Why are my wrists so skinny? 7 Surprising reasons

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Why are my wrists so skinny? I never wanted to ask myself this self-punishing question because I didn’t want to feel scared knowing the truth. It was challenging to learn the reasons why my wrists look smaller and weaker. I got no shame is being sincere, it was heart breaking, after I learned that genetics is one main reason why my wrist bone is so small. So, I immediately concluded there would be nothing anyone can ever do to make me grow bigger wrists and forearms. Although there is little hope, to increase wrist size, I discovered alternative was I could make my wrist appear larger and masculine.

I’m not the only person with wrists that look so small and weak. So, why are your ankles and wrist bone so skinny too? Any thoughts?

While you may want to deal with your skinny wrists, it is important to know what is considered thin wrists and why your wrist are so small. There are so many questions about having skinny wrists. Like me, if you are curious as to why your wrists look pretty skinnier, this update is for you.


First, what is considered a skinny wrist?

A wrist circumference under 6.5 inches or 17 cm is considered small. Compared to average wrist sizes for male adults, most men who have wrists sizes smaller than 7 inches (17.8cm) are considered as having small wrists.

On the other hand, a woman who has her wrists circumference under 6 inches are considered having skinny wrists, when compared to average wrist sizes for women.

What!, my wrist size is just 6 inches? why are my wrists so skinny?

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Why do my wrists look smaller?  7 Surprising reasons

There are many challenges of having thin wrists, but one big question remains, why are my wrists so small and weak? Whether you are an adult or a teenager, it is important to know why you got slender arms, and skinny wrists and hands. Let’s get started.


1. Gene – Are skinny wrists genetic?

You got smaller wrists? My friend, your skinny wrists are caused by genetics and your smaller body frame size is under strong genetic control. So you got thin wrists because your wrists bone is tiny and there aren’t any, or enough fat or muscles built around this wrist bone. And why is your wrist bone small, anyway?

Your wrist bone structure, shape and size is determined by your DNA. If your DNA shows that you have slender wrists bones, you probably had to receive the skinny wrists gene from your father or your mother. If both of your parents have small size wrists, your own wrists will be significantly thinner.

Study  has shown that genetics has a lot of influences on your muscle strength, your lean body mass, and your bone mineral density. Even if you want to grow muscles and have bigger wrists and forearms, your muscle bulk and strength is still entirely genetic.

This means a larger wrists bodybuilder will grow comparatively large and massive forearm muscles than a skinny guy with the same wrist and forearm exercises.

Unfortunately, you’ll hear some people talk of bad bicep genetics, or bad ab genetics, because they can’t enormously enlarge muscles around these areas.

That happens for skinny person who have shorter belly muscles, and there is little room for abs to grow or short forearm muscles and there is limited space for the triceps and biceps to grow. Don’t get scared, you can grow muscles and manage your skinny wrists through wrist training exercise.

Genetics is the science of study of genes and heredity information and how they are passed down from parents to children(offspring).

There are certain qualities, behavior, physical traits that you received from one or both of your parents through DNA. A DNA segment usually contains instructions that define how your body forms, develops, and works(research)

Why do I have thin wrists then?

Because my my wrist bones are genetic and I got the skinny wrists traits from one or both of my small-wrist parents.



2. Why are my wrists very thin? – low body fat percentage

Why is my wrists so thin? I have a low body fat ratio, and that is basically why my wrists have no muscles at all, because no subcutaneous fat is stored there.

When you have lower-body fat (subcutaneous fat) percentage, your ankles, arms, forearm and wrist will look slender and weaker. Too much body fat can make you overweight and potentially obese, but you get enough “meat” or skin covering your ankle and wrists bones.

We understand that in order to improve your body composition; you need to reduce(not get rid of) your body fat through strict diet and exercise regimen for several weeks. To achieve this, people do exercises to burn more calories and reduce body fat.

