Monday, April 15, 2024

Hammer Curls vs Bicep Curls: Variations, Professionals, Cons

hammer curl vs bicep curl featured taken by Joseph Lucero, Strength Coach

Hammer curls and bicep curls differ in grip and muscle tissue labored.

  • Hammer curls use a impartial grip, palms dealing with one another, to have interaction the biceps, higher arm, and forearm.
  • Bicep curls use an underhand (supinated) grip, focusing extra intensively on simply the biceps.

In my years of teaching and personally chasing larger, stronger arms as a powerlifter, I’ve utilized each the usual bicep curl and the hammer curl. Each are carried out utilizing dumbbells and might enhance your arm power and measurement, however to keep away from losing time, you might solely want one to hit your objectives.

Let’s pit them head-to-head to see which is best, then cowl the variations and similarities. Plus, I share some tricks to keep away from the drawbacks that I share with purchasers. Let’s dive in!

Hammer Curls vs Bicep Curls: Which Is Higher?

Are hammer curls higher than bicep curls? Whereas each bicep workouts provide vital advantages, hammer curls could be the marginally better option in case your main purpose is to construct general arm power and measurement. That is primarily because of the impartial grip utilized in hammer curls, which prompts a bigger group of muscle tissue, together with the biceps, brachialis, and brachioradialis. 

Nonetheless, the choice between the 2 finally relies on your particular health objectives, bodily limitations, and private preferences.

Which Is Higher for Constructing Biceps?

Conventional bicep curls are more practical for remoted bicep growth. The supinated grip (palms up) utilized in bicep curls emphasizes the biceps brachii, probably resulting in extra vital development and definition. In case your main purpose is to maximise the dimensions and look of your biceps, bicep curls are your best option.

Who Are Hammer Curls Greatest For?

Hammer curls are particularly helpful for athletes or people whose sports activities or actions require sturdy grip power and forearm energy, comparable to rock climbers or martial artists. Moreover, because of the impartial wrist place, hammer curls might be an excellent various for these with wrist points who could discover the supinated grip of the standard bicep curl uncomfortable.

Who Are Bicep Curls Greatest For?

Bodybuilders or anybody wanting larger, stronger biceps would need to incorporate bicep curls into their routine to maximise the ‘peak’ of the bicep. Moreover, for the reason that motion of bicep curls is comparatively simple, they seem to be a appropriate alternative for novices who’re simply beginning their power coaching journey and need to develop fundamental lifting strategies and bicep power.

Variations Between Hammer Curls and Bicep Curls

Differences Between Hammer Curls and Bicep Curls hammer curl vs bicep curl, taken by Joseph Lucero, Strength Coach

This is how I might clarify the variations to new purchasers who desire a extra thorough understanding:

  • Grip Distinction: Commonplace bicep curls use an underhand grip, focusing on the biceps brachii, whereas hammer curls make the most of a impartial grip, emphasizing the brachialis and brachioradialis.
  • Muscle Activation: Hammer curls interact the brachialis beneath the biceps brachii for arm thickness and the forearm’s brachioradialis greater than normal curls.
  • Vary of Movement: Commonplace bicep curls provide a bigger vary of movement, permitting for a full contraction and extension of the bicep muscle, whereas hammer curls’ vary can really feel restricted because of the perpendicular arm place.
  • Muscle Imbalance Correction: The impartial grip in hammer curls targets the customarily underworked brachialis, selling balanced muscle development and decreasing harm threat.
  • Wrist Pressure Threat: Hammer curls’ impartial grip is simpler on the wrists, probably safer for these with wrist points in comparison with the supinated grip of normal bicep curls.

