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When you think of building strong arms, the first thing that comes to mind is big biceps and triceps. The often neglected forearms and wrist muscles helps you lift and carry more weight. Wrist curls help build strong forearms, which increases your grip strength. A strong forearm can help prevent injuries during compound exercises such as deadlifts that use multiple muscles. Choosing the right weight for wrist curls can help you strengthen your forearms without sustaining injuries.
Equipment to Exercise Your Wrist
You can strengthen your wrist muscles with either a barbell or dumbbell. Barbell wrist curls allow you to strengthen both your wrists at the same time. On the other hand, dumbbell wrist curls allow you to focus on one wrist at a time. Barbell curls has more limitations on your movement, while you have a greater range of motion with the dumbbell. Therefore, stick with dumbbell wrist curls or utilize both techniques to strengthen your wrists.
The Wrist Muscles
The muscles you target with wrist curls are known as the wrist flexors, hand flexors or forearms. The muscles spread across the lower part of your arms and are responsible for your wrist movements. The wrist flexion is a joint movement that moves the palm of your hand toward the front forearm. The wrist extension is moving the back of the hand toward the back of the forearm. Wrist curls are performing these movements with weights to strengthen the muscles involved.
Selecting the Ideal Weight
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the ideal weight should feel comfortable to handle and should not cause unprecedented muscle fatigue when lifting. With the correct weight, you should be able to complete the ACE fitness recommended five to eight repetitions for muscle strength 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.
Dumbbell Wrist Curls
The proper technique is just as important for your wrist muscles as lifting an ideal amount of weight. To perform dumbbell wrist curls, sit on an exercise bench, holding a dumbbell with an underhand grip. Place your forearm on your thigh and adjust your arm so that your wrist is hanging beyond your knee. Allow the dumbbell to roll out of your palms onto your fingers by bending your wrist toward the floor. Raise the dumbbell back up toward the front of the forearm. Return to the starting position and repeat.