Muscles Used • Exercise Type • Form Instruction • Tips and Techniques • Recommended Reps • Common Variations • Substitutions • Equipment Needed
|Delts (F), Traps|
See all the exercises at the:
Weight Training Exercises Database
– Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curls –
Isolated Exercise, Pull Movement
Standing, grasp dumbbells with palms facing in, then raise and lower until just before completely extended (don’t lock out). Alternate to opposite arm with each completed repetition.
Tips and Techniques:
Keep the elbows stuck to the sides as much as possible, the elbow should only travel forward a slight amount in the completion of the exercise. The rest of the body should remain as motionless as possible throughout.
Very similar to Alternating Biceps Curls, only difference is that you are keeping the hammer grip throughout (called the “hammer grip” because it is how you would hold a hammer to pound in a nail).
The exercise’s main target is the brachioradialis muscle which runs along the forearm but it also very effectively hits both heads of the biceps.
Like normal dumbbell biceps curls, there are many ways to do them. In addition to alternating arms as shown, you can perform hammer curls with both arms simultaneously or alternating arms but simultaneously moving both arms (raising the right arm while lowering the left or vice-versa).
A minor variation is the Cross-Body Hammer Curl. For this you start at the waist and pull the dumbbells across the body and up to the shoulders. Not a big difference here but some believe it better works their forearms.
As with the Alternating Biceps Curls and all curls, it is pretty uncommon not to see some measure of cheating (swinging) happening in the practical execution of the exercise. But the goal should be to minimize that. Relax the rest of the body and focus on only moving the forearms.
Recommended Reps For Muscle Building:
6-12 the majority of the time, trying higher or lower reps on occasion.
- Alternating Biceps Curls
- Preacher Hammer Curls – Same as regular Preacher Curls but with hammer grip.
- Hammer Concentration Curls – Same as regular Concentration Curls but with hammer grip.
- Incline Hammer Curls – Same motion but while seated on an incline bench.
- Machine-Based Hammer Curls – Certain lever machines allow you to perform curls with a hammer or reverse grip.
Reverse Barbell Curls are a good substitute. Any curling motion where you are working with a hammer or a reverse grip is going to effectively target the brachioradialis as well as the biceps. So Preacher Hammer Curls or Hammer Concentration Curls would do the trick with dumbbells, as would Reverse-Grip Dumbbell Curls.
Dumbbells and Weights
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