How to Increase Wrist Strength

Woman holding free weight
Close-up of a woman lifting a dumbbell (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

To gain wrist strength you will have to work out the forearms muscles including the wrist flexors and extensors as well as the pronators and supinators. Wrist flexion is when the palm of your hand moves toward your forearm, while wrist extension is when the back of your hand moves toward your arm. Supination is when you flip your palms up and pronation is when you flip your palms down.

Dumbbell Wrist Curls

Dumbbell wrist curls involve wrist flexion and therefore target the wrist flexors. Grab a light dumbbell with your right hand and sit on a bench. Set your right forearm on your right thigh with your wrist hanging over your knee and your palm facing the ceiling. Maintain your elbow and wrist in the same plane with your forearm parallel to the floor. Flex your wrist as high as you can. Slowly lower the dumbbell as you extend your wrist, allowing the dumbbell to roll into your fingers. Complete three sets of 12 reps. Repeat on the other side.

Dumbbell Reverse Wrist Curl

Dumbbell reverse wrist curls target your wrist extensors. Assume the same position as in dumbbell wrist curls but with your palm facing the floor. Maintain your forearm parallel to the floor on your thigh. Place your wrist just beyond your knee. Lift the weight by extending your wrist, drawing the back of your hand up and toward your forearm. Slowly lower the weight. Complete three sets of 12 reps. Repeat on the other side. Start with a low weight and gradually increase your weight as you see fit. Perform these exercises two to three times per week.

Dumbbell Seated Supination and Pronation

Assume the same position as in dumbbell wrist curls with your palm facing the ceiling and your wrist just beyond your knee. Grab the dumbbell with your right palm and keep your right forearm on your right thigh, parallel to the floor. Slowly pronate your forearm by flipping your palm down toward the floor. With control, supinate your forearm by flipping your palm back up toward the ceiling. Complete three sets of 12 reps. Repeat on the other side. Increase the weight as you see fit. If you feel pain while performing any of these exercises, discontinue and consult with your physician.

Dumbbell Radial and Ulnar Deviation

Assume the same position as in dumbbell wrist curls with your palm facing up and your wrist just beyond your knee. Keep your right forearm parallel to the floor on your right thigh. Hold the weight in your right hand. Bend your wrist to the left by moving the pinking side of your hand laterally to the left. Bend your wrist to the right by moving the thumb side of your hand laterally to the right. Complete three sets of 10. Supinate your forearm by flipping your palm down toward the floor. Repeat the same motion for three sets of 10.

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