If you do too much fat burning workouts, or over limit your diet, you may lose your body fat beyond the essential fat values. Becoming extra skinny, with reduced waistline, and having skinny wrists and forearms, tiny ankles and legs, are often some of the negative outcomes consistent with over training and over starving.

Some athletes get extremely low body fat levels and look so skinny by taking steroids and other fat burning drugs and supplements. This lifestyle change is to achieve a slimmer body size with a toned look.

But that comes with disadvantages. Women athletes with very low body fat percentage will have pretty thinner wrists, and suffer a  temporal stop of menstruation(Female Athlete Triad).

So why do I have skinny wrists then?

Having a low body fat percentage will significantly keep your wrist size smaller. Just like the equi-distribution of body fat can cause your wrist to look larger, burning fat from your body will make your wrist and fingers look slimmer.



3. Why is my wrist getting thinner?  –Low bone minerals

The thinning of bones occurs when there is a loss of calcium, and phosphates more than it is replaced. When your bones get improper calcium and phosphate absorption, suffer a condition called osteoporosis.

The faster your body reabsorbs your wrist bone tissue than it creates a new one, the develop osteopenia and osteoporosis – noticeable when your ankles, forearms and wrists get smaller and weaker.

When your body reabsorb the calcium and phosphate from your bone, and keeps the minerals instead in your tissues, your ankle, leg, forearm and wrist bones get weaker, and slimmer at a faster rate.

You can limit the bone mineral decrease through Lifestyles changes. For example, eating the right diets can reduce bone loss, when you get enough calcium.

Why is your wrist getting smaller?

Your have small wrists and skinnier ankles when the amount of bone lost in your is greater than the amount of bones newly formed.


wearing a big watch on small wrists - why is my wrist very thin

Read More: How to get bigger wrists and forearms with push-ups


4. Why are my forearms and wrists so small?–Decline bone density after 30 years

The bitter truth is that bones get thinner and slimmer as you age out. What I mean here is that your bones become thicker, denser, larger, and stronger from childhood till you are 30 years old.

We are humans. As we grow older, our bones become weaker and relatively smaller than we can imagine. Many people only realized they got bone loss until when they have broken a bone somewhere in the body.

Your bone tissue continues to increase while you are younger. The peak of increasing bone tissue (maybe bone size) comes around the age of 30, from there it declines. That is why your bones are the strongest when you are still around age 30.

After this age, thinning of bones starts. The process makes your bones weaker or continues to lose strength way after 30 years. If you’re an adult over 30 years and have observable challenging skinny wrists sizes, you might not have paid enough attention to your diet and lifestyle.

If you have a poor eating lifestyle, consuming too much alcohol, you will suffer bone absorption at the adult stage. Your bone will get slimmer than when you regularly consume calcium-rich foods.

As an adult, why are your arms and wrist so skinny?

If you are aged 30+ years, and not taking the right diets, including foods that’s rich in calcium, phosphate and other mineral, you’ll get skinny wrists.



5. Why are my wrists bones so small? – small body frame

You can’t get bigger wrists when all you have got is a smaller body frame size. Your body frame size is usually determined by your wrist circumference compared to your height. For example, if you’re a man with body height over 5′ 5″ and have wrist size around 6″, you definitely fall into the small-boned or small body frame size category.

What does being small-boned mean then? Smaller body frame size means you got smaller overall body weight and that your body is smaller than average build.

How do you tell if you’re big boned or skinny boned? You can measure your body frame and see where you fall. I have noticed that some people weigh more than they actually look.

So if you look thin and weigh a lot of pounds, it’s because your muscle is denser than fat and more compact within your body. So even if you gain muscle mass, you still end up looking thinner, with tiny wrists, slender ankles and slimmer wrists.

Therefore, why do my wrists look smaller?

If you have a small body frame size, you are a small-boned person, and will have smaller-sized arms and skinny ankles. There is no doubt  that you also have petite wrists.



6. Why are my hands and wrists so skinny? – Living an Inactive lifestyle.

The general recommendation that everyone should be getting at least 150minutes of aerobic exercise per week is not a weakness. The secret is that exercises, is the best way to stay active and healthier, with stronger bones.

