Also Known As: Wrist Curl Machine
Targets: Forearms, Wrists
Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, Bench
The forearms are a very visible part of the body, which is why wrist curls are often recommended to build forearm strength. Exercising the forearms is an important part of rounding out the entire arm rather than focusing solely on the biceps and triceps.
Adding forearm exercises to your upper body routine is a great way to introduce variety while working out a part of the body that is often neglected. Performing wrist curls not only trains the forearms, but it also improves grip strength and encourages stronger wrists.
To get started, you will need hand-held weights like dumbbells or a weighted barbell. If you are new to exercise, start with low weight and work your way up to prevent injury. Wrist curls are also performed while seated, so you will need a place to sit, such as a bench or chair.
You can implement this exercise on days where you work your upper body. If you are up for a challenge, try alternating regular wrist curls with reverse wrist curls or wrist extensions.
Wrist Curl Machine mainly target the muscles in the forearms. This is an isolation movement, which means this exercise isolates the muscles it is intended to work. Compared to compound movements, isolation movements are effective at correcting weakness and improving the strength of a specific muscle. For this reason, compound movements often make up the bulk of a strength training routine with isolation movements added as needed.
In the case of wrist curls, this exercise isolates the forearm. It may be utilized to correct the weakness or imbalance of this muscle to round out the upper body. It can also be used to increase forearm strength, which translates to increased strength in the entire arm. Having strong forearms can help improve the performance of other upper body exercises that engage the forearms, such as pullups and suitcase carry.
Another benefit of this exercise is improving grip strength. This is not something you may think about often, but having a strong grip comes in handy both in and out of the gym. Grip strength allows you to get a firm grasp on weights and bars as well as support your body in many sports and exercises. For example, grip strength is critical in rock climbing. It’s also essential in daily life activities, such as carrying groceries.
Performing wrist curls seems like an easy exercise, but it requires precision and proper form to prevent injury or strain. You need limited equipment, including a place to sit and hand-held weights.
The following instructions will help you perform wrist curls safely and effectively:
- Assume a seated position. A bench will work best, but you can also use a chair with armrests.
- Place your hand-held weights at your feet. You can use two dumbbells or one weighted barbell. Individual dumbbells are recommended for beginners so you can focus on one forearm at a time.
- Grab the weights and hold them with your palms facing up. Be sure to grasp them tightly but comfortably.
- Sit with proper posture to avoid slouching. Your legs should be about shoulder-width apart and your feet should be flat on the ground. Rest the back of your arms on your knees or the armrests of your chair.
- Adjust your arms so your wrists are hanging over the edge of your legs or armrests.
- Slowly bend your wrist up and down to engage the forearms. Each movement should be slow and controlled to prevent the hand-held weights from straining your wrists.
- Exhale as you curl your wrists upward and inhale as you curl your wrists downward. Your forearms should be stationary during this exercise. Only your wrists should be moving.
- Repeat the exercise up to 15 times per arm in a set. Take a short break in-between sets and resume the exercise when ready or switch arms.
- To release the exercise, return to the starting position. Slowly lower the weights to the floor.