How To Do A Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back – Benefits, Proper Form, And Tips

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: July 13, 2023
  • Time to read: 14 min.
How To Do A Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

If you’re looking for an effective workout that will help improve the strength and flexibility of your wrist muscles, then a barbell wrist curl behind the back is a great place to start.

This exercise combines both upper body and core stability in one move while also targeting all 3 forearm areas: flexion, extension, and pronation making it a powerful exercise to add into your workout routine.

In this blog post we’ll be exploring how to do a barbell wrist curl behind the back properly, exploring its many benefits, and giving you our tips and tricks for getting maximum results from each repetition!

Muscles Worked during Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

To understand the muscles worked during barbell wrist curls behind the back, you need to know the key areas of focus and why they’re important. This will help you target specific muscles groups, such as the forearms, biceps brachii, and triceps brachii more effectively.

Forearm Muscles

Grasp the barbell behind your back and do wrist curls to work a variety of muscles in your forearm. The main focus is on the wrist flexors – brachioradialis, flexor carpi radialis, and flexor carpi ulnaris. These muscles collaborate to bring about wrist flexion and give stability to the joint during the exercise.

Plus, other muscle groups like extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis may also be activated. These muscles aid in balancing out forearm development and hinder muscular imbalances that can lead to injury.

Arm wrestlers usually use this exercise often in their training plans due to its proficiency to augment wrist strength and endurance. It is not uncommon for these wresters to lift heavy weights with just their wrists after years of barbell wrist curl practice.

In conclusion, throwing barbell wrist curls behind the back into your routine can help build forearm strength and size. This also safeguards joint function and averts injury. So, if you want to develop forearms strong enough to crack walnuts or win arm wrestling contests, give it a go!

Biceps Brachii

The Biceps Brachii muscle is part of the upper arm, located between shoulder and elbow. This muscle helps with forearm supination, elbow flexion, and shoulder flexion. A great way to isolate and strengthen this muscle is the barbell wrist curl behind the back exercise.

Our biceps brachii muscles contract when lifting weight towards the body, concentrically. When lowering the weight, our muscles contract lengthwise to control it. Good form is important for the best results.

To do this exercise correctly, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms away from you. Place arms behind your back, elbows straight, wrists off hips. Curl the dumbbells towards you with only wrists, forearms stay still.

When targeting biceps brachii muscles:

  1. Keep a neutral wrist position throughout the exercise.
  2. Work other muscles or reduce rest time if progress stalls.
  3. Increase weights used after mastering proper form for more resistance over time.

Triceps Brachii

The triceps brachii muscle is activated during barbell wrist curls behind the back. This muscle is located at the back of the upper arm and plays a major role in elbow extension and stabilization. The wrist curl exercise is mainly for flexor muscles in the forearm, but the triceps act as a stabilizer too. So, proper form and technique are essential to avoid injury and get the best results.

Gripping the bar with both hands from behind your body, keep your elbows parallel to your body. Then lift the weight by bending your wrists upwards towards your shoulders. Slowly lower it down and repeat for desired reps.

Research suggests that isometric training can increase triceps activation during gripping exercises. Try holding the weight at peak contraction for a few seconds before lowering it down.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that variations of grip width can alter triceps activation during wrist curl exercises. A wider grip leads to higher triceps activation compared to a narrower grip.

Benefits of Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back Exercise

To increase your strength and flexibility, improve your grip, and work your forearm muscles, you need to focus on the benefits of the barbell wrist curl behind the back exercise. This section will explain how this exercise benefits you in three different ways. Each sub-section will provide you a brief introduction to each benefits of doing this exercise.

Stronger Forearm Muscles

Challenging your forearms? The barbell wrist curl behind the back exercise is your solution! Here’s how you can train your forearms effectively:

  1. Gripping: Overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Positioning: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms behind back and elbows close together.
  3. Exercising: Lift barbell towards you, keeping forearms steady. Lower to initial position and repeat sets.
  4. Adding weight: Start light and gradually increase as you become comfortable.

Regularly following these steps will not only strengthen forearms, but also improve grip strength – aiding deadlifts, pull-ups etc.

Note: Exercise in moderation to avoid injuries. New to weightlifting? Pre-existing conditions? Even more caution is advised.

A fitness trainer shared their experience of using this exercise with multiple clients over many years. The clients were able to substantially increase their grip strength with consistent practice each week. This displays the effectiveness of the workout routine in building strong forearms, while simultaneously improving overall physical conditioning for any sport or activity.

Enhanced Grip Strength

Barbell wrist curl behind the back is a great exercise to build grip strength. Improving your grip makes it easier to carry heavy items and boosts performance in sports such as rock climbing or wrestling. It also helps protect important joints and ligaments, and benefits people with desk jobs or who use hand-held devices.

To maximize the benefits of this exercise, use light weights and perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps, two or three times a week. Movements should be slow and controlled; keep elbows tight against your sides to prevent shoulder injury.

Improved Wrist Flexibility

Barbell Wrist Curl Behind The Back exercise is a superb way to strengthen your wrist muscles. These muscles are used for activities like tennis, golf, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This exercise helps to increase the range of motion of the wrists and make them more flexible. It focuses on the muscles that run from the forearm through the wrist to the fingers.

