Forearm Exercise – Reverse Wrist Curls

Last week, we talked about Wrist Curls.  This week, we’ll work the opposite forearm muscles by performing Reverse Wrist Curls.  Working your forearms is important because you need to hold onto resistance for a majority of exercises that you perform.  You don’t want your forearm muscles to limit what you can lift with bigger muscle groups.  So, let’s take a look at this exercise.

Muscles of the Forearm

Forearm musclesThere are a bunch of muscles in your forearms.  This makes sense, because these muscles control fine motor movements in your hands.  Your wrists and fingers can move in all kinds of directions, while your legs at the knee joint, for instance, only move forwards and backwards.  There are flexor and extensor muscles on both sides of your forearm.  On the top side of the forearm, flexor muscles flex your wrist upwards and extensor muscles extend your muscles back to the straight position.

How to Do a Reverse Wrist Curl

While you can do this exercise with an exercise band, barbell or even cables, I like doing these with dumbbells or something that I can hold in my hand.  Sit on a bench or chair and rest your forearm on your thigh or the bench with your palms down toward the floor.  Drop your wrist down and then lift it up toward the ceiling as far as your wrist will go.  You don’t need to roll the weight down your fingers here as the position your hands are in will make you drop the weight.  That’s one rep. Do 10 reps with one hand, then switch and work the other hand.  My biggest tip is to do this motion in a controlled manner and don’t just flop your wrist down or throw your wrist up.  Every exercise should be performed in a deliberate, slow, and controlled manner to actually work the muscle and not just go through the motions.

Reverse Wrist Curl

Reverse wrist curl using an easy-curl bar

This is another exercise that is difficult to do incorrectly.   That said, you’ll find this exercise is a lot more difficult than doing a wrist curl because the muscles on the top of your forearm are smaller than those on the underside.

My advice is to use the same weight for a wrist curl as you use for a reverse wrist curl.  I usually do one set of wrist curls then immediately do reverse wrist curls as one big set (it’s called a super set).  I like to work opposite muscles with the same amount of weight and using the same number of reps and sets so that you don’t end up with muscle imbalances that can strain tendons or joints.  Since this exercise is more difficult to do than wrist curls, you may have to start off performing both with lighter weights until you build up enough strength on the top part of your forearm.

As I mentioned before, I like to do wrist exercises AFTER I’ve worked all the other parts of the body, except abdominals.  That way the strength in your hands doesn’t give out when you’re working larger body parts.

If you want to watch a video of this exercise, click here. has a lot of great exercise videos.

Until next time, remember that… there are no excuses when it comes to your health!


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