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. Your palms are facing the thighs, thumbs facing forward, and shoulders relaxed.

  1. Bend at the elbow, lifting the lower arms to pull the weights toward the shoulders. Your upper arms are stationary and the wrists are in line with the forearms.
  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

Hammer curls work the biceps brachii, considered a “vanity muscle” because it is easily visible on the front of your body.1 People looking to get a muscular appearance often target the biceps for a more athletic look.

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.

Having powerful biceps aids in lifting and carrying big objects throughout daily activities. Other arm-based tasks like moving objects across your body or closing a door are made easier by these muscles.

Hammer curls are one way to build stronger biceps muscles and provide greater definition and increased strength.3 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. 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. This helps you work your legs and glutes while also working your arms. Put the weights up to your shoulders and then lower yourself into a squat. After a few moment, release the weights and stand back up.

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.

Using momentum is frequently an indication of excessive weightlifting. If you find yourself tiring out before every rep, lighten the load and concentrate on your form.

 5 Health-Related Components of Fitness

Curling Too Fast

Hammer curls employ a relatively small range of motion, so it’s easy to rush through this exercise and use quick movements, especially during the lowering phase.Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

Taking your time on the way up and down allows you to control the movements and focus on form. Slowing your movements also adds more challenge because you must engage your muscles for a longer time.

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

Hammer curls are one exercise where it’s simple to let the elbows float away from the body. Although this involves using other muscles for the lift, including the deltoids (shoulders), you are less likely to focus on your biceps the more other muscles you use.Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

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.Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

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.Hammer Curls: Learn Proper Form to Maximize Your Results

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.

Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved By Findmylinksnow