The Critical Body logo

Rogue Wrist Roller review

Comparison of the handheld and rack-mounted versions.
Written By Liam Brown
Last Updated on 16th March 2021
Critical Body independently researches and reviews exercise equipment. Purchases made through our links may earn us an affiliate commission. See our disclosure page for more information.
The Rogue wrist roller in action

Rogue Fitness has a reputation in the strength and conditioning equipment industry as a brand that produces quality, sturdy products. And since we’ve been focusing on the lower arm muscles a lot lately at Critical Body, I decided to create this Rogue Wrist Roller review to assess the pros and cons of this semi-controversial forearm device.

While some lifters thought that it was the best wrist roller ever, others had second thoughts after buying it. We’ll look at each feature in turn before deciding whether this piece of grip equipment is worth adding to your home gym.

Rogue Wrist Roller facts and figures

The Rogue Wrist Roller comes in 2 versions; a handheld roller and a rack-mounted roller. Which one is best for you depends on whether you already have an existing Monster Lite rack.

You can also attach it to their discontinued 2x3” Infinity units by buying the affordable adapter kit.

The roller itself, as other reviewers have pointed out, is a beast. If you’re fed up with flimsy wrist rollers that feel (and look) more like a kids toy, then you'll be pleasantly surprised by the durable 2” steel that this device is created from.

I really like how the 6” handles—which are perfect for larger hands—are nice and thick and also don’t have knurling. As a result, you can smash out numerous sets without ripping your hands apart, which is often an issue with other wrist rollers when you start to gain strength.

The lack of knurling could save your hands from getting ripped to shreds as you get stronger.

Some reviewers noted that they would have preferred knurling. But since my hands are already pretty beat up from throwing around barbells, I’m happy to stick with liquid chalk and focus on my forearms when it comes to the wrist roller.

As for the strap, it measures 58.5” long and is constructed from tear-resistant nylon, so you’ll definitely be able to take advantage of the optional 12” loading pin and pile on the weight plates—if your forearms can handle it.

Pros

  • Thick 2” steel handles increase forearm involvement
  • Heavy-duty roller is made in the USA
  • Nylon strap can cope with heavy weights and aggressive workouts
  • Compatible with 3x3” Monster Lite uprights
  • Works with kettlebells, or weight plates via the sturdy loading pin
  • Builds grip strength and forearm muscularity simultaneously

Cons

  • Lack of knurling isn’t to everyone’s tastes
  • Resistance can sometimes feel a bit inconsistent as the set progresses

Rogue Wrist Roller construction

While there are other good devices available, such as the Grip Freak Hanging Wrist Roller, it’s fair to say that most wrist rollers suck. And that’s putting it politely.

Not only are they made from plastic, but they have low weight capacities and are a complete nightmare to grip with sweaty hands. Of course, most of these products simply don’t stand the test of time, and as a result, grip training goes out the window for many people.

But when you have a rock-solid wrist roller like the one made by Rogue, you look forward to blasting your forearms because you know that the kit will be able to cope with your increasing strength.

While the 2” steel diameter of the Rogue wrist roller may be a problem for lifters with tiny hands, it’s ideal for regular-sized users who really want to beef up their lower arms. This is also why fat bar training is so effective; you’re strengthening your grip while building phenomenal forearms. [1]

The 6” handles are a great width for those with bigger hands because your fingers won’t feel cramped up while rolling.

Moreover, at a weight of 7lbs for the handheld version and 15.5lbs for the rack-mounted device, it’s quite clear that this USA-made wrist roller is built to last a lifetime. With the additional loading pin, you really can load this bad boy up without worrying about whether the steel frame and sturdy nylon strap can take the strain—they can; they’re both built for toughness.

Rack-mounted vs handheld

Go for the rack-mounted version if you want to completely isolate your forearms. It’s compatible with any of their 3x3” Monster Lite units, and it also works with the old 2x3” Infinity units as well.

I’ve heard from other people that there are workarounds if you have a different rack. But obviously, I’m not going to endorse these more DIY wrist roller methods because I wouldn’t want you to get injured or your equipment to break.

Only get the rack-mounted version if you have the right Rogue rack.

Of course, the handheld version retains the same sturdy construction. The only downside—depending on your point of view—is that you’re going to get a lot more shoulder activation from using the handheld device.

You can mitigate some of this by holding the roller near your waist rather than out in front of your body, as if you were performing a front raise (a classic rookie wrist roller mistake).

Overall, though, since this device is specifically for the forearms, I still recommend going for the rack-mounted version if you have the appropriate rack.

Rogue Wrist Roller loading options

The Rogue Wrist Roller works with kettlebells out of the box—you just need to secure your kettlebells to the bottom end of the strap.

But since I’m not rich enough at the moment to have kettlebells of every weight, I prefer to use weight plates for my lifts, where possible, so that I can increase the load with more precision.

If you like having control over the finer details of your strength training as well, then you’ll want to invest in the 12” steel loading pin attachment. This way, you can get stronger faster by increasing the weight in more manageable increments.

However, the loading pin is also excellent for grip and pinch lifts, so it's a doubly sound investment for the forearms. [2]

Plus, you can even use it when creating your own lat pull-down machine. So if you’re looking to build a full home gym, it really is a good purchase to make.

Rogue Wrist Roller alternatives

If you're still on the fence about the Rogue wrist roller, then you can check out our reviews of similar products to gain a point of reference for comparison.

The verdict: Is the Rogue Wrist Roller worth your money?

Sure, some users wished there was knurling on the handles. Others complained that the resistance felt a little inconsistent as the set progressed. But by and large, most people loved their Rogue Wrist Roller due to its heavy-duty construction and compatibility with their 3x3” Monster Lite racks.

Ultimately, if you aren’t ready to tolerate the lactic acid that comes with using a thick-grip wrist roller like Rogue's, then this might not be the product for you. But if you want to strengthen your grip while building some serious forearm size, then you’ll definitely want to consider picking up the Rogue Wrist Roller next time you place an order.

References

  1. Cummings, P. M., Waldman, H. S., Krings, B. M., Smith, J. E. W., & McAllister, M. J. (2018). Effects of Fat Grip Training on Muscular Strength and Driving Performance in Division I Male Golfers. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 32(1), 205–210. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000001844
  2. Keogh, J. W., Morrison, S., & Barrett, R. (2007). Strength Training Improves the Tri-Digit Finger-Pinch Force Control of Older Adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(8), 1055–1063. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2007.05.014
Liam Brown
Liam Brown has been coaching clients as a personal trainer for more than 12 years. Raised by his athlete mother and physiotherapist father, he understands the critical importance of learning the proper technique for both avoiding injury and building muscle.
chevron-upmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram