What Muscles to Hammer Curls Work

Hammer curls, often called dumbbell hammer curls or neutral grip dumbbell curls, are strength training exercises that focus on your biceps and forearms. 

A hammer curl differs from a regular bicep curl since it involves using a neutral grip where your hands face each other during the entire movement.

Hammer curls are a modified version of regular bicep curls, where your hands face each other rather than facing upwards.

Begin by selecting a pair of dumbbells that you prefer.

You will raise the weights to your shoulders and then lower them back down to your sides in a controlled manner. While this exercise is nearly the same as a regular bicep curl, you may notice that by only changing the position of your palms, you may target other muscles and enhance your overall flexibility. When performed correctly, hammer curls can assist in developing arm strength and improving stability in the upper body. 

Advantages of Hammer Curls 

There are multiple advantages to regularly performing hammer curls. Hammer curls target your bicep muscles and several other muscles, making them ideal if you’re tired of standard curls and want to promote further muscular development.

Several muscles

Hammer curls are great for targeting several muscles in your arm, with a slight impact on your triceps. The conventional bicep curl focuses on the short head of the biceps brachii. Still, the hammer curl provides a more inclusive arm workout for muscular development by engaging the long head of the biceps brachii and the brachialis, which are the muscles responsible for flexing the elbow. 

Hand strength

Hammer curls enhance your ability to grasp. Hammer curls strengthen your grip strength by engaging the brachioradialis muscle in your forearm. A solid grip is highly beneficial when performing compound workouts such as pull-ups, deadlifts, and bench presses. Some advantages go beyond simply building up your arm muscles.

Hammer curls test your wrist strength and grip, which can help you prepare for more challenging exercises in your weight training routine, like the deadlift.

Hammer curls place less strain on your wrist compared to conventional bicep curls. The wrist is kept in a neutral posture during the movement, focusing more on the forearm and reducing the strain on the wrist. 

Complete upper body power

This exercise focuses explicitly on your biceps, the brachial muscle, similar to a typical curl or push-up. Turning your hands inward during the motion activates your triceps to a small extent, along with your forearm muscles (also known as the brachialis and brachioradialis). This leads to a complete arm workout in a single, straightforward motion. 

Enhanced movement

Hammer curls are an exercise that closely imitates natural movement patterns, making them very practical. The tugging action employed during hammer curls can assist in making some daily tasks, including lifting heavy objects or picking up children or small animals, more manageable and convenient.


Here is a more comprehensive, detailed explanation of how to perform hammer curl workouts with maximum effectiveness. These guidelines are broad; the beginning places may vary depending on your preferences.

When you are prepared to follow the instructions listed and perform hammer curls, always employ the correct technique to fully benefit from your body workout.

Begin by selecting a weight you can easily manage for 2 or 3 sets of around 8 to 12 repetitions. Select a weight that enables you to sustain proper form during all the sets and repetitions you perform.

Grab a set of dumbbells and stand securely with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart and with a slight flex in your knees. Maintaining an upright posture with your shoulders aligned directly above your hips is essential.

Strive to keep your head and neck in a neutral position. One helpful tip is to lower your chin into your neck during the entire motion as if you were protecting an egg beneath your chin.

Stand securely on the ground with your feet firmly positioned to establish a firm footing for your complete body. Your body weight should be equally spread between both legs.

Grasp the dumbbells at your sides with your palms directed towards your legs. Your arms should be straight, with a slight curve in your elbows.

Generate tension in your shoulder muscles and hips while activating your core muscles to the fullest extent feasible. A firm core is essential to maintain an upright posture. All of your repetitions should start from this location.

While maintaining stability in your upper arms, contract your bicep muscles and flex your elbows until your forearms make contact with your upper arms. 

The dumbbells should end up near your shoulders without making physical contact. Contract your biceps and hold for a brief while at the peak of the motion.

Gradually extend your arms to return to the initial posture and pause entirely at the lowest point before trying another repetition.

Alternating hammer curls

You may easily do this variation by raising the weights individually with each arm. This enables you to concentrate on attaining optimal technique for the exercise, which can be particularly crucial when performing a one-sided action like a hammer curl.

Hammer curls on an incline

 You can do incline hammer curls on an inclined bench. Therefore, you will likely need to visit a gym for this exercise. This variation extends the bicep muscles to a greater extent than the other varieties, permitting a broader range of movement.

Dumbbell hammer curls

The kettlebell handle is ideally placed for performing hammer curls. Make sure to use a less heavy bell when trying this variant initially, as it may seem unfamiliar and uncomfortable for the first few repetitions. However, it will become entirely effortless and pleasant in due time, allowing you to utilize a more substantial bell to augment the burden.

Performing rope cable hammer curls

Another more sophisticated option is to perform rope cable hammer curls. For this exercise, you can utilize a cable machine to maintain consistent tension on your biceps throughout the range of motion. 

Modifications for Hammer Curls 

If you want other choices, there are several ways to adjust hammer curls to match your fitness level or personal preferences better. If you sense a decline in your form or are struggling to complete all your repetitions, go to smaller weights. Once you have developed sufficient strength and become proficient in the correct technique, you can gradually use heavier weights. 

Another choice is to perform hammer curls by switching one arm at a time instead of simultaneously moving both arms. This approach may require additional time to complete the activity but is only sometimes hostile.


That is fine if you have access to dumbbells or cable equipment. You may also perform hammer curls using resistance bands and achieve the same advantages of the activity. 

The level of physical activity required varies based on individual motivations for exercising, initial fitness level, and desired pace of goal attainment. The more often you work, the more critical it becomes to keep track of your recovery, training intensity, and overall performance.

This exercise can increase your strength and improve your grip and form, which can be applied to other strength training exercises. Experiment using weights, bands, or cables; alternatively, perform the exercise one arm at a time to provide some variation. Your outcomes will ultimately depend on your capacity to effectively recuperate from your workouts. Take a break of 24 to 48 hours before exercising the same muscle groups to ensure proper recovery.





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