An alternative choice to enhance your arm power is the preacher curl. Learn our full article for extra particulars on this train and the finest preacher curl alternate options

Similarities Between Hammer Curls and Bicep Curls

Similarities Between Hammer Curls and Bicep Curls hammer curl vs bicep curl, taken by Joseph Lucero, Strength Coach

As I take into consideration these two bicep workouts, 5 similarities come to thoughts:

  • Each Are Isolation Workouts: Each workouts focus primarily on one muscle, the biceps. Nonetheless, in addition they interact different muscle tissue in a much less vital manner together with the brachialis, brachioradialis, and, minorly, the forearm, wrist, and shoulder muscle tissue.
  • Each Use Dumbbells: Hammer and normal bicep curls are nice for at-home exercises. You can even work one arm at a time, giving extra versatility.
  • Each Can Be Carried out Standing or Seated: Standing curls interact extra stabilizing muscle tissue, thus providing a extra holistic train. In distinction, seated curls allow you to isolate the bicep muscle extra successfully.
  • Related Kind and Motion: Regardless of grip variations, the core motion—flexing the elbow to carry weight in the direction of the shoulder—stays the identical, simplifying studying throughout workouts.
  • Each Construct Energy and Dimension: Each workouts are key for constructing arm power and muscle measurement, and can be utilized collectively for complete higher physique power coaching.

Is it okay to do bicep curls day by day? Learn our full article to reply this vital query.

Hammer Curls: How To, Drawbacks, Muscle groups Labored

hammer curls benefits

Now, after the fast comparability, let’s dive into the small print of every train, beginning with a full profile of the hammer curls. 

How To Do Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are a variation of the usual bicep curl, they usually get their identify from the grip and movement used, just like swinging a hammer.

To do the hammer curl:

  1. Begin by standing up straight with a dumbbell in every hand, arms absolutely prolonged, and palms dealing with your torso.
  2. Hold your higher arms stationary, exhale and curl the weights whereas contracting your biceps. 
  3. Proceed to lift the weights till your biceps are absolutely contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder stage. 
  4. Maintain the contracted place briefly as you squeeze your biceps. 
  5. Slowly start to decrease the dumbbells again to the unique place. That is usually thought of one repetition. 

Professional Tip: Specializing in the managed motion is vital – the reducing part is simply as vital because the lifting part in power coaching workouts. Hammer curls are additionally generally included in upper-body exercises or arm-focused days.

Hammer Curls Drawbacks

hammer curls drawbacks
  • Restricted Vary of Movement: Hammer curls’ grip and place could prohibit full muscle extension, probably decreasing train effectiveness.
  • Overemphasis on Biceps: Hammer curls focus primarily on the biceps, necessitating further workouts for a balanced higher physique exercise.
  • Requires Tools: You will want dumbbells, limiting these with out entry to gymnasium tools.

Muscle groups Labored With The Hammer Curls

muscles worked with the hammer curls
  • Biceps Brachii: Situated within the higher arm, it is the primary muscle labored in hammer curls, accountable for bending the elbow.
  • Brachialis: Located beneath the biceps, it performs a key function in arm power and is successfully focused by the impartial grip of hammer curls.
  • Brachioradialis: A forearm muscle enhanced by hammer curls, contributing to forearm power and grip.
  • Deltoids: The entrance shoulder muscle tissue, concerned in stabilizing the arm throughout hammer curls.
  • Wrist Flexors: Situated within the forearm, these muscle tissue assist stabilize and management the dumbbell motion, aiding grip power and wrist stability.

Bicep Curls: How To, Drawbacks, & Muscle groups Labored

Bicep Curl are one of the best forearm workouts, taken by Joseph Lucero, Strength Coach

Now for bicep curls and a deep dive on them!

How To Do Bicep Curls

Bicep curls are well-liked power coaching workouts that primarily goal the biceps brachii. This train is usually a staple in enhancing arm measurement and power.

The right way to do bicep curls:

  1. Begin by standing upright with a dumbbell in every hand, your arms absolutely prolonged, and palms dealing with ahead. That is your preliminary place.
  2. Hold your higher arms stationary and curl the weights whereas contracting your biceps as you breathe out. 
  3. Proceed the upward motion till your biceps are absolutely contracted, and the dumbbells are at shoulder peak. 
  4. Maintain this peak contraction momentarily whilst you squeeze your biceps. Observe that your palms ought to preserve the ‘supinated’ grip (dealing with upward) all through the train.
  5. Subsequent, as you breathe in, steadily decrease the dumbbells again to the beginning place. This completes one repetition. 

