Let's take a look at a general scenario to better understand the whole process of ideal wrist exercise training! Let's take for example that you are in need of some forearm mass. Your flexed biceps measure a decent
amount, but your forearms barely stretch the tape at 12 inches. You have neglected training forearms in the past. Now you intend to include some exercises that train the forearms directly. These questions then relate
to wrist curls. When the weight is lowered, should one keep a clenched-fist grip on the bar as my wrist bends? Or should one allow the bar to slide down along the fingers before curling the weight back up? Which
method is best to beef out forearm muscle size?
In order to answer this excellent question we need to review the anatomy of the forearm muscles. Unlike the upper arm s front, whose size is largely constituted by one muscle (the biceps), the flexor aspect of the forearm contains no less than nine different muscles. Six forearm muscles participate in the standard wrist-curl exercise. Three of these muscles flex the wrist joint, and the other three muscles flex the digits, as when you make a fist or grip a bar.
Applying this basic anatomic knowledge, what becomes apparent is that the finger muscles make a significant contribution to forearm size. If you want to maximize the amount of meat in your forearm, you would be wise to incorporate an exercise that directly works the finger flexor muscles. With this recommendation kept in mind, the standard wrist curl will be more effective if you allow the bar to roll down along your fingers during the negative phase of the repetition. The early positive phase of the rep targets the finger flexors as you finger-curl the bar into your palms. The late positive phase of the rep works the other forearm flexors as you curl the wrist upward.
When I perform wrist curls I use the full movement initially, allowing the bar to roll down to my fingertips before curling the weight back up. When the finger flexors fatigue I'll continue the exercise with a clenched-fist grip on the bar until the wrist flexors reach failure. This technique essentially pre fatigues the (weaker) finger flexors, during the full-range first portion of the set, before you blast the (stronger) wrist flexors during the partial-range second half of the set. Using this method you 11 fatigue all the flexor muscles of the forearm, and the end result will be more muscle mass. Try this technique during your next forearm workout, and very soon people will be calling you Popeye - you know, the cartoon character with humongous forearms. Oh, and don't forget to exercise the extensor muscles found on the backside of your forearm with a suitable exercise such as hammer curls or reverse wrist curls.