is a full range of motion at the wrist.

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Raising Bar for Reverse Wrist CurlWhile keeping your palms down, lift the bar as high as you can and squeeze at the top of the movement.

Lower the weights back to the starting position.

Use a semi-relaxed grip on the barbell so that you are not limiting your wrist tendons’ range of motion.

Behind the Back Wrist Curls

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Behind the Back Wrist CurlsSet the pins on a squat rack so that the barbell is at the height of your hands.

Back up to the bar and hold on to the bar slightly wider than shoulder width.

Lift the bar up and let the bar roll down your fingers.

Close your fingers and roll the bar back up for a wrist curl.

Use a full range of motion and squeeze the forearms muscles at the top of the movement.

Your arms should be steady and only your wrists should be moving throughout this lift.


Reverse Grip Barbell Curls

This exercise works the forearm extensors, the brachioradialis, and the biceps muscle.

Hold onto the barbell with a palms-down grip, your hands placed about shoulder-width apart.

Don’t go as heavy here.

Use weight that is approximately 60-75% less than your normal weight for typical barbell curls.

Keep your elbows fixed at your side and lift the bar to shoulder height and lower the bar back to the starting position.


One-Arm Cable Reverse Curls

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - One-Arm Cable Reverse CurlsOne-arm movements allow for an uncompromised range of motion and maximum muscle isolation.

Using a D-ring at floor level on the cable machine, grab the ring with a palms-down grip.

Keep your elbows tucked in against the body and curl your hand up to your shoulder.

The cable creates resistance during the downward (eccentric) portion of the movement.

Completing 12-15 reps with one arm allows the alternate arm to rest during this exercise.


Other Great Forearm Exercises

What are the benefits of wrist curls?

Well, another answer to that would be the ability to sustain other forearm exercises.

Inward and outward movements called supination and pronation, EZ-curls and lesser-known suitcase side curls are excellent for developing all around hand and grip strength.

All of these work and coexist together to build the forearms, wrist, hands, and grip.

If you utilize all of these great movements, you’ll notice significant change and growth.


What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? Final Thoughts

What are the Benefits of Wrist Curls? - Dark Iron Fitness Gym Gloves

For the most comfort while protecting your hands and wrists, check out our new leather weightlifting gloves!

Strong, developed forearms help ensure maximum results in a comprehensive workout routine.

During the same time, your physique is developing, your forearm routine lessens the chances of debilitating age-related injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Next time you head to the gym, don’t forget to work those all-important forearms.

Related: Using Gloves for Weightlifting: A Smart Investment for Lifting