T Nation

Wrist Roller Target Zone?


So after thinking about it for a couple days, this morning at work I finally made a wrist roller to work on my grip strength. I have a tube that is 15" long and 3.25" in diameter for the handle, and a 7lb can of paint attached by twine. It turned out better than I expected, so now I will have another piece of equipment to use during slow periods at work.

Having never done these before, I have no idea what type of range I should be looking to achieve each day. Above I have given most of the needed info about the equipment, as for myself I am 6' and 179lbs. when doing the rolls I am holding the handle at about eye level.

I have what I would consider "decent grip" and good GPP. I am also trying to keep an equal number of times rolling the weight up in both directions. My current plan is basically just to do one or two every time I am by them or don't have anything else to do, which should equal out to a pretty decent number throughout the day.

I have also thought about just doing as many in a row as I could until failure at one point in the day, but am not sure what the difference would be, if there is any at all.

I am hoping someone with more experience on this subject can tell me what a good total number rolls/sets I should be trying to achieve for the first couple of weeks. Any input appreciated.


Probably the best thing to start is to find a way to “mount” your roller on a rack so that you aren’t holding it. I have one that I just slide on a 1" thick piece of galvanized pipe and slide it onto my power rack. This allows you to use wieght plates and not tire out your shoulders first.

As for sets and reps, I just alternate. You can go heavy for a couple sessions doing a couple of times up and down but then switch it up and go for higher reps to failure at a different session. I think you basically had this in mind.

I will say that I like that you are using a roller of that thickness. How big are your hands? I have small hands and use a 2.5" roller. If you have decent grip, I’m betting you can start with 70lbs if you use the rack set-up I mentioned.


I use the roller as a supplement, it is not a focus for me so I don’t do a ton of work. On Mondays I roll it forward to hit the flexors, on Wednesdays I roll it backwards to hit the extensors. Personally I don’t think it is crucial to hold the roller up at eye level, that is more draining on the shoulders.

I pick a weight I can do and roll it three times. I just do one set, you can do more if you want. Then next week I repeat that. The week after that I add a round, repeat, then go up to 5 rounds, repeat.

So it is a 6 week plan that just gets repeated. Once I have done that I add a little bit of weight (2.5 lbs works well), go back to 3 rounds and start over again.

You will probably be able to use more weight with your flexors than extensors (mine is about double). I have found that doing this allows me to make progress for a long time without hitting a plateau. Also use chalk when the sets get hard.

Hope that helps a little. Have fun with it.


Thanks for the advice guys. I probably wouldnt add the roller into my regular program, but lately I have been so slow at work it just makes sense to do things like that and walking on my hands. Just the little extra effort ya know, beside its on the clock so I can say I get paid about an hour a day to workout.

I thought that would be a good diameter to start with to really build some grip, but if it were any wider I dont know that I could use it.