How To Do Hammer Curls

How To Do Hammer Curls


February 28, 2022

Building strength in your upper arms and forearms is pretty straightforward, and so is building mass too if you know how to do hammer curls.

This is possible because hammer curls work on your biceps, brachialis, and forearms.

Hammer curl is a simple exercise to perform. You can master it in no time as a beginner aiming to build your biceps and other upper arm muscles.

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

Hammer Curls Benefits

Hammer Curls Benefits

Increase Upper Arm Size and Strength

Since hammer curls majorly work the biceps, biceps brachii, and the brachialis, the exercise leads to an increase in the hypertrophy of the muscles.

You mostly engage the upper arm strength when lifting heavy objects.

Building strength in your upper arm will also help you to perform other exercises a lot more efficiently, including the Lat Pulldown and the Barbell row.

Aesthetics Improvement

Well-toned and defined arms can only be achieved when you develop your upper arm.

If you are mostly concerned with developing a perfect physique, you can achieve it faster when you know how to do hammer curls.

Wrist Stability, Strengthens Grip and Improves Muscle Endurance

Hammer curls make your wrist stronger, and also improve its stability.

Building the forearm muscles and supporting your wrist, makes hammer curl a grip strengthening workout. It also increases your muscle endurance. 

Proper Way To Do Hammer Curls

Proper Way To Do Hammer Curls

While the hammer curl exercise might appear simple, it is important to do it correctly if you want to achieve your goal faster.

You’ll need some of the following pieces of exercise equipment to do the hammer curls the proper way.

However, we will suggest you go for the dumbbells, as it will be more convenient for you, especially if you are a beginner.

Here’s how to do hammer curls using dumbbells.

How to Do Hammer Curls

How to Do Hammer Curls
  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand as you stand straight up on your feet (shoulder-width apart).
  2. Turn your wrist and let one end of the dumbbell face forward, with the other end facing backward. Your palms should both face inwards.
  3. Let your elbows be well tucked in to your body with your upper arms completely still.
  4. Curl the dumbbells up until your forearm gets to a vertical level.
  5. Pause for one or two seconds, and then lower the dumbbells down gently to the bottom where you started from.
  6. Flex your triceps so that the tension of each contraction will be increased.
  7. Repeat the process for the number of times required.

Pro Tip: Let your upper arm be still during the complete range of movement. Moving your upper arm will only result in working your deltoids and not your biceps.

Since it involves a smaller range of motion, you can go a bit heavier and take it slow. This will properly engage the muscles for a better result.


One variation of the hammer curl is to do the exercise while seated. The major difference here is the bench for the exercise.

Once you get a bench, sit upright with your legs apart and hold the dumbbells in both hands. Keep your palms facing inward.

After taking a proper seating position for the hammer curls, you can continue from step 3 above.  

Another variation is to do the hammer curls by alternating one arm after another.

Instead of curling the dumbbells up with both arms, you can curl just one dumbbell up until your forearm gets to a vertical level. Then lower it down gently and flex your triceps.

When you are done with one arm, repeat the process on the other arm to complete one set. You can choose to do this whether you are standing or seated.

Other variations of the hammer curls can involve the use of other equipment like kettlebells, resistance bands, and cables.

The most important thing is that the exercise builds your upper arm and activates your forearm.

Alternative To Hammer Curls

Alternative To Hammer Curls

One way to get faster results and reach your goal more efficiently is to target the same muscle or muscle groups using different exercises.

That is why you need to learn alternatives to hammer curls. These alternatives are excellent moves that can build your biceps and forearms in record time.

Bicep Curls

The closest alternative to the hammer curl is the Bicep Curls. Just as the name implies, it targets mainly your biceps and it is also easy to execute.

In order to perform this workout, hold two dumbbells in each hand, with your palms facing forward. Then curl as you lift the dumbbells until your forearm is vertical and your palms facing inward.

Zottman Curls

This is another great alternative to hammer curls. It also targets your biceps, brachialis, and forearm muscles. Dumbbells are also great for performing this exercise.

Reverse Straight Curls

Reversing the curls also builds your upper arm and forearm muscles. Here, you only change the way you hold the dumbbells.

Perform this workout holding your dumbbells with your palms facing down. Then curl as you lift the dumbbells up until your forearm is vertical and your palms face forward. 


A regular routine of hammer curls will not just stop at building your biceps and brachialis muscle’s strength and mass; it will also build your forearms and give you that well-built physique that most people want to achieve.

Another great thing about hammer curls is that you can do the exercise just about anywhere. You might choose to do it at the gym or even at home.

Now that you know how to do hammer curls, it is time to get to work. However, ensure to complete the required reps and sets to get the most out of the exercise.



Justin Rodriguez has spent most of his adult life inspiring people to take their fitness more seriously. He is not new to the business of providing practical solutions for those looking to set and smash their fitness goals. From sharing professional tips and tricks to recommending awesome products, Justin Rodriguez helps just about anyone who wants to get the best out of their workout routines.Having gathered a lot of experience both in and outside the gym, Justin Rodriguez uses DSW Fitness as a medium to show you exactly how to get that great-looking body with toned muscles you’ve always wanted.