Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Forearms Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Overview

The seated barbell wrist curl is a wrist curl variation and an exercise used to target the muscles of the forearms.

Having strong forearms, and training the forearms in multiple ways, will allow you to lift heavier weight in many exercises simply by strengthening your grip.

Forearms can be a resistant muscle to grow and may require a higher training frequency to experience a noticeable difference in forearm strength and size.

Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Instructions

  1. Select the desired weight, load it onto the bar, and assume a seated position with the forearms resting comfortably on your thighs.
  2. Utilize a supinated (palms up) grip and curl the bar towards your body using just the wrists.
  3. Once the forearm flexors are fully shortened, slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Seated Barbell Wrist Curl Tips

  1. Using a slow eccentric (lowering portion) of the exercise can help to improve tension and mind muscle connection.
  2. Try not to open the fingers at the bottom of the movement, just move through the wrist.
Ryan R
Posted on: Mon, 10/03/2022 - 18:33

When I do this (or the dumbell variation) my wrist pops
No pain, but it's pretty noticeable and almost every time. I've tried adjusting the placement on my thighs and the angle my palms, but can't seem to find the sweet spot

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 10/07/2022 - 06:59

Hey Ryan, couple questions before I offer suggestions.

1. Have you had any wrist issues before?
2. How slow are you performing the reps?

Ryan R
Posted on: Fri, 10/07/2022 - 09:17

1. I wouldn't say issues. My knuckles and wrists crack frequently without pain, though.

2. Slow and focused. I do my reps with a time under tension approach, so I'm by no means flying.

During the barbell version it was painful until I adjusted to about halfway up my forearm meeting my knee. My wrists pop either way. Again, it's not painful, but the audible pop is kind of concerning.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 10/09/2022 - 15:52

I suggest talking to your doctor just to be safe. In the meantime, work on your grip and forearm devleopment with hand grips instead so you don't have to bend the wrists. You can start with tennis balls and work up to specific hand grips. Follow same reps as you would with the wrist curls.

Ryan R
Posted on: Fri, 10/07/2022 - 09:21

I forgot to put I'm shooting for 40-60 seconds per set of 10 reps.

Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2013 - 06:25

how long to repeat this work out, how many weeks .

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2013 - 16:10

Hi Steve, great content.

I'd like to ask about forearms in general:
As far as I know there are 3 different sides to train the forearms, upper, inner and that last end attached to the biceps (excuse my explanation)

1. so is it better to train all the different parts on the same day once a week? or divide the different sides let's say to 3 different days? so that means doing Wrist curls, and reverse wrist curls and reverse barbell curve on same day or not?

2. to get bigger and thick forearms, is it better to lower the sets and reps and use heavy weights or lower the weights and do more sets and reps?

Personally, i divide the 3 different workouts to 3 differnet days of my workout per week, at the end of each session, and do 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitons of the respective exercise.

I am a forearms' freak and I really appreciate your help and advice.


Posted on: Sun, 12/02/2012 - 08:10

A lot of the workouts are hard for me I'm at work and only have access to dumbell and smith machine

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 12/06/2012 - 16:35

Hey Matt!

You might want to check out some dumbbell only routines, such as this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-home-or-gym-ful...

Posted on: Mon, 10/22/2012 - 05:25

What weight would you recommend when starting out on barbell wrist curls? Also how many reps and sets would you recommend? I just don't want any injuries.

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2012 - 07:17

I didn't know that there was a forearm workout. I thought that when your working out the biceps triceps, your working out forearms as well.

Posted on: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 05:30

how much weight is preferred?

Posted on: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 04:26

Great stuff!!

Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2012 - 04:39

Hello great video I was wondering how many sets and reps should be done for this exercise
Regards Chris

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/22/2012 - 09:36

Hi Chris,

Most lifters choose about 3 sets for 8-15 reps, depending on goals.