John Brookfield's Grip Tips
By John Brookfield
Author of Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, Training with
Cables for Strength, The Grip Master’s Manual, and Real-World Conditioning
Wrist Curls with Plate
Here is another great tip for developing the entire lower arm. In fact, this is an exercise that I have never shown to anyone before. It is one of the best overall lower arm developers you will ever do. If you read my book Mastery of Hand Strength, you may remember the exercise where you curl a weight plate.
This is similar; however, here you are doing a wrist curl with the weight plate. Start by sitting in a chair or on a weight bench. Grasp the weight plate and place your forearm over your knee as in the photo. Slightly bend your wrist downward to start. Now curl your wrist upward until the plate is pointing upward as in the photo. Repeat until fatigued. Be sure to train each hand equally.
Now, to answer the big question, how much weight should I use? This of course is a key question. Also, this is a training exercise and not an exercise to try to reach your maximum potential. In fact, you will not want to try to do a maximum wrist curl with a weight plate because of the tremendous pressure it places on the wrist and fingers. I use a 25-pound weight plate and do a lot of repetitions.
You may want to start out with a 10-pound plate, to try the movement. You may then want to go to two 10-pound plates together. You do this by placing the plates together in pinch-grip fashion, with one plate on top of the other. This style works your grip even harder as you must hold onto the plates more tightly to keep them from sliding or slipping apart. Also keep in mind that the longer the plate, the harder it is to curl due to the leverage factor. I also suggest that you do the movement slowly with control to get the best results.
Doing wrist curls with a plate is a huge benefit to arm wrestlers because it trains the entire lower arm. Once again, start slowly and don't use too much weight, and you will reap a huge harvest from this exercise.
Editor's note: John Brookfield’s books Mastery of Hand Strength, Revised Edition, The Grip Master’s Manual, Training with Cables for Strength, and Real-World Conditioning combine John’s limitless creativity with his friendly, downhome manner. John’s articles are also regularly featured in MILO: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes.
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