When you live an inactive lifestyle, you don’t do exercises. In that case, you lose the chance to place loads on your wrists muscles and wrist bones. Toning your muscles through weight-bearing exercises, stretching, and twists could improve your bone density.

The truth is that, people with inactive lifestyles never know that bones are living tissues and need repair. Not doing strength and resistance exercises for your forearm and wrists will keep the internal mechanisms that could make your wrist bones to grow stronger and bigger, inactive.

Inactivity makes slow down bones (osteoblasts) cells that build calcium into bone tissues. Lack of wrist and forearm exercises slows down your arm and wrists’ bone formation. Whole body training can accelerate bone growth and prevent the thinning of bones.

It must not be only wrists exercises, other workouts like walking, climbing stairs, jogging, running, dancing, hiking, cycling, rowing, rope jumping or playing team sports can make your bones thicker and stronger.

So why are my wrists and hands so skinny?

Inactive lifestyle or not doing exercises slows down calcium absorption into your bone. This results in bone loss, bone thinning, and a weaker and skinny appearance of the wrist size.



7. Why are my ankles and wrist so skinny? – smoking and drinking alcohol

If you don’t pay attention to your food intake, you will certainly be limiting calcium and phosphate intake into your bones. Unhealthy feeding will produce unhealthier, weaker bones which just get smaller and skinnier with time.

If you are going to get thicker wrists, with healthy bones, aim for 700 mg of calcium intake per day. You can include Vitamin D, by just a short exposure to sunlight, it will contribute to proper calcium absorption.

If you don’t eat some foods like the dairy products, yogurt, milk, eggs, and leafy green vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, fish, you would be greatly sacrificing your mineral intake which will make you end up with tiny ankles, and slender wrists bones.

Smoking makes you look dry, weaker and skinnier. Sad to say, but most people don’t realize why they have thinner wrists. Smoking cause bone thinning and favors osteoporosis.

If you consume alcohol, expect your wrist size, hands and fingers to be getting smaller and weaker. Alcohol reduces the amount of calcium, potassium and magnesium and makes your bones get thinner. In your arms, you will notice decrease grip strength.

So why are my wrists and ankles so small?

Drinking alcohol and smoking reduce calcium absorption into bones, leads to osteoporosis, and causes all your bones, including the forearm, hands and wrists bones to get thinner.


8. Why are your wrists thin? – You are young and still a teenager

If you’re a boy around 15-year-old and your wrist size is roundly 5.5 inches, you just came out of puberty at 14. So, if you see your wrists are smaller, you are judging too early because you are still a  young and growing kid.

Moreover, we have seen that wrist size is mainly genetic. So if your dad has very large wrists and your mom is blessed with medium size wrists, be glad, your wrists will grow son.

If you are 12-18, and it’s your wrists you’re worried about, you got no problem. Just start doing some lightweight lifting if one of your parents has skinny wrists.

If you are still a teenager, say at 14 and have smaller wrists, while your dad has medium size wrists, I recommend you start working out early.

Why are my wrists so small?

Probably, you are still a teenager, at puberty stage, or a pre-teen. If that is it, you are still growing your wrists is still to grow enough.


Why are my forearms and wrists so small

Overall: Why are your wrists so small and weak?

Why are your bones getting thinner? If you have got fused wrist bone structure, you are going to have thinner wrist. You will even have very skinny wrists and forearms because:

  • Its genetic–a gene from your father, mother or both
  • You’re having a small frame, and
  • not getting enough calcium intake,
  • living an inactive lifestyle,
  • living in a family history of osteoporosis,
  • still smoking, or consuming too much alcohol.
  • You are still young and still growing


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Is a 6 inch wrist small?

According to average wrists sizes for men, 6 inch wrist is considered small, because average or medium wrists circumference is around 7 inches to 7.5 wrist. For ladies, according to the average wrists sizes for women, 6 inches is medium wrists size for a female.

What does a 6 inch wrist mean if you are  5’2″ tall and having 5′ 5″ wrists? With a wrist size less than 6″ (medium wrist size 6″ to 6.25″) , you have a small frame body.

But how big is 6 inch wrist for a watch? A wrist size (circumference) of less than 6 inches has 34mm to 36mm as the recommended small to mid-size watches. If your wrists sizes within 6 inches to 7 inches, mid-sized, to standards watches around 38mm to 42mm are ok.


Do wrist get bigger with weight gain?

Do wrists get bigger when you gain weight? Most often, YES. If you could gain weight, fat will be stored all around under the skin of your body, and that is including in your wrists. So there isn’t no doubt that your wrist size will look bigger s you gain more weight.

If your height is near 185 cm (6′) and let me say your weight is around 130lbs, and your wrists are very small (I just hate it), gaining weight would make your wrist become a little bigger. That is true only if pure fat is stored in your body, but too much body fat is bad.

Can my wrists become bigger if I gain weight? I don’t really know why you should get so desperate about your wrists size. Just get overweight or a little obese and your arms, forearms, and wrists will increase in size and look fucking thicker. Seriousness, I sometimes wonder why people are worried about thin wrists, when food is readily available.

That means eating right is the key to filling out your bony arms and getting a good wrist and forearm proportion. Try eating, eating and eating the healthy weight gain, high-calorie foods and your entire arms will get more muscular.


Does wrist size increase with age?

Will my wrists get thicker with age? YES and YES, even without working out or doing fitness wrist exercises, your wrists and forearm will obviously grow with age.

Unfortunately, your body height or bone size, including the wrists size, will be near impossible to change when you hit 21 years. That is why a teen boy at 18 with would have larger wrists than his brother who’s just 14. Wrists grow with age and stops at 21 years.

Can I expect my wrists to grow after 18? If you are 18 and very skinny wrists, working out can make your wrists massive, muscular and stronger. If you are still as younger than 15 years old, no worries, your wrists are a little thin but will grow bulkier.


Till what age does wrist circumference increase?

You have seen me say 21, but that is approximate and varies somewhat. How you’re the circumference of the wrist increases has something to do with the wrists bones, soft tissues of the wrist and the joint spaces inside the arms.

Usually, bone growth is men varies, from 15 years to 21, but you expect your bone growth to stop somewhere within 17-21. However,  the tendons and the muscles in your body would grow in size depending on use.


How do you know if you have skinny wrists?

To know your wrist size, measure your wrist circumference using a soft ruler and tape wrapped around your wrist bone. They make the wrist measurement or reading in inches or centimeters. Here are various ways how to measure wrists accurately, at home.


how to get bigger wrists with arm exercises

How do you bulk up your wrists and forearms

How to increase my wrist size? You must be asking “can you increase your wrist size”, but I expected it. The truth is that, there is something you can do to bulk your wrists and forearm sizes.

The increase in wrist size won’t be much compared to forearm muscles, because the wrists have barely no muscles around it. All a wrist has got is several tendons running from arm to hand and little to no muscles around them.

You can get your wrist size increased with exercise. There are many wrists and forearm training workouts. If you incorporate wrists exercises and train your wrist muscles in a regular workout routine, you will be glad you took the challenge.

Actually, training your forearm and wrist muscles does more than just increase wrist size. You build strength, get a powerful grip (ability to grab and lift objects), and make your arm, hands, and wrists more flexible.

A note if you want to learn how to get bigger wrists at home. It is almost impossible for your wrists to grow in size. Training your wrists will thicken the surrounding tendons, but not increase the wrist bone or muscles around it.

The secret to making your wrists look bigger, then, is to have massive and muscular biceps and triceps around your upper forearms. No one is gonna cares about your petite wrists sizes if you build muscular forearm muscles or get taller.

Here is how to make wrists bigger with wrist curls and wrist stretching.


Wrap Up


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