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How To Do Hammer Curls

What Is A Hammer Curl

How To Do Hammer Curls For Biceps

Hammer curls are a dumbbell bicep variation that uses a neutral grip (palms facing each other) to target both heads of the bicep, as well as putting a larger emphasis on the forearm than bicep exercises that adopt a supinated grip. The neutral grip also places less emphasis on the wrists and may be more suitable for those prone to wrist pain.

The hammer curl uses the same movement pattern as the dumbbell curl, requiring the performer to curl the dumbbells up towards the shoulders using elbow flexion. The grip positioning of the hammer curl may allow the performer to lift greater load, however implementing supinated bicep exercises is still important to ensure both heads of the biceps receive well rounded training.

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Commonly Asked Questions On Hammer Curls

  • Hammer curls target the biceps, particularly the long head, and the forearms.

  • Hammer curls work the forearms to a greater degree than bicep burls with a supinated grip. They also help to improve wrist and grip strength.

  • Similar to hammer curls, cross body hammer curls target the biceps and forearms, with a greater emphasis on the forearms. They also target the deltoids.

Hammer Curls Tips

As the biceps are used in many back exercises, it’s important to strengthen your biceps to improve the bigger lifts. Many lifters will opt for supinated bicep exercises such as barbell curls or preacher curls, however ensuring the neutral grip is incorporated will aid back exercises, particularly contributing well to chin ups and neutral or V grip cable rows.

Using momentum to swing the weight up, makes the shoulders shift forwards aiding in lifting the load. This moves focus away from the biceps and onto the shoulders instead. To avoid this, try to think about pinning your elbows close to your side without touching it. When you begin to fatigue and start to use momentum stop your set and rest or lighten the load if you’re looking for more reps!

How To Do A Hammer Curl

  1. Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip so that your palms are facing each other. 

  2. Engage your core and relax your shoulders, then squeeze your bicep as you bend at the elbow to curl the dumbbells up to your shoulder, making sure to maintain a neutral grip.

  3. Lower the dumbbells slowly, until they return to the starting position and your elbows are extended.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.