Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


How to Make a Rack-Mounted Wrist Roller
Written By : Rory Hickman
Rack-Mounted Wrist Roller

Rack-Mounted Wrist Roller.

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

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 :

      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. Completed <a href=wrist roller” title=”Completed wrist roller” src=”” width=”320″ height=”240″ />

        Completed wrist roller.
      4. 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).
      5. 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.
      6. 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.
      7. 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!

      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.

      Notes :

      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.

      Rollin’ :

      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!

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter. A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.

And if you'd like to check out any of the stuff mentioned above (or in the comments), swing by Amazon. Huge assortment of fitness gear.


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Written By Rory Hickman
Rory Hickman is a graphic designer, lover of strength and author for Straight to the Bar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.