The Wrist-Roller is a classic piece of gym equipment, and rightfully so - it's a great way to strengthen and develop the muscles of the hand, wrist and forearm. The standard model of Wrist-roller involves a short bar connected to a rope or cord, which attaches to the weight. The bar is held either in front of the user - which usually results in the shoulders tiring long before the forearms and wrist - or with arms straight down whilst standing on benches or boxes to allow the rope to hang down. The problem with the 'free-standing' design is that you have to support the bar throughout the set, severely limiting the weight that can be used, as well as leaving the forearms under worked.
In the last few years the 'mounted' wrist-roller has appeared and offers a solution. Usually consisting of a bar which can slide over a barbell or a pin in a power-rack, it takes out the supporting element of wrist-rolling and lets you really hammer your lower arms.
The downside? Cost.
This doesn't have to be a problem though - here's a guide to making your very own power-rack mounted wrist-roller:
What you'll need :
Wrist Roller Parts.
PVC pipe (any diameter)
Hose clamp (to fit PVC pipe)
Rope/Cord (4 - 5 feet)
Carabiner or Quick-Link Connector
Hack Saw to cut PVC pipe
Loading Pin (optional)
Step-by Step :
The first thing you'll need to do is measure the space in which the roller will be used. The PVC pipe should be cut slightly shorter than the space so it fits without getting stuck - a one or two inch gap each side will be plenty.
Next you will slide the hose clamp into the middle of the pipe and thread about 6" of your rope or cord between the hose clamp and the PVC. Tighten up the hose clamp then tie a couple of knots in the cord for a bit of extra security.
Completed wrist roller.
The rope should be cut to about 4 or 5 feet and the end will be knotted securely around the carabiner or quick-link connector (pictured).
Hold the pipe between the uprights in the power-rack and slide the pin through. You can vary the height you use to hit the lower arms differently - somewhere around chest height is probably the strongest position.
Attach weight by running the carabiner through the hole of a weight plate or the handle of a kettlebell and snapping it over the other side of the rope. You could also attach the connector to a loading pin for even quicker weight change.
Now you can roll away until your forearms are on fire - and when you're done just detach the weight, slide out the pin and throw the roller in your gym bag!
You Might Also Like...
In Action :
One of the many advantages of the mounted wrist-roller over a free standing model is that it allows you to perform wrist-curls and extensions. I've found this particularly useful for wrist extensions as it takes away the pressure from your thumb, allowing you to focus the work on the oft-neglected extensors.
Scratching the handle or wrapping it with athletic tape will afford you a better grip on the PVC and is a good idea to help prevent your hands slipping. Having said that, a smooth surface will force you to grip harder to maintain a good hold, which some of you may enjoy.
Consider making a couple of wrist-rollers with different diameter pipe - PVC is pretty cheap and comes in a wide variety of sizes - go narrow to focus on the wrists and thicker for some killer grip work.
There ya go - a quick, easy and convenient wrist-roller that will let you take your lower arm development to the next level. Enjoy the pain!
Rory Hickman is a graphic designer, lover of strength and author for Straight to the Bar.
Like this? Check out some of their other articles :
Matt Palfrey.UPDATE (5 Mar 2014) :
Unfortunately a connectivity issue got in the way of this one, so we've rescheduled it for Monday (full details below). Apologies for that.
If you've been involved with the fitness industry for any length of time, chances are you've thought about setting up your own gym. Perhaps you've already got one.
Either way - how do you promote it? Attract new customers? Learn about what works, and what doesn't?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more. Joining us is Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like Matt and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A.
And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.
Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 237 - Old-Time Strongman Training [with 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett] - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video.
Logan Christopher.Old-Time Strongman Training - Phonebook Tearing, Frying Pan Rolling, Kettlebell Juggling and a whole lot more. Love it.
They're certainly uncommon areas: how do you train for them? What are the benefits of these approaches? What sorts of equipment is involved?
This week we'll be discussing the entire field of Old-Time Strength in obsessive detail. Joining us is 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Logan or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.
Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 236 - Programming for Strength vs Hypertrophy [with Strength Coach Jason Paris, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett] - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video.
Görner the Mighty.This is one of the books that Logan mentioned in the Gymchat last week - Görner the Mighty. Good stuff.
Although I was lucky enough to read the original book many years ago, I'm extremely keen to dive in to this version - the 2012 reprint - as soon as possible. I suspect that things will look quite different now; after training for a number of years.
Görner the Mighty.
If you ever wake up with that 'just run over by a truck' feeling, you need a copy of Tim Hull's Functional Correction Manual. Not only will it help you to locate and repair the problem, it'll help prevent it happening in the future.
When it comes to body transformation - whether that's an increase in strength, packing on a bit of muscle or losing a bit of excess fat - this is the perfect place to start. Dr Berardi's Precision Nutrition.
If you've ever watched a Bruce Lee film and marveled at his strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility or muscularity, this book should take pride of place in your collection. Unlike many other writings covering everything from Lee's training methods to nutrition, this book is based not on the recollections of people around him; but on Lee's own notes. Brilliant.
For a full list of what we're reading and watching at the moment, just head over to the Recommended Books & DVDs page. See you there.