Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Forearms
Target Muscle Group

Biceps

Biceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Standing Hammer Curl Instructions

  1. The hammer curl is a great exercise for the biceps and forearms. Set up by grasping a set of dumbbells and standing straight up with the dumbbells by your sides.
  2. You should be using a neutral grip, meaning your palms are facing your body.
  3. Bend your arms slightly to take tension into the biceps.
  4. Keeping your body fixed and elbows in at your sides, slowly curl the dumbbells up as far as possible.
  5. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Hammer Curl Tips:

  1. Do not lean back as you move the weight - this is cheating!
  2. Keep your elbows locked in by your sides throughout the set. Don't allow them to come forward as you curl the weight up. Focus on only allowing your forearms to move.
  3. Squeeze and hold at the top of the movement for maximum results.
  4. Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight for the whole set.
31 Comments
sondre
Posted on: Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:50

my right forearm gets tired way before my biceps on the hammercurl, is this good, or am i doing it wrong?

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:46

You're not doing it wrong. It just means you may need to use a lower weight as this exercise ifs both for your bicep AND your forearm

Nicholas Pappas
Posted on: Fri, 10/19/2018 - 17:11
Dad
Posted on: Wed, 12/16/2020 - 05:09

Son

Timothy Dennis
Posted on: Sat, 11/25/2017 - 08:36

Dependent on your strength level, start at a weight that you can control throughout the full range of motion; as you progress (over time) add more weight until you can rep EVERY dumbbell weight combination in the gym.

Shree
Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2017 - 23:22

Can anyone suggest me the best sets and reps for mass biceps...

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Tue, 05/23/2017 - 09:11

Hi Shree,

2-3 sets of 6-12 reps should do the trick. Of course, for a complete workout, you'll want to combine this exercise with others into a full program.

Hope this helps!

Nick
Posted on: Wed, 03/02/2016 - 21:08

Do we use max weight for every rep or should I be going up in weight with each rep starting light and finishing heavy?

Robert
Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2016 - 22:38

NIck, the secret to muscle growth is 'progression', so start off with a weight with which you can just do 10 strict, slow reps, then increase the weight by a few pounds and do 8 reps, then add again and do 6 reps, and so on. Twist the little finger side of your hands inwards at the top of the movement...you'll see, and feel, the difference in your biceps...by the way, I've always regarded the Hammer curl as more of a Brachialis exercise, so I think if you want to target the biceps, the regular curl is probably better, and the reverse curl for the forearms.

Nick
Posted on: Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:11

Robert, Thank you for the reply that does help out alot.

However on the article it says 4 sets 10 reps is it okay to instead go with the 12 8 6 method instead? If I'm going to do i I just want to be doing it right. Thanks for the time!

Robert
Posted on: Fri, 03/04/2016 - 19:15

You're welcome, Nick. Pretty well all routines work for a while. The 12/8/6/4 is a time-tested routine that I use all the time, so I think it would be fine to use it. I'm assuming the 4 sets of 10 is using the same weight for each set. Lets say you start off with just 5 pounds, so you hoist 200 pounds total. If you start off with 5 pounds on the 12/8/6/4 routine, and add just 2 pounds to each SET, your total weight hoisted is 214 pounds, if my maths is correct. Muscles grow to compensate for the amount of work you make them do, so it makes sense to me to add a little weight whenever you can, even if it's only 1/2 pound. Best way is to experiment a bit to see which routine suits you.

Nick
Posted on: Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:13

Robert, Thank you for the reply that does help out alot.

However on the article it says 4 sets 10 reps is it okay to instead go with the 12 8 6 method instead? If I'm going to do i I just want to be doing it right. Thanks for the time!

mr. peabody
Posted on: Sun, 06/07/2015 - 15:53

is it ok to alternate arms or are best made with both at same time

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MikeWines
Posted on: Mon, 06/08/2015 - 09:09

Sure. However, you may find that you get a better pump by isolating one arm and completing all the repetitions before moving to the other arm .

