Having a bigger wrist means you can wear a bigger, chunkier watch like chronographs or divers. But how to get bigger wrists? Not all of us are blessed with it.
You can perform exercises like wrist curls, bicep curls, plate pinches, wrist rollers, knuckle pushups, pullups, and chin-ups to get bigger and thicker wrists. These exercises are simple and easy to perform, and they can be done at home or in the gym.
What Is Normal Wrist Size?
Before we even talk about getting bigger wrists, let’s determine if our wrist size is small, average, or big in the first place.
Spirit Wrist, a bracelet company based in Austin, Texas, listed the following sizes for small, average, and large for men’s wrist:
Small: 6.5in to 7.5in (17cm to 19cm)
Medium: 7.5in to 8in (17cm to 20cm)
Large: 8in to 8.5in (20cm to 22cm)
How to measure your wrist?
Now, please take a measurement tape, and measure your wrist.
This allows you to properly determine if your wrist belongs to the small, medium, or lucky-large category.
To measure your wrist size:
- Get a piece of paper out of your book, printer, journal, etc.
- Take one end of the paper, and wrap it around your wrist.
- Use a pencil or pen to mark where the paper comes together.
- Unwrap, and lay the paper flat next to a ruler. Where the mark meets your ruler is the size of your wrist.
Why Some People Have Bigger Wrists?
This is partly genetic, partly activity.
Some see that wrist size is a result of genetics. If you are born with bigger bones, you will have bigger wrists.
This is partially true, as wrists are basically bones with tendons around it.
However, if you have an active childhood or teenage life, you will have a bigger wrist.
This is due to a simple fact – exercise strengthens and enlarges bones, especially if you are at the growth stage.
If you have a small wrist, there is nothing wrong with you. It is perfectly normal to have small wrists.
It is simply not something to lose your sleep over.
Is it possible to thicken wrists?
The short answer is – not really.
The answer goes back to the anatomical structure of the wrist.
As described previously, the wrist is nothing but bones wrapped by tendons.
Tendons do not get bigger when worked on. They get tougher, like leather.
As for bones, you can’t really make your bones bigger.
But what you could do is strengthen the muscles that are close to the wrist, those on your forearm, for example.
The muscles there are responsible for holding your watch, so it will benefit you if you enlarge your forearm muscles.
Larger forearm muscles create more ‘space’ to set your watch.
That means you can wear a watch with a larger diameter and look good wearing them.
Do wrists get bigger with age?
Yes and no. Your wrist does get bigger as you age, but only during your growth years.
That means once you hit adulthood, your wrist no longer grows.
This is because wrists are, again, just bones and tendons. Your bones grow during puberty, but not in adulthood.
This is why your best bet to get a bigger wrist as an adult is to exercise your forearm muscle.
Exercises To Get Bigger Wrists
You can work on these exercises to strengthen your wrist and grow your forearm muscle.
These would give you a more immediate effect. You can wear larger watches such as divers or pilot watches, and look good with them.
You do not need to do all the exercises here, as they primarily target the forearm muscle. Try each of the exercises, and see which one fits you better.
- Start by resting the back of your forearm on a flat surface. You can also sit and rest your forearm on your thigh.
- Make sure your palm is facing up and your hand and arm are aligned.
- Place a weight in hand. We recommend a light dumbbell to start.
- Slowly lower the weight to the floor, taking five to 10 seconds. Then bring the wrist back up to starting position.
- Perform two sets, doing 10-15 reps per set with each write. Start off by doing it four to five times a week, increasing it if needed.
If we are trying to grow forearm muscle, why are we performing bicep curl?
The reason is that you can strengthen your forearm through this exercise.
To perform a bicep curl, you will need a weight, preferably a dumbbell.
- Bicep curls are best-performed standing, but sitting is also ok.
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with an underhand grip. That means your palm is facing towards you.
- Let your arm hang loose at the side of your shoulder. Your palm should be facing forwards.
- Keeping your upper arms stable and shoulders relaxed, bend at the elbow and lift the weight towards your shoulder. Keep your elbows tucked to your ribs.
- As you lift, remember to exhale.
- Once done, lower the weight back to starting position. Remember to inhale as you drop your weight.
- Do 2-3 sets, with 8-10 curls for each set.
Wrist roller is also another type of forearm exercise.
There is a proper type of bar called wrist roller to perform this exercise, so check with your gym if they have it.
If they don’t, you can always grab a barbell, a weight, and 2 feet (61 CM) of rope.
Tie one end to a rope and the other end to the center of the barbell.
- Start by standing straight with feet shoulder-wide, core engaged.
- Grip the bar with an overhand grip – palms facing down.
- Extend your arms straight in front of you.
- Twist the bar up and backward with your wrist as if you are revving a motorcycle.
- Move back to your starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 reps for three to five sets.
Plate Pinches are a staple exercise for bodybuilders, as they strengthen the forearms very well.
It is also straightforward to perform, provided you can get some weight. If you have a weight plate, it would be perfect. But books work just as well.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder wide.
- Squat down, and grip your weight. The bottom of the weight should have only your thumb, and the other four fingers should be at the top of the weight.
- Position your hands in front of you, waist heigh, slightly out in front of you.
- With your wrist, move the weight up and closer to you. You should feel stress on your wrist and your forearm.
- That’s it! Repeat five to 10 reps for two to three sets.
If you are strong enough and workout regularly, you can consider knuckle pushups.
The procedures are similar to traditional pushups, with the difference that your hands are not open flat. But made into a fist.
Knuckle pushups force your wrist to stay straight and solid, meaning more pressure on your forearm to perform the move.
To perform a knuckle pushup:
- Get down to the ground, stomach down.
- Make a fist with both hands, and place them slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Keep your legs together, straight.
- Push your arms to lift your body up while keeping your legs straight and knees unbent.
- Remember to exhale while pushing.
- Lower yourself down to starting position without letting your upper body touch the ground.
- Inhale while lowering yourself down.
Chinups or pullups also help with strengthening and enlarging your forearm muscles.
In fact, they actually engage your shoulder, chest, lats, and your upper body muscles in general.
Pullups and chin-ups are the same, except that with pullups, you are performing it with an overhand grip (your palms facing away from you).
With chin-ups, you will be using an underhand grip (your palms facing towards you)
To perform a pullup/chin-up:
- Find a pullup bar. Your gym should have one around. You can always order one and install them on your door
- Grip the bar with your hand slightly wider than your shoulder. You can grip it under or over, depending on your preference.
- Raise yourself until your head is above the bar. Use your upper body strength to do this. You should feel every muscle on your upper body straining to perform this.
- As you go up, remember to exhale to release tension from your body.
- Lower yourself back to starting position.
In all, do understand that since the wrist is just bones and ligaments, you can’t really make them thicker.
But since you are actually wearing your watch on the lower end of your forearm, you can strengthen your forearm to make it bigger.
This way, you can wear a bigger watch and look good with it.
You also do not need to perform all the exercises, as they all essentially target the forearm. Select what you like, and be consistent with it to see results.