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    Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

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    A hammer curl is a variation of the biceps curl and targets muscles in the upper and lower arm. While this exercise is almost always performed with a dumbbell, you can do it with cables or bands. Hammer curls are a great addition to your upper-body strength routine.

    Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

    How to Do Hammer Curls

    Stand with your legs straight (but not stiff or locked) and knees aligned under the hips. Your arms are at your side with a dumbbell in each hand, the weights resting next to the outer thigh Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results .Your palms are facing the thighs, thumbs facing forward, and shoulders relaxed.

    1. To pull the weights toward your shoulders, bend at the elbow and raise your lower arms. Your wrists are parallel to your forearms and your upper arms are motionless.
    2. Hold for one second at the top of the movement. Your thumbs will be close to the shoulders and palms facing in, toward the midline of your body.
    3. Lower the weights to return to the starting position.

    Engage your abdominals throughout hammer curls to prevent movement in the lower back as you lift and lower weights Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Benefits of Hammer Curls

    Because the biceps brachii are so apparent on the front of the body, they are sometimes referred to as “vanity muscles.Hammer curls strengthen these muscles. People looking to get a muscular appearance often target the biceps for a more athletic look Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Within the body, biceps brachii is an elbow flexor because it is responsible for the bending movement at the elbow joint. It also helps to rotate (supinate) the forearm Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    In everyday movements, strong biceps help you lift and carry heavy objects. These muscles assist with other arm-based movements, like closing a door or pulling objects toward or across your body Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Hammer curls are one way to build stronger biceps muscles and provide greater definition and increased strength.Including it in your exercise program may also help increase wrist stability and grip strength Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Other Variations of Hammer Curls

    You can modify hammer curls to better align with your fitness level and goals.

    Alternating Hammer Curls

    If you find it too difficult to maintain perfect form when performing hammer curls, consider alternating. Lift the right arm first, then the left, and lower them one at a time rather than raising both arms at once. Keep switching sides.

    Incline Hammer Curls

    Another variation is to use a seated incline bench to perform hammer curls. When seated, the starting position places the arms behind your hips and helps to reduce shoulder involvement Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results. Otherwise, the same movements apply. Lift the weights to the shoulders before lowering them again.

    We’ve tried, tested, and reviewed the best weight benches. If you’re in the market for a weight bench, explore which option may be best for you Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Preacher Hammer Curls

    Some fitness enthusiasts practice hammer curls on a preacher bench. With the padded, tilted armrest of a preacher bench, you can isolate your upper arm and lift heavier weights, effectively targeting your biceps.

    Adjust the padded armrest so its top is just touching your armpits. Rest your upper arms against the padding, extend your elbows, and hold the weights so your palms face each other. Lift the weights to your shoulders, then lower them back down Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Hammer Curls Power Squat

    Make hammer curls more challenging by adding a squat Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results. This helps you work your legs and glutes while also working your arms. After lifting the weights to the shoulders, drop into a squat position. Hold briefly, stand back up, and return the weights to your side.

    Hammer Curls: Common Mistakes

    Avoid these common errors to keep hammer curls safe while maximizing their effectiveness.

    Using Momentum

    Using momentum decreases your ability to build strength during hammer curls. Swinging motions may also put you at higher risk for injury because you lose control when momentum takes over Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    You can tell if you’re using momentum if you start hammer curls by leaning forward slightly and bringing the weights behind your hips. This body position helps you to wind up for the workload Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results.

    Using momentum is often a sign that you are lifting too much weight. If you notice yourself winding up before each repetition, decrease the weight and focus on form.

     5 Health-Related Components of Fitness

    Curling Too Fast

    Because hammer curls have a limited range of motion, it’s simple to go fast through this exercise and make rapid motions, particularly when decreasing the weight.

    You can control the movements and concentrate on form if you take your time going up and down. By requiring you to use your muscles for a longer period of time, slowing down your motions also increases the challenge.

    Curling too fast can also be a sign that you’re not lifting enough weight. Both the concentric or shortening phase (when you lift the weight) and the eccentric or lengthening phase (when you lower the weight) should last about two breaths.

    Floating Elbows

    It’s easy to allow the elbows to float away from the body during hammer curls. While this engages other muscles in the lift, such as the deltoids (shoulders), the more you engage other muscles the less you target the biceps.

    During hammer curls, maintain a fixed, steady elbow position and focus solely on moving the lower arm. The weight is too heavy if you can’t raise it without using your elbow.

    Safety and Precautions

    While hammer curls are appropriate for most exercisers, those with lower arm injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) may need an alternate exercise or modification.

    Tension in the biceps indicates that the movement is working and effectively targeting your upper-arm muscles. However, stop if you feel pain when performing hammer curls.

    When first starting, try two sets of 7 to 10 repetitions each. As you get stronger and more flexible, add repetitions first. Then add more weight.

    If you are new to this or any weight training exercise, try the movements without weight (or with very little weight) to get comfortable with the movement. You can also work with a fitness trainer to get tips and advice.

    Try Hammer Curls

    Incorporate hammer curls and similar moves into one of these popular workouts:

    • Back and Biceps Workout for Strength
    • Beginner Upper Body Workout
    • Upper Body Tri-Set Challenge Workout

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