Behind-the-back barbell wrist curl exercise

Behind-the-back barbell wrist curl

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Wrist Flexors
  • Synergists: None
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Set a loaded barbell on a squat rack at glute height.
  2. Stand with your back to the rack and grasp the barbell using a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip.
  3. Dismount the barbell and take a few steps forward.
  4. Allow the barbell to roll down a little into your fingers.
  5. To get the barbell to Step 3, you could also just lift the barbell from the floor (could be tricky for some people) or ask a training partner to hand it to you from behind.


  1. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, exhale as you slowly raise the barbell by first clenching your fists so that the barbell is raised into the palms of your hands and then flexing your wrists.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower the barbell to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Comments and tips

  • Once you have finished, either carefully walk the barbell back to the rack, pass it back to your training partner, or lower it to the floor.
  • You can also perform the behind-the-back barbell wrist curl in a power rack (see video). Set the safety bars to the level of your lower thighs, place the barbell on the safety bars, stand with your back facing the barbell, and you’re ready to go. Dismounting the barbell from the safety bars is much easier than lifting it from the floor.
  • The behind-the-back barbell wrist curl can also be performed using dumbbells or a cable machine.
  • See also the seated barbell wrist curl and the behind-the-back Smith machine wrist curl.

Behind-the-back barbell wrist curl video

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