Doing this exercise often can help with daily tasks that use the wrist, like typing and driving. It also lessens the risk of injuries from weak wrists. To get the most out of it, make sure you use the proper form. This means keeping a neutral grip and starting with light weights until you feel comfortable adding more.

Guide to Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

The Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back is an effective exercise that targets your forearm muscles. This exercise can help enhance grip strength, which is beneficial for weight lifting and daily activities. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Step 1: Equipment Preparation

You’ll need a barbell with an appropriate weight. If you’re new to this exercise, start with a lighter weight to ensure you can maintain proper form and prevent injury.

Step 2: Positioning

Stand upright and hold the barbell behind your back. Your palms should be facing backward (towards your body), and your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows close to your body.

Step 3: The Curl

Slowly curl your wrists upwards while keeping your arms stationary. The movement should come solely from your wrists. Aim to bring the barbell as high up as comfortably possible.

Step 4: Lowering the Weight

Once you’ve curled your wrists to their maximum extent, gradually lower the barbell to the starting position. It’s important to control this movement to engage your muscles effectively and prevent injury.

Step 5: Repetition

Repeat this process for your desired number of reps and sets. A good starting point might be 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Proper Form for Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

To ensure you perform a proper Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back, start with your positioning, execution, and breathing pattern. Each of these sub-sections will help you execute this exercise with perfect form, allowing you to work the targeted muscles and experience the full benefits that this exercise has to offer.

Starting Position

For successful barbell wrist curl behind the back, start in the right position. Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the barbell behind your body, hands at shoulder height. Keep your elbows touching the sides of your ribs; stay in a neutral spine position.

Exhale and curl the bar up towards you with just your wrists. Stay there for a second, then lower it back down while inhaling. Repeat as much as you want.

This exercise works the wrist flexors, not the forearms or biceps. Don’t move the elbows or shoulders. You can get grip strength, range of motion, and less risk of injury this way.

It’s said that weightlifters throughout history—like Randall Strossen—used this exercise to build forearm strength for powerlifting competitions. Today, it remains popular for increasing wrist strength and performance.


The barbell wrist curl behind the back is an exercise specifically targeting the forearms and wrist extensor muscles. To get the best out of it, proper form and technique must be observed. Here is a guide:

  1. Start by standing with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a barbell with an overhand grip behind your back.
  3. Inhale and slowly raise your hands towards your shoulders. Keep your elbows close to your body. Exhale when lowering the barbell to the starting position.
  4. Keep your back straight, no arching or rounding.
  5. Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps with a challenging weight. Don’t exceed the weight as it can cause injury or strain on the wrists.
  6. Avoid any swinging or momentum for effective muscle targeting, to avoid harm.

This exercise can help you gain stronger forearms and increased grip strength. This can be useful for everyday activities such as carrying groceries or opening jars.

Don’t overlook this forearm exercise. Take necessary steps for proper form and optimal results.

Breathing Pattern

When you do barbell wrist curls behind the back, proper breathing is essential. Inhale before you lift and exhale when you curl your wrists up to your forearms.

Keep your elbows close and only move your wrists. Don’t lift too much weight to avoid injury.

Before you start, stretch. Make sure to watch your form while doing this exercise for best results.

A friend of mine injured his wrist while doing this because he didn’t warm up and had bad formRemember, prevention is key!

Tips for Performing Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

To perform the Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back with ease, follow these tips. Use proper weight to avoid any injury and warm-up your wrists before starting. Focus on form to ensure that your muscles are being effectively targeted.

Use Proper Weight

To get the most out of your Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back, you need proper weight. Not too light, not too heavy – just right for your experience level and the right amount of resistance. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Figure out how much resistance you need.
  2. Pick the right weight for you.
  3. Start light to warm up and stay safe.
  4. Increase the weight as your body adapts.
  5. Don’t overload – injuries can happen!
  6. Track your progress, but don’t rush.

Using the wrong weight can lead to injuries like sprains, strains, tendonitis and fractures. So, choose the right weight for you to maximize your benefits and minimize your risk. Get started today for powerful wrists! Just remember that your body takes time to adjust, and if you experience any discomfort or pain, take a break.

Warm-up your Wrist

For a successful barbell wrist curl behind the back, it’s key to warm up your wrist. If you don’t, you might get painful wrist injuries that take long to heal. Taking care of your hands and wrists could help you get better results in your workout.

Here’s a 3-step guide to warm up your wrist:

  1. Hold the barbell with an underhand grip. Let it rest on your upper thighs below your glutes.
  2. Lift the weight towards your body. Bend your elbows like for the bicep curl, with your arms straight. This will target the brachioradialis muscle.
  3. Lower the weight slowly. Do a few reps. This will help get blood flowing into the forearm muscles and prepare them for heavier movements.

Don’t overdo it though. It could cause fatigue and affect your performance.

Also, using hand extenders like Fat Gripz or Grip4orce when doing arm workouts can help warm up the joints in your wrists faster. Squeezing these tools will create tension in your forearms, activating motor units for better gripping.

