Cable Wrist Curl

A cable wrist curl is an exercise that primarily targets the forearm (flexor muscles), fingers, and wrists.

But don’t underestimate its simplicity.

Cable wrist curls are a simple yet effective way to build bigger and stronger forearms, improve grip and wrist strength, and enhance weight-lifting capability.

I’ve found it to be a good forearm exercise as it provides continuous tension throughout the range of motion.

Personally, I include cable wrist curls in my workouts to strengthen my forearm and grip, which helps me lift heavy weights during deadlifts and bench presses.

According to the study, a 12-week periodized forearm training program can enhance wrist and forearm strength and bat-end velocity in baseball players.

How To Do Seated Cable Wrist Curl

  1. Attach a straight or EZ curl bar to the cable machine’s low pulley.
  2. Sit on a bench or chair with a straight back, legs shoulder-width apart, and feet flat on the ground.
  3. Rest the back of your lower arms on your quad or the chair’s armrests, and allow your wrists to hang over the edge/knee.
  4. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip (palms facing up) with your hands around shoulder-width apart.
  5. Slowly curl your wrists upwards and bring the bar toward your forearm by flexing your wrists. Go up as far as comfortably possible without compromising form.
  6. Keep the contraction for a second, then slowly lower your wrists back down to the starting position while inhaling.
  7. Do 8-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

Tips and Form

  • Keep your elbows glued to your thighs throughout the exercise. Don’t use any swinging or jerking motions to lift the weight.
  • Ensure that you are not using your biceps or shoulders to help lift the barbell.
  • Avoid gripping too wide or too narrow, as it can compromise proper wrist alignment.
  • Do not hyperextend your wrists at the bottom of the movement. Lower the bar until you feel comfortable stretching it, but don’t go beyond what your body can do naturally.
  • To increase the difficulty of the exercise, use a thick bar or add fat grips to your bar. This variation challenges your grip strength and activates more forearm muscle fibers.
  • You are free to adjust the weight on the cable machine to target different goals. Use lighter weights for higher reps (12-15+) to build muscle endurance, and heavier weights for lower reps (8-12) to build muscle mass and strength.

Behind-The-Back Cable Wrist Curl

The behind-the-back cable wrist curl is a variation of the standard wrist curl that offers some unique benefits and challenges.

  • The behind-the-back position allows for a greater stretch of the wrist flexors at the bottom of the movement. This extended range of motion can lead to better muscle activation and flexibility.
  • This position is less comfortable for some people than the standard pronated grip. Maintaining proper form can also be difficult with the behind-the-back variation.

If you are a beginner, first start with the standard cable wrist curl and then move to the back option.

How To Do

Behind-The-Back Cable Wrist Curl
  1. Attach a straight or EZ curl bar to the low pulley cable machine.
  2. Pick up the bar and stand close to it, but facing away from the pulley.
  3. Reach behind your back and grasp the bar with a shoulder-width pronated grip (palms facing up).
  4. Ensure a firm grip on the bar to maximize muscle engagement and prevent the bar from slipping.
  5. Keep your elbows pinned to your sides and your torso stable. Contract your forearms to curl your wrists upwards.
  6. Hold for a count of two.
  7. Reverse the motion and return the bar to its original position, with the bar resting on your fingers.

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