Everything You Wanted To Know About Hammer Curls

According to Livestrong, arm strength is essential for good posture and can help prevent injuries. This is where hammer curl training comes in — an exercise designed for the lower and upper arms. Many people confuse the hammer curl with the bicep curl. Even though they're both arm training exercises, they work out different muscles (via WebMD). Nevertheless, you can harmonize both into your workout session to maximize your muscle gains, per WebMD.

The hammer curl can be performed as a standalone exercise or as a major part of upper-body strength routines. The exercise is best performed with dumbells, per Healthline. However, some resistance trainers use cables for better weight control (via Men's Health). Regardless of your choice, knowing the best practices in performing the exercise can help you avoid some rookie mistakes and injury. Just be sure to check with your doctor beforehand if you have any prior injuries.

Here's everything you need to know about hammer curls.

How to do hammer curls

If you're new to hammer curls or resistance training exercises, it might be best to start with little or no weight. Exercising too much or pushing yourself beyond your body's limits can lead to strain (via Healthline). On that note, here's how to do a hammer curl, according to Healthline.

Start by positioning on a bench in an upright position with two dumbbells at your sides. Ensure you're ready for the swinging movements if you're going to do hammer curls while standing. 

In your current position, keep your back straight and your elbows against your sides. You can pull your shoulders back so you don't end up using your deltoids. The next step is to pick up the dumbells. Bend your elbows, bring the dumbells up to your shoulders, and remember to keep your upper arms in line with your trunk.

Next, hold the position for a few seconds to feel the tension. Pause for a one-two count, and then lower the dumbells to your sides. You should do the repetitions slowly, especially if you're a beginner. You can perform two-three sets of 8-15 repetitions for significant results.

Benefits of hammer curls

Hammer curls are perfect for exercising muscles like the biceps branchii, brachioradialis, and brachialis, which make up your elbow flexors (via WebMD). These muscles also offer distinct benefits after your hammer curl training is over. 

The brachialis is the least visible yet strongest muscle among the three in the elbow flexor, per WebMD. It helps you bend the forearm inside and elbow and plays a vital role when gripping an item. Conversely, the brachioradialis firms your grip and adds mass to your forearm, per WebMD. Adding the hammer curls to your resistance training can increase the overall mass of your arms, helping you lift heavier items.

Generally speaking, hammer curls are crucial resistance training exercises that are appropriate for many individuals. However, note that engaging in wrist-demanding exercises with a lower arm injury can cause pain (via Mayo Clinic). For this reason, it's important to speak to your doctor before doing hammer curls if you have existing injuries.