The Critical Body logo

How big is an 8 inch wrist and an 8.5 inch wrist?

Here's how big your 8 inch wrist circumference really is, according to anthropometric research.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 7th July 2022
A business man showing his big 8 inch wrist

If you're curious about whether or not having an 8 inch wrist gives you an average wrist measurement, then this article is for you.

After pouring through tons of measurement data, I have a pretty clear idea of how big or small 8 inch wrists really are. So if you want to know what having an 8 inch wrist or an 8.5 inch wrist means for your body, keep reading to learn the answer.

Compare More Wrist Sizes:

Is an 8 inch wrist big?

A man showing his big 8 inch wrist

Is an 8 inch wrist big for a man? Yes, based on all of the available data, an 8 inch wrist is very big for a man and is a strong indication that you have a large frame. Specifically, 8 inch wrists are about 1.25 inches bigger than average for an adult male.

If you're a man who has 8" wrists, then it's very likely that people will notice that you have big wrists at some point, considering that they're around 17% bigger than normal for a male!

Now, having 8 inch wrists isn't a guarantee of having a large frame. Indeed, there are some short guys who have an 8 inch wrist. Still, most men who have 8 in wrists also tend to be quite tall and have a large bone structure.

And besides, research does show that wrist circumference is correlated with upper arm muscle mass, [1] which does make sense considering that bigger bones can hold more muscle tissue.

In case you're wondering, an 8 inch wrist is absolutely massive for a woman. Eight inch wrists are so big for a female, in fact, that you could probably go your entire life without ever meeting a woman who has 8 inch wrists.

Still, there are probably a few women out there—women who're really tall with big frames—who have an 8 inch wrist circumference or something close to it.

How big is an 8.5 inch wrist?

A weight lifter with an 8.5 inch wrist

Is an 8.5 inch wrist big? Yes, an 8.5 inch wrist is extremely big and is virtually a guarantee that you have a large frame. It's very rare to meet someone who genuinely has 8.5 inch wrists.

If you have 8.5 inch wrists, then you'll probably also have big hands and large upper arms because an 8.5 inch wrist size is a strong sign that your bones are really big.

Why do some people have 8 inch wrists?

A senior man who clearly has 8 inch wrists

The main reason for having an 8 inch wrist is a large bone structure. Some people just have genetically thicker joints than others, which often means having big wrists.

Another reason why some people have 8 inch wrists is excess body fat. Even though the wrists tend to stay fairly lean during weight gain, given enough body fat, your circumference measurement can definitely increase.

Indeed, research suggests that wrist circumference is a predictor of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. [2] So if you have 8 inch wrists or 8.5 inch wrists and you're obese, then that could be a sign that some of your wrist size consists of fat tissue as well as bone mass.

Or, to say it another way, if you have really big wrists, then that could be a sign that you're at risk for certain diseases if you have a high BMI.

There are, of course, people who have an 8 inch wrist measurement purely due to their large skeletal structure.

Is it good to have 8 inch wrists for bodybuilding?

A bodybuilder showing his 8 inch wrist to the camera

In terms of maximizing hypertrophy, having 8 inch wrists is definitely good for bodybuilding because, all else being equal, thick joints give you a greater muscular potential.

This makes sense biologically because big bones simply have more space to accumulate muscle tissue.

So while having an 8 inch wrist or an 8.5 inch wrist isn't a guarantee of bodybuilding success, you almost certainly have a higher muscular potential than some with significantly smaller wrists.

On the other hand, if you're just a recreational lifter with decent arms, then your arms might not actually look that big because your wrists—being large—won't accentuate your forearms and upper arms that much.

So, in a sense, having small wrists can give you the illusion of having big arms, which makes sense considering that many professional bodybuilders have small frames.

Still, in terms of maximizing your muscle growth, it's always best to have bigger wrists—and an 8 in wrist is definitely big.

The verdict on having 8 inch wrists

An athlete who has an 8 inch wrist size

As I explained throughout this article, most people don't have 8 inch wrists or anything close. Although having an 8 inch wrist might not seem big, it is when you understand that the wrists hold very minimal fat.

So unless you're seriously overweight, then it's highly likely that virtually all of your 8 inch wrist size consists of bone mass.

This has its advantages. For example, having 8 inch wrists likely means that you have a bigger frame than most men, which might give you more self-confidence.

If you're into strength sports, then having an 8 inch wrist or an 8.5 inch wrist is especially beneficial because people with large wrists are capable of building more total muscle mass, which will enable you to lift heavier weights.

References

  1. Cavedon, V., Milanese, C., & Zancanaro, C. (2020). Are body circumferences able to predict strength, muscle mass and bone characteristics in obesity? A preliminary study in women. International Journal of Medical Sciences, 17(7), 881–891. https://doi.org/10.7150/ijms.41713
  2. Jahangiri Noudeh, Y., Hadaegh, F., Vatankhah, N., Momenan, A. A., Saadat, N., Khalili, D., & Azizi, F. (2013). Wrist Circumference as a Novel Predictor of Diabetes and Prediabetes: Results of Cross-Sectional and 8.8-Year Follow-up Studies. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 98(2), 777–784. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2012-2416
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
chevron-upmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram