T Nation

Bench Press and Wrist Strength


My bench press sucks. The main sticking point is, of all things, my wrists. Whenever I bench my wrists roll back so all the weight is being supported by my wrists, and this hurts like hell. What are some excersises I could do to strengthen my wrists and address this problem?


First of all do a search of this website and check and re-check your posture/form while benching.

If your wrists really are the problem then beef up your forearms and grip strength.

  1. Do a set of pull ups and then hang from the bar for as long as possible. It's a lot harder than it sounds for most people.

  2. Do wrist curls.

  3. Do reverse wrist curls.


You're wrists are not supposed to fall all the way back. You should try to balance them.
But just to be safe, let them lean a bit back. You don't want them to buckle forward as this would mean the bar comes crashing down on you.


You need to check that form. You are not doing something right here.

Just use the bar and try to rotate your wrist away from you so that the bar is resting more on the lower part of your palm.

This should be a natural motion.



I believe its a weak wrist issue, rather then form. But, I will defenitely check tommorrow at the gym.


Uhhh...have you tried wrist wraps? Get yourself a nice pair of wrist wraps (I use Inzers, size medium), and enjoy. I started using them after I broke my wrist last year. I warm up without them up to around 225, and then I use them afterward. You can vary the tightness depending on the weight.

Use them with bench, dips, OH pressing, etc.


This might be of help. Its made by Ironmind. The Wrist Reinforcer


You're not using a thumbless grip by any chance? It would definitely make the wrist roll back easier, and it's more dangerous. If not do your wrist curls letting the bar roll down to your fingertips for a full range of motion. I also like to hold the bar for as long as I can over the rack after each set of shrugs. You may also have some flexability issues to work out.


Ok I went to the gym today and worked on my technique which is what the issue turned out to be. I was grabbing the bar to high up and not letting it rest on the bottom of my palms. (thanks JW)

Wrist wraps- A good idea, but... I am a weight lifting newbie and only bench around 150lb, my ego will defenitely not let me use wraps with that kind of weight :slightly_smiling:

Wrist Renforcer- Wicked good idea, I'm just going to take my adjustable dumbells and only load one side.

Thanks for the help


squeeze the bar realy hard. no kidding.


Which grip do you use? I find that if i wrap my thumb around, heavy weights can hurt my wrist. If i keep my thumb on the same side as my fingers and put the weight of the bar on the lower part of my palm, making sure the load transfers into my arms, taking the wrist out of it almost completely, i can do more weight without any wrist issues.


This is how I bench too because my wrists were giving me problems. I suggest trying it. It then forces you to grip as hard as possible so that you do not lose the bar.