Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredDumbbell
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypePull
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Biceps Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Standing Hammer Curl Instructions

The hammer curl is a great exercise for the biceps and forearms.

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand up with the dumbbells by your sides.
  2. With a neutral grip, bend your arms slightly to keep the tension on the biceps.
  3. With your palms still facing your body, slowly curl the dumbbells up as far as possible.
  4. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for desired reps.

Standing Hammer Curl Tips

  • Keep the rep timing slow and control the weight for the whole set.
Posted on: Thu, 07/11/2024 - 00:41

Do you need to slightly bend your elbows when arm is extended for this standing hammer curl exercise to keep tension in biceps/triceps muscles? Many thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 10:11

For this one, you can definitely maintain a slight bend at the bottom of the curl to keep tension on. I will share that the triceps are minimally involved in this. It is more for the biceps and brachialis.

Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2023 - 05:16

Idk why but this back and biceps just took me 3 hours to do. The other ones also take a long time. Am I doing something wrong

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/26/2023 - 20:11

Please share the workout you're doing, Noah.

Curtis Campbell
Posted on: Fri, 11/03/2023 - 12:54

Can we get updated videos some do not work

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 11/08/2023 - 14:40

Hey Curtis, thanks for the feedback. We are working on that for you, stay tuned!

Posted on: Thu, 06/29/2023 - 14:03

Hello, I'm Oriol. I started with this program monday, I had exersiced but a little. Today, in sesion 3 (back and biceps), when I doing hammer curls, i feel the chest but not the biceps. What can I do to solucionate? Could it be because my chest is very heavy? If so, what do I do?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/05/2023 - 08:02

Hi, Oriol. I have no idea why you would be feeling your chest with a curl, but you can try to place your upper arm on a preacher bench or an incline bench and do hammer curls one arm at a time that way. Hope this helps.

Posted on: Wed, 06/22/2022 - 19:14

This is not for the biceps, it's for brachialis muscle, the main flexor of the elbow.
Sure, bigger brachialis means more prominent biceps because the biceps stands taller with a bigger brachialis underneath it, but knowing that it's a brachialis move still helps cause you then need to focus on the firearm in the midprone postion, not supinated, that way you get the most out of it.

Posted on: Sat, 05/07/2022 - 13:44

Thanks for making the dumb bells workout free I lost a lot of weight do this and made a lot of muscle I use to be ashamed to take my shirt off in public or around my friends now I’m not I’m so thankful

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:47

So glad to read this, John. Thanks for sharing your success with us!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/20/2022 - 21:47

So glad to read this, John. Thanks for sharing your success with us!

Posted on: Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:50

my right forearm gets tired way before my biceps on the hammercurl, is this good, or am i doing it wrong?

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:46

You're not doing it wrong. It just means you may need to use a lower weight as this exercise ifs both for your bicep AND your forearm

Nicholas Pappas
Posted on: Fri, 10/19/2018 - 17:11
Posted on: Wed, 12/16/2020 - 05:09


Posted on: Wed, 03/09/2022 - 19:14


Timothy Dennis
Posted on: Sat, 11/25/2017 - 08:36

Dependent on your strength level, start at a weight that you can control throughout the full range of motion; as you progress (over time) add more weight until you can rep EVERY dumbbell weight combination in the gym.

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

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: 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!

Posted on: 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?

Posted on: 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 movement...you'll see, and feel, the difference in your biceps...by 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.

Posted on: 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!

Posted on: 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.

Posted on: 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!

mr. peabody
Posted on: Sun, 06/07/2015 - 15:53

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: 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 .

Posted on: 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!

Posted on: 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!

Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2021 - 20:10

Did you make progress?

Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 17:42

Hey there.
Yes, I had made noticeable progress. However, my bodybuilding phase had to come to a pre-mature end due to a bike accident ruining my wrists. I can barely do 10 pushups now without experiencing agonizing pain for a week. Have not set foot in a gym for 4 years. I stick to running to keep fit. Been recommended surgery but can't do that atm.

Happy lifting Ned!

Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 20:01

Wow that sucks. I was wondering how long did it take you to see noticeable progress? Im currently in the situation you once were, skinny and wanting build my arms. So I was hoping you could give some advice.

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

Great questions and answers.

Posted on: 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!

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

does mark walhberg do these?

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

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

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

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.

Steve Mulry
Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 05:51

It hits the Brachialis muscle which the other variants don't. This will make the bicep look bigger

Posted on: 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?

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

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...)

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

How does the cross body hammer curl differ??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/05/2012 - 16:05
Chris Martinez
Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2012 - 23:12

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

Posted on: 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