T Nation

Tiiiiiiny Wrists


My wrists are tiny 6 to 6.5 inch circumference, and as I am putting on muscle they seem to be just kind of hanging out not doing much. I have no lack of grip strength as I was easily able to get up to 120lbs (each had) farmers walk (the heaviest dumbbells my gym had)

There doesn't even seem to be muscle a good 3 inches down my wrist, just bone and tendons. Is there anything I can do?

Ps my ankles are the same way but it doesn't bug me at all.


I have the same problem. I once read that you can never increase the circumference of your wrists because there is practically no muscle there.

The article said something like "wrap your fingers around your wrists and check the circumference - no matter how much forearm training you do that circumference will never change." I don't know if it's strictly true or not, but it seems to make sense because there really is little in the way of muscle around the wrists.


This article by George Jowett shows how YEARS of heavy training and wrist and grip work (levering, plate wrist curls, gripper) can add size to the ligaments around the wrist and maybe even widen the wrist bones (probably cos of wolf's law) I believe a lot of maximal strength work for grip and wrist flexors and extensors will be needed for this to happen. Farmer's walk builds supporting grip and will add size to your forearms which respond to volume but not much to your wrists.


I believe Prof X also spoke about how his ligaments have thickened over the years due to heavy wrist work in a previous post. If youre post puberty, I wouldn;t expect more than half an inch or so though unless you make it a priority.

Simplest way to get thicker wrists quickly is probably to gain a lot of fat however :slightly_smiling:


From an aesthetic point of view this is a good thing, having small ankles and wrists make your forearms calves and even upper arm and thighs look bigger. I would imagine you could add size to your wrists like the poster above me mentioned, but it would take so long you wouldnt even know if what you were doing was the right thing.


I have similar size wrists, I don't mind except when I'm trying to bench 250 pounds, which is heavy for me, then my wrists start to hurt.

I've never found a solution but it's not that bad so I've never worried about it. It has not really gotten better with time either.


what size wrist is normal what size wrist is big?


I'm fat (280lb) and have never carried fat around my (7.5")wrists!


That's what I thought too.


i have probably 7-8' wrists which i would say are small for my stature (6'1 210). My wrists get soar when working out bi's and chest. The simplest solution is using wrist wraps for most your workout. In my case it increase grip and wrist strength, stops soarness, and allows you to lift more.


I agree with this. Take a 15 inch forearm and put it on an 8 inch wrist and you'll be solid looking. Put that exact same forearm on a 6.5 inch wrist and you'll look like Popeye. Tiny joints are a good thing visually, everything you have muscle wise will look more impressive than on an equally muscled person with larger joints.


Unfortunately natural wrist circumference is a limiting factor in how much muscle one can actually amass without the use of HRT, HGH, etc.


This I would like to see. Where did you read this?


He might be referring to this...


Scroll down to the "The Grecian Ideal"


Maybe this...


"Using a similar procedure as I did in deriving the bodyweight formula, I derived a set of equations that predict muscular measurements in lean condition. Again, height, ankle circumference and wrist circumference are the determining factors."




I'm going to assume you meant the second one since that discusses maximum size and not someones ideal size.

My problem is this, they are assuming those guys are the biggest most muscular naturals(one there have been accussed of drug use anyways...) they could have been. All of them big and impressive yes, but it's hardly logical to say that they maxed out their size potential. To the point where they fit into the aeasthetics of the time probably, but you can't say they all reached maximum leg size to point out one(HUGE) bodypart.

With todays knowledge on training and nutrition we can't improve upon their muscular size? I mean when did Rheo Blair come out with his protein, the first non soy bullshit stuff, 60s right? Many of those old timers said they ate 3 squares a day and trained for hours on end. You give me those level genetics with someone who is willing to put down 6-10 meals a day of high protein food and train like an animal with low volume but moderately high frequency and in 5-7 years I'll show you a freak that shatters those maximums.


Good points Scott.

We actually had a thread about this very topic some time ago. The thread ended up being 10+ pages and the majority of us discussing the topic pretty much came to the conclusions that you state above.

Here's the thread:


Good training,



I can't even say 6 to 6.5. Mine are def. only 6 inches.

I'm not too sure if it is true when people say you arms will look bigger with small wrists. I think it makes me look more like a midget T-Rex (sadly I am short too).

You can't make them any bigger - not enough to matter anyway.

You can make them stronger! Towel chin-ups and deadlifts, my friend.

I wouldn't worry about it. You cant change your genetics.



Now I'm mad because A) Professor X is funny as hell and we don't get to see him post anymore and B) you posted a couple months ago exactly what I was saying but more thoroughly explained it, again haha.

I thought that generator was familiar.


Unless you're a powerlifter and its inhibiting your abilities for heavy benches, I dont see what the big deal is. Like others have said, it'll make your forearms look bigger.


when i first started training i could wrap my hand around my wrist so my thumb and index finger were touching, after a ton of heavy forearm work my thumb and index finger have about an inch between them.
I read that you can increade tendon and bone strength and thickness with heavy lifting which seems to work for the wrist.
as for your benching problem, use a wrist roller or do heavy wrist curls doing both flexion and extension. mix it up if you can. should help