You can do this while training with no extra warm-up time. It can help your grip strength and free up energy to invest in your workout!

Focus on Form

  1. Perform barbell wrist curl behind the back with precision.
  2. Keep your back straight and core muscles engaged.
  3. Elbows close to your body and wrists straight.
  4. Movements must be slow and controlled – don’t jerk or swing the barbell.
  5. Use a weight suitable for your strength level.
  6. Gradually increase as you improve over time.
  7. Target forearms muscles for grip strength and endurance.
  8. Did you know? The barbell wrist curl was invented by Doug Hepburn in the 1950s.
  9. It’s now a popular strength training exercise for athletes.
  10. Remember to focus on proper form for optimal results.

Common Mistakes during Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

To avoid hampering your progress in the barbell wrist curl behind the back, have a look at some common mistakes to avoid with this exercise. Arching your back, relying on momentum, and dropping the weight are some of the common errors that can cause injury or hinder your results. Learn how to prevent these mistakes and gain maximum benefits from this exercise.

Arching your Back

Arching your back during barbell wrist curls behind the back is tempting, but it’s a mistake. It puts stress on the lower back and can cause injury. It also reduces effectiveness, taking focus from the forearms to the back muscles.

Keep abs engaged and lower back neutral. This will help maintain form and protect your spine. Isolate forearm muscles, too.

It’s a mistake many beginners make. Experienced lifters can fall into it, too. If not careful or trying to lift too heavy.

A friend wanted to impress his gym buddies. He lifted more than he could handle. His back arched excessively, which caused severe lower back injury. He had to take months off to recover and learned to prioritize proper form.

Relying on Momentum

A common mistake made when performing barbell wrist curls behind the back is relying on momentum. This happens when the weight is lifted using shoulder and elbow motion instead of isolating the wrist muscles.

Relying on momentum increases the risk of injury as it puts strain on the joints. It can lead to incorrect form, thus limiting the benefits from the exercise.

To prevent this mistake, start with a light weight. Use controlled movements, keep your elbows close to your body, and maintain a stable core.

Building strength takes time. Incorporate wrist curls into your routine with proper form and gradually increase muscle endurance, stability, and grip strength.

Don’t rely on momentum. Take it slow, focus on technique, and feel the burn in your wrist muscles!

Dropping the Weight

Performing barbell wrist curl behind the back? Don’t let dropping the weight cause injury. Use proper technique and form. Follow these 3 steps:

  1. Hold the bar tightly with both hands and keep elbows close.
  2. Raise & lower the bar without jerking or swinging.
  3. Let go if you feel like you might drop it, and let it fall to the ground safely.

Remember: fatigue or too much weight can lead to dropping the weight. Start with a manageable weight and gradually increase as you get stronger. Plus, use wrist wraps for added support & stability.

A gym-goer attempted barbell wrist curl behind the back with improper form. They dropped the weight on their foot, fracturing it and taking time off from workouts due to recovery. Avoid this – take time to learn proper technique.

Variations of Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

To explore different ways to perform the Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back, with Dumbbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back, Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back, and Kneeling Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back as solutions briefly. Each sub-section will delve into the different variations of the Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back to work your wrist muscles and help you perfect your form while avoiding common mistakes.

Dumbbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

The Wrist Curl is an essential exercise that works your forearm muscles. It targets the extensor muscles better than regular curls, when done behind the back with a dumbbell. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Take the dumbbell in your right hand and place it behind your back, palm facing up.
  2. Support your right elbow with your left hand.
  3. Squeeze your wrist and lift the weight as high as possible without moving your arm. Hold for a second before lowering, feeling a stretch in your forearms.

This exercise is special – it focuses more on the extensor muscles, giving them extra strength.

Top Tip: Don’t use heavy weights. Start light and increase gradually if needed, to avoid injury or strain.

Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

Having strong wrists is key for sports such as tennis, golf, and weightlifting. The Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back exercise is a great way to build wrist strength. Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Sit on a bench with both feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a barbell behind your back with an overhand grip and your palms facing down, hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Curl the barbell with just your wrists until you feel tension in your forearms. Hold for a few seconds.
  4. Lower the weight back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for several reps, rest, and repeat for sets as needed.

It’s essential to maintain correct form. Keep wrists stable, hips still, throughout curls. Too much weight can strain tendons, resulting in hyperextension or tendonitis. So, begin with lighter weights and increase gradually.

Adding Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back to your workout regimen helps improve wrist flexibility, circulation, and grip strength. Start now and reap the benefits!

Kneeling Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back

4 Steps for Kneeling Barbell Wrist Curl Behind the Back!

  1. Kneel on the floor.
  2. Grasp a barbell using an overhand grip.
  3. Stretch out your arms and raise them up behind you.
  4. Slowly lower the weight back to its starting position.

This exercise is special because it targets the muscles involved in wrist movement. Doing this can help you build grip power and reduce the risk of getting injured when performing other exercises.

Fun fact: A study by NCBI shows that wrist curls can aid in increasing wrist strength if done correctly and frequently.

How To Do A Barbell Wrist Curl

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