Zayn
Posted on: Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:27

Umm, i was wondering, lets say i use a 10-10-10 format.. how long do you think ill start seeing results..? Also, Im 18 and weight 65kg.. can you give me the best workout for my arms? Id really like to get bigger arms as soon as possible.. and ive just recently just started working out.. thanks!

Robert
Posted on: Fri, 04/17/2015 - 21:12

Zayn, welcome to working out! I'd suggest that you stay with some basic exercises for a while, eg, bench press, bent row, overhead press, deadlifts or squats, barbell curl, triceps pressdown, in a 10-8-6 format. Try to increase the weight even a little on each set. Remember that muscles grow BETWEEN workouts, not while you are pounding them with the weights, so give them time..a day or two between workouts....patience. Work them hard and in perfect form...for the curl, that means do them slowly without releasing the pressure at top or bottom of a full-range movement, don't use momentum, use the muscle...the bi's are also getting hit in some of the other exercises. Don't forget that the tris are a large part of the upper arm, so make sure you also work each of the 3 heads. After a month or so, change a few exercises. Keep your workouts short (45 mins or so) and intense. Hard to give you a time frame....but you WILL grow. Good luck!

Ned
Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2021 - 20:10

Did you make progress?

Zain
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 17:42

Hey there.
Yes, I had made noticeable progress. However, my bodybuilding phase had to come to a pre-mature end due to a bike accident ruining my wrists. I can barely do 10 pushups now without experiencing agonizing pain for a week. Have not set foot in a gym for 4 years. I stick to running to keep fit. Been recommended surgery but can't do that atm.

Happy lifting Ned!

Ned
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 20:01

Wow that sucks. I was wondering how long did it take you to see noticeable progress? Im currently in the situation you once were, skinny and wanting build my arms. So I was hoping you could give some advice.

mark johnson
Posted on: Fri, 06/06/2014 - 13:02

Great questions and answers.

Robert
Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2013 - 21:43

Although the biceps and forearms are activated in the dumbbell Hammer curls, I've always used the Hammer curls to target that broad, flat, elusive, wonderful muscle lurking behind the biceps, namely the Brachialis muscle. When the brachialis is developed, the biceps appear more massive as the brachialis pushes them out further. Biceps curls for biceps, forearm curls for forearms, and hammers for brachialis. Makes sense to me!

donnie
Posted on: Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:51

does mark walhberg do these?

Fiona
Posted on: Tue, 01/15/2013 - 07:23

How does this exercise differ in benefit/effect to a regular curl?

Adam Haze
Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:12

I know this exercise hits your forearms, where the normal curl doesn't'. That's what I've read. I still find it hard to believe that a normal curl doesn't hit your forearms at all though.

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:51

It hits the Brachialis muscle which the other variants don't. This will make the bicep look bigger

Albert
Posted on: Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:52

I'm having trouble increasing weight after 10 weeks in both standing hammer curl and regular dumbbell curl. Went from 25 lbs to 30 lbs but are struggling to achieve desired reps at 30 lbs. Currently doing Beginners Dumbbell Routine and shooting for 3 sets 12 reps. I can only do 12, 8, 6. Any advice?

Adam Haze
Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:11

I am also finding that it is taking a long time for my Bi's to get stronger compared to the rest of my muscles. The only thing I can think of is after about 4 weeks, be sure to change your exercise. Like for instance, week 1-4 barbell curls, week 5-8, dumbbell curls, week 9-12 hammer curls. You should ALWAYS switch up your workout after about a month so your muscles don't become too used to the workouts. I'm also doing 21's using a barbell. Look it up if you don't know what it is. And I don't know your routine, but increase your workout. (If you're doing them once a week, try doing them twice a week, and so on...)

Hari
Posted on: Mon, 11/05/2012 - 15:01

How does the cross body hammer curl differ??

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Joey
Posted on: Wed, 12/05/2012 - 16:05
Chris Martinez
Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2012 - 23:12

What is the best amount of reps to do for this exersize in your opinion?

Leeroy
Posted on: Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:56

Chris, I used to use a 12-10-8 format, but you can use 10-10-10 as well.
The former is probably my favourite though.

Good luck

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