Hammer Curls for Bicep Workout

Many people still consider hammer curls the same as the classic dumbbell curls, but there is a small difference that I'll explain to you in a moment.

The big difference is in the way you hold the dumbbell because in this case your palms have to face your body (basically they face each other).

The other difference is that hammer curls stimulate your biceps for all their length, focusing on the main bicep (brachii) and the brachialis too.

Someone notices that if you do hammer instead of normal curls your biceps don't peak as much. The whole bicep grows, but doesn't peak because the workout is not focused on the main bicep only.

Hammer Curls Details

PRIMARY MUSCLE: Biceps (especially brachialis)

SECONDARY MUSCLES: Forearms, Shoulders

EQUIPMENT: Dumbbells

TYPE: Isolation

Hammer Curls

Standing Hammer Bicep Curls

Let me explain the standing position, but clearly you can perform this exercise in a seated position or at the cables like described in Cable Curls. You can do hammer bicep curls also at the preacher bench like described in Preacher Curls. Just keep the hammer grip during the whole movement.


INITIAL POSITION: Stand straight and slightly bend your knees so you absorb the weight on your legs and you don't charge your back. Hold the two dumbbells with a hammer grip and fully extend your arms.

MOVEMENT: The execution can be done lifting both arms or alternating them.

  • Raise the dumbbell towards your shoulder
  • Keep the hammer grip for the whole movement
  • Try to squeeze your bicep when you reach the top position and slowly return to the initial position
  • Repeat with the other arm unless your decided to lift both dumbbells together

BREATHING: Exhale during the active phase of the exercise (when you raise the weight) and inhale during the negative phase.

TIPS and ERRORS: Keep your back straight all the time, keep you core (abs) tight. Don't bend your body backwards to try to help lifting the dumbbell, that could cause you injuries and preclude the correct execution of the exercise.


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