Of their quest for sculpted biceps, most weightlifters evaluate hammer curls vs. biceps curls

Particularly, they need to know the variations, why they’re useful, the best way to carry out every, and which is greatest.

On this skilled comparability of the hammer curl vs. bicep curl, we’ll discover these factors and extra. 

Hammer Curl vs. Bicep Curl: What’s the Distinction?

Hammer curls and biceps curls are isolation workout routines that primarily practice the biceps brachii, or “biceps muscle tissues.” Each contain lifting a dumbbell by bending and straightening your elbow. 

The distinction between hammer curls vs biceps curls is the grip: you carry out hammer curls with a impartial grip (palms going through in) and biceps curls with a supinated grip (palms going through up).

Analysis presents a number of insights into the impact of this distinction. 

Older analysis suggests hammer curls emphasize the brachialis and brachioradialis, two small muscle tissues that add dimension to your higher arms and forearms. Nonetheless, newer analysis partly challenges this discovering, suggesting the brachioradialis is extra energetic when performing curls with a supinated grip. 

A examine revealed within the Scandinavian Journal of Medication & Science in Sports activities discovered that the basic biceps curl lengthens the biceps greater than the hammer curl, which can profit biceps development. And one other examine by the Università Degli Studi di Milano discovered common biceps curls elicited extra biceps activation than hammer curls. Sadly, methodological flaws make these outcomes difficult to interpret.

Critically, analysis has but to look at variations in muscle development between these workout routines. Since greater activation doesn’t at all times lead to larger development, we want extra analysis earlier than figuring out if any vital variations exist between these workout routines in observe.

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Hammer Curl vs. Bicep Curl: What Are the Advantages?

The first advantage of the biceps and hammer curls is that they successfully practice your arm muscle tissues, particularly the biceps, serving to you maximize your arm dimension and energy. Additionally they practice the forearm muscle tissues to a excessive diploma, which probably advantages grip energy and ensures your arms develop proportionally. 

Each allow you to coach your biceps unilaterally (one after the other), too. The benefit is you can raise extra whole weight than you’ll be able to with bilateral workout routines (workout routines that practice either side of the physique concurrently), which can assist you achieve extra muscle and energy over time.

Furthermore, it will probably show you how to set up a stronger mind-muscle connection and discover and repair muscle and energy imbalances.

One benefit particular to the hammer curl is that it emphasizes the brachialis muscle tissues extra successfully than different curl variations. The brachialis is a small muscle that lies beneath the biceps, which, when nicely developed, considerably provides to your higher arms’ dimension and circumference.

Hammer Curl vs. Bicep Curl: Type Variations

How one can Do the Hammer Curl


Hammer Curl vs. Bicep Curl: Hammer Curl Form


  1. Stand along with your ft shoulder-width aside, holding a dumbbell in every hand at your sides and your palms going through your thighs.
  2. With out twisting your wrist, bend your proper elbow to twist your proper hand towards your proper shoulder.
  3. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place, then repeat the sample along with your left hand to finish one full rep.

How one can Do the Biceps Curl


Hammer Curl vs. Bicep Curl: Biceps Curl Form


  1. Stand along with your ft shoulder-width aside, holding a dumbbell in every hand at your sides and your palms going through ahead.
  2. With out twisting your wrist, bend your proper elbow to twist your proper hand towards your proper shoulder.
  3. Reverse the motion and return to the beginning place, then repeat the sample along with your left hand to finish one full rep.

Hammer Curls vs. Bicep Curls: Which Is Finest?

The hammer curl and biceps curl are equally efficient biceps workout routines, so neither is healthier or worse than the opposite. 

Whereas analysis tends to counsel the common curl trains each heads of the biceps (the lengthy head and quick head) greater than the hammer curl, there’s proof the hammer curl is simpler for coaching your brachialis and brachioradialis, two muscle tissues important for total arm growth. 

And that’s why evaluating hammer curls vs bicep curls isn’t significantly useful. A extra smart strategy is to incorporate each in your coaching. 

A great way to do that is to incorporate the hammer curl in your program for 8-to-10 weeks of coaching, take a deload, after which substitute the hammer curl with the biceps curl for the next 8-to-10 weeks of coaching.

Then, you’ll be able to both proceed alternating between the workout routines each few months like this or keep on with the one you like.

That is how I like to prepare my coaching, and it’s just like the strategy I advocate in my health books for women and men, Greater Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(And if you happen to’d like much more particular recommendation about what workout routines to incorporate in your coaching program to succeed in your well being and health targets, take the Legion Power Coaching Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the right energy coaching program for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

Biceps Curls vs. Hammer Curls: FAQs

FAQ #1: Are hammer curls higher than bicep curls?

Hammer curls aren’t essentially higher than bicep curls—they serve a distinct goal. Whereas hammer curls goal the brachialis barely extra, biceps curls emphasize the biceps particularly. 

For most individuals, together with each workout routines in your routine will yield the very best outcomes.

FAQ #2: Do hammer curls make biceps look larger?

Hammer curls work the brachialis barely greater than common curls. Whereas this muscle isn’t almost as outstanding because the biceps brachii, it will probably improve the biceps’ look by making a clearer divide between the biceps and triceps and enhancing your biceps “peak.”

FAQ #3: What’s the only curl for focusing on the biceps?

Analysis means that the common biceps curl is the best curl for focusing on the biceps. Nonetheless, doing quite a lot of curls, together with hammer curls, preacher curls, and incline curls, probably produces extra balanced and full development than doing only one sort of curl.

Including selection may cut back your threat of repetitive pressure accidents and assist hold coaching partaking and enjoyable, which may make it extra productive.

FAQ #4: Ought to I’m going heavy on hammer curls?

Purpose to raise as a lot weight as doable on the hammer curl with out compromising type. Most individuals discover that that is barely greater than they’ll raise on the biceps curl. For many males, doing units of 6-to-8 reps works nicely, whereas girls sometimes favor units of 8-to-10 reps. 

FAQ #5: What’s the distinction in muscle activation between hammer curl vs bicep curl?

Analysis on muscle activation variations between the hammer curl vs biceps curl has produced combined outcomes, although it typically suggests biceps curls are superior for coaching the biceps, whereas hammer curls practice the brachialis extra.

Importantly, no analysis has examined variations in muscle development between these workout routines. Since greater activation doesn’t at all times equal extra development, it’s unsure how these variations have an effect on long-term positive factors. 

+ Scientific References