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Biceps Workout – Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The dumbbell hammer curl is one of the classic exercises for developing biceps and shoulder muscles. It helps to increase the volume and definition of the biceps. The width of the forearm also increases in a short time. The exercise is sometimes referred to simply as the hammer.

The features of the exercise

Dumbbell hammer curl trains:

  • Biceps
  • Brachial muscle
  • Brachioradialis muscle
  • Round pronator

Distribution of the load on the muscles during the exercise

“The dumbbell hammer curl helps develop a range of small muscles. Some trainers refer to the hammer as a basic exercise, but this is not entirely true. The muscle groups being developed are too small. Moreover, the movement is carried out due to the work of one joint. For these reasons, it’s more correct to consider it an isolated exercise.”

Its main advantage is that it allows you to increase the total muscle mass of the arms. The development of muscles occurs in a complex manner, and you’ll definitely be pleased with the end result.

The grip you use directly affects which muscles receive the main load. Before starting a workout, pay attention to the following nuances:

  • The more the palm looks down, the greater the load on the brachialis

  • The more the palm is turned upward, the greater the load on the biceps

  • A neutral grip, with the palms facing each other, evenly loads both of these muscles

When choosing a grip, think about which muscles you want to develop first

Exercise technique

How to exercise correctly? First, you need to find the right dumbbell weight. It’s usually recommended to work with a weight that allows you to do 8-10 reps.

If you are an experienced athlete, then you can choose a super heavyweight to do 4-6 reps. At the end of the exercise, you can help yourself with the body. But such practice requires a perfectly honed movement technique. It’s necessary to change the technique skillfully, understanding the process of muscle work. Otherwise, there is a great risk of injury.


Dumbbell hammer curl while standing and sitting

This is how the correct execution of dumbbell hammer curl looks like:

1After you decide on the load, take the starting position. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. A slight natural deflection should form in the lower back. Make sure your posture is comfortable and stable enough
2Fix your elbows on the sides of your torso. Make sure they don’t move forward or backward during the exercise
3Take dumbbells with a neutral grip. A neutral grip means the dumbbell palms are facing each other
4As you exhale, raise your arms to almost shoulder level. Achieve peak muscle contraction. The peak contraction of the biceps occurs a little earlier than the hand touches the shoulder. By bringing your forearm to a vertical position, you release the load from the biceps and transfer it to the tendons. Therefore, the arms must be raised without bringing the forearms to a vertical position. Try to concentrate on the exercise and be aware of the muscle work. This is a very useful skill for an athlete. Stay at the top peak point for a few seconds
5Slowly lower the dumbbells down, returning to the starting position. Without stopping, again raise your arms
6Do the required number of repetitions (8-12), take a break, and perform another 2-3 sets

“The hammer can be done while sitting or standing, lifting the dumbbells at the same time or alternately. It all depends on your physical fitness.”

If the above exercise seems too difficult for you, you can simplify it a little. First, change the starting position. Sit on a bench, spread your legs wide and straighten your back. Next, try lifting the dumbbells alternately and at the same time. Usually, lifting dumbbells at the same time is easier, since it’s easier to coordinate movements.

Useful tips

The dumbbell hammer curl will be super effective if you follow a few simple rules. To improve your workout results, pay attention to the following recommendations:

  • Start each session with a warm-up. Rotating and warming up the arm muscles will make lifting dumbbells less traumatic

  • Make sure that the position of the dumbbells in your palms does not change during the exercise. Each lift must be performed with the same grip. The grip affects the distribution of the load on the biceps and brachialis

  • Avoid unnecessary movement during exercise. The tilt of the body and the instability of the elbow significantly reduce the load on the biceps, thereby making the session less effective

  • Train at a moderate pace and do not take unnecessary pauses. Finish the session with a muscle stretch

“While mastering the dumbbell hammer curl, it’s better not to extend your arms to the end at the bottom point. That’ll keep the muscles tense throughout the exercise.”

The dumbbell hammer curl increases the volume and definition of your biceps in no time. You can achieve amazing results by combining it with other exercises.

I'm a professional fitness instructor and nutritionist, runner, husband and father. I do my best in providing the right guidance when it comes to the grounds of sexual health, nutrition and common fitness.

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