Behind The Back Wrist Curl

The behind-the-back wrist curl is an effective and somewhat uncommon forearm exercise that helps to strengthen the forearm muscles, especially the wrist flexors.

This exercise is a variation of the traditional wrist curl with a twist. Instead of gripping the weight in front of you on a bench or thigh, you grip it behind your back.

The behind-the-back barbell wrist curl is a great exercise for anyone who wants to improve their grip strength, wrist stability, and forearm size. It’s good for athletes who need strong grips, like climbers, weightlifters, and tennis players.

How To Do Behind-The-Back Barbell Wrist Curl

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold a barbell behind your back with an underhand grip (palms facing away from your body). Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  3. Let the barbell rest against your buttocks or lower back. Keep your arms fully extended and close to your body.
  4. Now, using just your wrists, curl the bar up as high as possible. Squeeze those forearms at the top for a second.
  5. Slowly lower the bar back down to the starting position. Don’t just let it drop.
  6. That’s one rep. Aim for 3 sets of 10–12 reps.

Note: If you don’t have a barbell, you can do behind-the-back wrist curls with dumbbells.

Tips and Forms

  • The only movement should be in your wrists. Imagine your forearms are glued to your sides.
  • To get the most out of the exercise, curl the bar up as high as possible and let it hang all the way down.
  • Maintain a firm grip throughout the movement to prevent the barbell from slipping. If necessary, use chalk to improve your grip.
  • Keep the rep timing slow and squeeze the forearms for a count of two at the top of the movement for extra intensity.
  • While some advanced lifters recommend using a false grip (thumbs not wrapped around the bar), this can be dangerous for beginners or those with weaker forearms. Stick to a standard grip until you have built sufficient strength and confidence.
  • Try different grip widths to work different parts of the forearm muscles. A wider grip will target the outer portion of the forearms, while a narrower grip will focus more on the inner forearm muscles.
  • If you want, you can try unilateral (single-arm) variations and cable Behind the back wrist curl to your forearms workout.

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