Behind-the-back Smith machine wrist curl

Exercise details

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

Starting position

  1. Position the Smith machine bar so that it rests at approximately knee or thigh height.
  2. With your back to the bar, bend down and grasp the bar using a shoulder-width pronated (overhand) grip.
  3. Unlatch the bar from the rail by rotating it and stand up straight.
  4. Open your hands a little and allow the bar to drop from inside your palms to into your fingers.


  1. Exhale as you raise the bar by first clenching your fists so that the bar is raised into your palms and then flexing your wrists.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly reverse the motion and return the bar to the starting position, with the bar resting in your fingers.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. When you have finished, latch the bar back onto the rail by rotating it.

Comments and tips

  • Lock the Smith machine’s safety pins into place to prevent the bar from dropping to the floor.
  • You can use the behind-the-back Smith machine wrist curl to build mass in your forearms. However, as with all wrist-curling exercises, do not go very heavy. Your wrists are not designed to curl very heavy weights.
  • If you don’t have access to a Smith machine, use the behind-the-back barbell wrist curl.

Behind-the-back Smith machine wrist curl video

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video of the behind-the-back Smith machine wrist curl. This is the behind-the-back barbell wrist curl.

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