How To Do Hammer Curl

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating a hammer curl

Hammer Curl is a bicep exercise that strengthens, tones, and sculpts the arms for a more shaped and sculpted upper body. The Hammer Curl is slightly different than the Bicep Curl as it uses complimentary muscles and muscle fibers to attack the biceps from all angles. If you learn how to do Hammer Curl you can put it together with a Bicep Curl all in one set for an awesome, balanced workout.

As you probably know, a traditional bicep curl keeps your arms down by your side with palms facing up and the biceps squeeze the curl the dumbbells up to the shoulders. If you learn how to do Hammer Curl you are turning the palms inward and when lifting the dumbbells you engage added muscle fibers that surround the biceps, which you don’t get in a regular bicep curl. For some people, the hammer curl is a great alternative to the bicep curl if wrist weakness or injury is present. The Hammer Curl turns the wrist into a more neutral position.

Hammer Curl can be done with both arms moving simultaneously or in more of a “hammer” motion, lifting one, and then the other. In either case, be sure to soften your knees and stand in strong position with your core engaged the entire time. Be sure to keep things strong and tight to avoid swinging your arms. In other words, after the curl you should slowly lower the arm back down until it is just along the side of your body. Don’t swing your arms back behind you. Check out our arm workout 10 Minutes To Beautiful Biceps!

Here are the steps to performing Hammer Curl:

1) Standing upright with core engaged, weights resting at sides with palms facing in.

2) Curl the dumbbells up, thumbs on top, until they reach shoulders. Lower to start position with control.

Targets: biceps, shoulder

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