Standing Hammer Curl Video Guide

Exercise Profile

  • Strength
  • Dumbbell
  • Isolation
  • Pull
  • Beginner
  • Forearms
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Biceps Exercises Diagram Target Muscle Group

Exercise Instructions

  1. The hammer curl is a great exercise for the biceps and forearms. Set up by grasping a set of dumbbells and standing straight up with the dumbbells by your sides.
  2. You should be using a neutral grip, meaning your palms are facing your body.
  3. Bend your arms slightly to take tension into the biceps.
  4. Keeping your body fixed and elbows in at your sides, slowly curl the dumbbells up as far as possible.
  5. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Hammer Curl Tips:

  1. Do not lean back as you move the weight - this is cheating!
  2. Keep your elbows locked in by your sides throughout the set. Don't allow them to come forward as you curl the weight up. Focus on only allowing your forearms to move.
  3. Squeeze and hold at the top of the movement for maximum results.
  4. Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight for the whole set.

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22 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 05/22/2017 - 23:22

Can anyone suggest me the best sets and reps for mass biceps...

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/23/2017 - 09:11

Hi Shree,

2-3 sets of 6-12 reps should do the trick. Of course, for a complete workout, you'll want to combine this exercise with others into a full program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 03/02/2016 - 21:08

Do we use max weight for every rep or should I be going up in weight with each rep starting light and finishing heavy?

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Posted Thu, 03/03/2016 - 22:38

NIck, the secret to muscle growth is 'progression', so start off with a weight with which you can just do 10 strict, slow reps, then increase the weight by a few pounds and do 8 reps, then add again and do 6 reps, and so on. Twist the little finger side of your hands inwards at the top of the'll see, and feel, the difference in your the way, I've always regarded the Hammer curl as more of a Brachialis exercise, so I think if you want to target the biceps, the regular curl is probably better, and the reverse curl for the forearms.

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Posted Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:11

Robert, Thank you for the reply that does help out alot.

However on the article it says 4 sets 10 reps is it okay to instead go with the 12 8 6 method instead? If I'm going to do i I just want to be doing it right. Thanks for the time!

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Posted Fri, 03/04/2016 - 19:15

You're welcome, Nick. Pretty well all routines work for a while. The 12/8/6/4 is a time-tested routine that I use all the time, so I think it would be fine to use it. I'm assuming the 4 sets of 10 is using the same weight for each set. Lets say you start off with just 5 pounds, so you hoist 200 pounds total. If you start off with 5 pounds on the 12/8/6/4 routine, and add just 2 pounds to each SET, your total weight hoisted is 214 pounds, if my maths is correct. Muscles grow to compensate for the amount of work you make them do, so it makes sense to me to add a little weight whenever you can, even if it's only 1/2 pound. Best way is to experiment a bit to see which routine suits you.

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Posted Fri, 03/04/2016 - 10:13

Robert, Thank you for the reply that does help out alot.

However on the article it says 4 sets 10 reps is it okay to instead go with the 12 8 6 method instead? If I'm going to do i I just want to be doing it right. Thanks for the time!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 06/07/2015 - 15:53
mr. peabody

is it ok to alternate arms or are best made with both at same time

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 06/08/2015 - 09:09

Sure. However, you may find that you get a better pump by isolating one arm and completing all the repetitions before moving to the other arm .

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Posted Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:27

Umm, i was wondering, lets say i use a 10-10-10 format.. how long do you think ill start seeing results..? Also, Im 18 and weight 65kg.. can you give me the best workout for my arms? Id really like to get bigger arms as soon as possible.. and ive just recently just started working out.. thanks!

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Posted Fri, 04/17/2015 - 21:12

Zayn, welcome to working out! I'd suggest that you stay with some basic exercises for a while, eg, bench press, bent row, overhead press, deadlifts or squats, barbell curl, triceps pressdown, in a 10-8-6 format. Try to increase the weight even a little on each set. Remember that muscles grow BETWEEN workouts, not while you are pounding them with the weights, so give them time..a day or two between workouts....patience. Work them hard and in perfect form...for the curl, that means do them slowly without releasing the pressure at top or bottom of a full-range movement, don't use momentum, use the muscle...the bi's are also getting hit in some of the other exercises. Don't forget that the tris are a large part of the upper arm, so make sure you also work each of the 3 heads. After a month or so, change a few exercises. Keep your workouts short (45 mins or so) and intense. Hard to give you a time frame....but you WILL grow. Good luck!

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Posted Fri, 06/06/2014 - 13:02
mark johnson

Great questions and answers.

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Posted Sat, 03/09/2013 - 21:43

Although the biceps and forearms are activated in the dumbbell Hammer curls, I've always used the Hammer curls to target that broad, flat, elusive, wonderful muscle lurking behind the biceps, namely the Brachialis muscle. When the brachialis is developed, the biceps appear more massive as the brachialis pushes them out further. Biceps curls for biceps, forearm curls for forearms, and hammers for brachialis. Makes sense to me!

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Posted Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:51

does mark walhberg do these?

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Posted Tue, 01/15/2013 - 07:23

How does this exercise differ in benefit/effect to a regular curl?

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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:12
Adam Haze

I know this exercise hits your forearms, where the normal curl doesn't'. That's what I've read. I still find it hard to believe that a normal curl doesn't hit your forearms at all though.

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Posted Sat, 01/05/2013 - 18:52

I'm having trouble increasing weight after 10 weeks in both standing hammer curl and regular dumbbell curl. Went from 25 lbs to 30 lbs but are struggling to achieve desired reps at 30 lbs. Currently doing Beginners Dumbbell Routine and shooting for 3 sets 12 reps. I can only do 12, 8, 6. Any advice?

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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 15:11
Adam Haze

I am also finding that it is taking a long time for my Bi's to get stronger compared to the rest of my muscles. The only thing I can think of is after about 4 weeks, be sure to change your exercise. Like for instance, week 1-4 barbell curls, week 5-8, dumbbell curls, week 9-12 hammer curls. You should ALWAYS switch up your workout after about a month so your muscles don't become too used to the workouts. I'm also doing 21's using a barbell. Look it up if you don't know what it is. And I don't know your routine, but increase your workout. (If you're doing them once a week, try doing them twice a week, and so on...)

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Posted Mon, 11/05/2012 - 15:01

How does the cross body hammer curl differ??

Joey's picture
Posted Wed, 12/05/2012 - 16:05
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Posted Wed, 04/18/2012 - 23:12
Chris Martinez

What is the best amount of reps to do for this exersize in your opinion?

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Posted Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:56

Chris, I used to use a 12-10-8 format, but you can use 10-10-10 as well.
The former is probably my favourite though.

Good luck