We all want bigger biceps and triceps, but most of us don’t have the time or motivation to work out in the gym or perform bodyweight exercises to build them. If you are looking for an exercise to help build bigger arms in your workout routine, you have to find a different method like hammer curls or barbell curls to accomplish this goal, and this proper form of exercise works well on the biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscles.(1)
What is a Hammer Curl?
The Hammer Curl is a classic exercise that you can do with dumbbells for sculpting your biceps in entire time. It is one of the most famous exercises for arms: a curl performed with a straight arm. The barbell curl was first invented by weightlifters, adopted by many athletes, and has gradually been incorporated into gym exercise.
The exercise is a simple and highly effective means of targeting the arm muscles and specifically the brachialis muscle.
In a nutshell, the brachialis is the minor bicep muscle that is responsible for elbow flexion. Every time you bend your elbow, you are engaging the bicep simultaneously, hence the name.
How to do Hammer Curls Properly?
There are lots of arm exercises out there. Barbells, dumbbells, machines, and even resistance bands are all potential tools of the trade. But for making serious progress, nothing beats a good old-fashioned hammer curls. It’s one of the best exercises you can do to build bigger arms, but it’s also one of the most difficult to master. If you’re ready to take your strong biceps to the next level, you’re going to need to get your hammer curls right.
OK, Let’s get started.
- Keep your feet together, tighten the core of the abdomen, shoulders back and sink
- Hold the dumbbells with both hands opposite each other, fists facing each other, arms close to the body
- Lift the dumbbells by bending the elbows until the dumbbells are close to the chest position; pause briefly
- Slowly unload and return to the starting position, not fully relaxed at the lowest point, arms not fully straightened
Tips on Doing Hammer Curls
- Exhale as you bend and breathe in as you fall
- When turning, there is a clear sense of contraction and force on the front side of the big arm
- Drop to the lowest point; the whole arm has a tight feeling
Benefits of Hammer Curls
There are many types of exercises to target your muscles. Still, the amount of weight you use is the primary deciding factor when it comes to defining the exercises. The cool thing about Hammer Curl exercises is that it’s a quick exercise (no more than 15/30 seconds) and doesn’t require a lot of equipment. This makes it excellent training for those people with a busy schedule. With this exercise, you can get your muscles working just as effectively as you would with any other type of exercise, but it will only take you a few minutes to get it done.
Apart from simplicity, the main benefits are the following:
1. Works help increase bicep size and exercise the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles because it allows you to have a bigger range of motion.
With these strong forearm muscles, it looks healthy and fit. Still, more importantly, it can help you carry heavyweights in your daily life. You can pick them up when the kids can’t run, and it can also come in handy when performing other compound exercises, such as weight lifting.
2. Compared with traditional methods of exercising the biceps, hammer curl allows your muscles to tense for a long time. It increases endurance and makes muscles grow faster, and you’ll be stronger.
3. Greatly enhance grip strength: hammer curls exercise can improve your wrist strength, as you intend to do snatches or other movements such as hard pulls, not only can play a significant role but also can reduce the possibility of injury in the snatch movement.
4. Hammer curl will exercise your arms from different angles, and when alternating biceps, it will further strengthen the forearms, making the arms look full and toned.
Hammer Curls Common Mistakes
A few common mistakes include swaying the torso during exercise, using dumbbells too heavy, moving the elbows and upper arms too often, etc.
1. Move your elbows and upper arms too often during the workout to maintain stability
2. Performing the movement too fast: Deciding how much effect an exercise has depends on the average time under tension (TUT). Moving too fast does not take full advantage of all the muscle fibers. A slow lifting and lowering process get more TUT from the movement; slowing down your movement also adds a slight challenge because you need to move the muscles longer.
3. Picking dumbbells too heavy: you must choose the right dumbbells for your arms and biceps; heavier dumbbells will not only affect your muscle growth but even strain your muscles; if you feel the dumbbells are too light, you can try to add a few pounds to help the muscles adapt to the weight.
To test if a dumbbell combo is right for you, pick up the lightest one(if you have 20lbs,30lbs, and 40lbs) in the combo and try it. Lift and lower it 10 times. If you feel tired and don’t think you can lift more than 10 reps, the combination is too heavy.
4. Always sway: If you swing from one side to the other during your workout, try to take the pressure off your arms and use your upper body to try to help lift the dumbbells, which will not only fail to exercise your core muscles but other muscles such as triceps and brachialis as well.
Hammer Curls Variations
As we know, Hammer Curl is one of the most popular exercises for working the biceps, and the variations are as numerous as they are varied.
There are many ways to perform this exercise and to get a full workout for different subgroups of muscles that are not limited to relying on a specific movement pattern, and there are variations of the hammer curls that can make the exercise more challenging.
Some variations of the hammer curls:
Dumbbell Bench Press
How to do
1. Lie flat on your yoga mat and keep the dumbbells in front of your chest and push up.
2. Lower to the same height as your chest.
3. Push up to return to the original position and repeat.
4. Move to avoid fully straightening the arms.
Incline Hammer Curls
How to do
1. Adjust the inclined board to 45 degrees.
2. Stand or sit behind the incline board with your arms straight, supporting only the lower edge of your rear arm on the incline board.
3. Keeping the lower edge of the rear arm pressed against the incline board, do the curls.
4. Slowly lower the dumbbells until your arms are nearly straight, then repeat the curls, switching sides as you finish.
Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
How to do
1. Feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, body slightly forward until parallel to the ground
2. Hold the dumbbells with both hands and keep your lower arms close to your body. Your elbows should be at 90 degrees at this point.
3. Straighten the upper arm until it is parallel to the ground.
4. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position and repeat the bending motion.
Safety and Precautions:Who Should Do the Hammer Curls
Before you start to do how to exercise, a warm-up is necessary. To reduce injury, we can first do some basic warm-up exercises, such as pull-ups, and regulate the respiratory system to adapt to the body’s demand for oxygen during exercise.
Although most beginners are suitable for using this type of exercise, those with minor arm injuries may need to find other suitable ways or equipment to exercise.
The Bottom Line
All exercise is gradual; although dumbbell hammer curls helps strengthen your forearms and wrists, you can complete daily tasks without making your arms feel tired. Still, we need to find our rhythm and way to exercise and choose the correct weight of dumbbells; the exercise process does not let the biceps from the beginning is fatigue. We can select more variants better to work out the arms and whole body muscles.