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Hammer Curl

Hammer Curl is one of the best exercises to develop the brachio-radial muscle (long supinator). He also requests the brachial biceps and the anterior brachial.

The hammer curl is an interesting movement to develop the size of the forearms and biceps. It is recommended to integrate this exercise in the bicep sessions in order to effectively muscle the brachio-radial. Thanks to the intervention of this muscle it is possible to lift heavier in hammer curl than with supine exercises (palm up).

How To Make Hammer Curl

1- Starting position

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended to the side.
  • Slightly bend your legs to stabilize yourself.
  • Rotate the palms of the hands so that they are oriented towards the thighs, in a hammer grip (neutral grip).
  • Keep your elbows close to your torso during the entire movement and keep your upper arms still, only the forearms should move.

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2- Execution of the movement

  • Lift one of the dumbbells by forcing on your biceps.
  • Continue until the biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbell is roughly at shoulder level, palm still in a hammer grip.
  • Hold the dumbbell in the up position for a short time for optimal contraction, then slowly lower it back to the starting position, arms straight and elbow slightly bent.

Repeat the movement with the other arm. Continue to alternate repetitions until the end of your series.

Targeted Muscles

The hammer curl is an isolation exercise, which involves few muscles. The most sought after are the brachial biceps, the anterior brachial, and the long supinator (brachio-radial), the latter being the largest muscle of the forearm, attaching under the biceps which therefore also allows it to increase the thickness of the arm. The movement also involves the flexors of the forearms and fingers.

Tips For The Hammer Curl

The dumbbell hammer curl is especially useful for developing your anterior brachial muscle. The need to practice it will, therefore, depend on its size in relation to your biceps. If it is of equal size, the movement will have little use. On the other hand, if the anterior brachial is late, the exercise takes on its full meaning and can even replace the classic bicep curl until the delay is made up.

To raise the dumbbell as high as possible, it is possible to slightly advance your elbows, without overdoing it. The movement will be more complete, but you risk less isolating the biceps, which will involve the anterior deltoids.

Thanks to the neutral position, the hammer curl allows you to have more force and therefore to lift heavier weights than on a conventional bicep curl. However, be careful not to reduce the amplitude too much when practicing with too heavy a weight.

Safety instructions

Do not lift the dumbbells by swinging your torso or kicking the kidneys. If you can’t lift weights without cheating, the dumbbells are too heavy for you. Watch out for wrist or back pain, especially with heavy loads.

Risks and mistakes to avoid

  • Keep your chest, elbows and upper arms still during the exercise: do not cheat with a pendulum motion.
  • Do not give impulse with the back to perform the hammer grip curl!
  • Be sure to keep your elbows close to your torso at all times.
  • Do not twist your wrists: keep the hammer grip (neutral) throughout the movement.
  • Heavy loads: if you bend, force your legs, or give your back a boost, reduce the load. The use of heavy loads is however not advised for the hammer grip curl, which allows lifting more than with a supine grip (palms up).


  • Exhale while lifting the dumbbell.
  • Inhale during the descent and in the down position. For better

For better stability and/or for the use of heavy loads hold your breath during the climb, exhale after the effort.

The interest in Hammer Curl

An excellent exercise for having wide and thick arms.


It makes me hammer ..! Okay, that sucked! Knowing that my arms are long due to my rather slender morphology, this curl helped me enormously to thicken my biceps thus making my arms more aesthetic from the front. As usual, I advise you to try the movement by adjusting your workload to master the exercise and the feeling. Note that you can also perform the hammer curl using a triceps bar or using a low pulley rope.

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The hammer curl can be practiced standing or sitting. In addition, you can work by lifting the two dumbbells together or unilaterally. In the latter case, it is also possible to practice forced repetitions, at the end of the series, using your free hand to help your other arm.

The hammer curl is also practiced with the pulley, using a rope, using one or two arms.

You can also do the exercise in concentrate, sitting, or on the Larry Scott bench, which helps promote brachial work. Note that some Larry Scoot curl machines also allow you to practice the exercise.

Another alternative to the hammer curl with dumbbells is to start in a neutral grip then finish in supination. Practice the rotation in the lower part of the movement.

It is also possible to replace the dumbbells with a triceps bomber bar.

Finally, the other variants of the hammer curl are obviously the supination and pronation curls. But these exercises do not put as much strain on the long supinator.

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