Hammer curls are similar to standard dumbbell curls, except that they recruit more of your forearm.
While ‘well-built’ forearms may not be on the top of your agenda, you should know that strong forearms contribute substantially to your overall upper body strength and grip. For that reason, they should not be neglected.
How to perform hammer curls
Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your hands down by your sides with your wrists facing each other.
Keeping your elbows close to your body and your upper arm in its fixed start position. Slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulder but do not rotate your wrist at the top as you would with traditional curls. The only joint that should move is your elbow.
When the dumbbell reaches your shoulder, hold at the top for a second and then slowly move the weight back down to start position through the same controlled movement. Go for reps.
You can do one arm at a time, or both together. Whichever you’re most comfortable with.
Hammer curls: Common mistakes to avoid
You can perform this exercise sitting or standing. Sitting will encourage better isolation.
If you are performing your hammer curl with incorrect form, you may unintentionally recruit other muscle groups during the exercise. In addition to this, you will poorly engage the intended muscle groups. As a result; this could hinder your gains at best and result in injury at worst.
Also note that there should be no swinging through your shoulder, or using your body for momentum.
Always keep the muscle you intend to work in mind when you are performing the exercise, this is the ideal way to ensure best results.
Reps and sets
Your hammer curls should be worked into your overall bigger picture. Therefore your reps and sets will depend entirely on where you are physically and most importantly; your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. For the purpose of laying a solid foundation to build upon; don’t over complicate things. The most important thing is to get started, the rest will come with experience.
On the other hand, more advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals first. From there; you can choose the appropriate rep/set range to work with.
Beyond hammer curls...
More arm exercises coming soon...
Just so you know, this list of arm exercises is a work in progress and is by no means extensive. We will continue to grow this entire database for you over time, so be sure to check back for updates. Alternatively, you can join our mailing list below and you’ll be the first to know about all new content we produce.