Professional Tip: Be sure to preserve a managed motion – the eccentric or reducing part is as vital because the lifting part for muscle growth. Bicep curls are a staple in arm coaching days, higher physique exercises, or a complete power coaching routine.

Are you able to get extra advantages from bicep curls standing or sitting? Learn our full article to reply that query. Is it higher to do bicep curls one by one? Take a look at our full article to get probably the most out of your curls.

Bicep Curls Drawbacks

Bicep Curls Drawbacks hammer curl vs bicep curl, taken by Joseph Lucero, Strength Coach
  • Threat of Improper Kind: Bicep curls can result in harm and lowered effectiveness if carried out with improper kind, comparable to swinging weights or utilizing the again to carry.
  • Doable Overemphasis on Biceps: Focusing an excessive amount of on bicep curls might neglect different physique elements, probably inflicting muscle imbalances.
  • Can Be Robust on the Wrists: The supinated grip of bicep curls could pressure wrists, particularly at increased weights or for these with wrist points.
  • Requires Tools: This train wants dumbbells or a barbell, limiting these with out entry to such tools.

Muscle groups Labored With The Bicep Curls

muscles worked with the bicep curls
  • Biceps Brachii: Situated within the higher arm, these are the first muscle tissue focused for flexing and twisting the forearm throughout bicep curls.
  • Brachialis: Beneath the biceps, this muscle additionally will get labored, aiding in arm measurement and power.
  • Brachioradialis: This forearm muscle is engaged throughout bicep curls, contributing to forearm power.
  • Wrist Flexors: These forearm muscle tissue stabilize the wrist, aiding within the management of dumbbell motion.
  • Deltoids: The anterior deltoids act as stabilizers, supporting the arm in the course of the train.

Steadily Requested Questions

What Weights Ought to I Use for Bicep and Hammer Curls?

As a tenet, select a weight that means that you can carry out 8-12 reps with good kind. Take into account rising the burden if you happen to can simply carry out greater than 12 reps. The perfect weight for bicep and hammer curls varies relying in your health stage, power, and objectives.

How Typically Ought to I Carry out The Hammer and Bicep Curls?

A typical method is to carry out these workouts 2-3 instances every week as a part of an upper-body or arm-focused exercise. All the time make sure that you enable your muscle tissue ample relaxation and restoration time between exercises.

Can I Carry out Each Hammer and Bicep Curls in One Exercise?

Sure, you’ll be able to embrace bicep and hammer curls in a single exercise. This might help guarantee balanced muscle growth, as every train targets barely completely different muscle tissue.

How Ought to I Incorporate The Hammer and Bicep Curls Into My Exercise Routine?

Each workouts are usually included in an upper-body or arm-specific exercise. You might additionally carry out one variation throughout one higher physique exercise and the opposite throughout a later exercise in the identical week.

Are There Any Options To The Hammer and Bicep Curls if I Do not Have Dumbbells?

You should use resistance bands to carry out related actions if you do not have dumbbells. Different alternate options may embrace kettlebells or home goods like crammed water bottles or canned items.

What Are Some Frequent Errors to Keep away from within the Hammer and Bicep Curls?

Frequent errors embrace utilizing an excessive amount of weight and swinging the physique to carry it, not absolutely extending the arm within the downward part of the curl, and shifting the elbows or shoulders as a substitute of conserving them stationary. All the time prioritize kind over weight to keep away from accidents and maximize effectiveness.

What are the Advantages of Hammer Curls?

Hammer curls improve bicep and forearm growth, enhance grip power, guarantee balanced muscle development, cut back wrist pressure, and provide coaching versatility, becoming simply into various exercise plans.

What are the Advantages of Bicep Curls?

Bicep curls considerably enhancing arm power and look by bettering muscle measurement and definition. In addition they increase forearm power, important for sports activities and each day duties that require grip power. With their versatility, bicep curls might be carried out with numerous tools, permitting for a various exercise routine. Moreover, their simplicity makes them appropriate for novices, providing a simple entry level into power coaching with out the necessity for advanced strategies.


  1. Bicep Workouts | Northeast Texas Neighborhood Faculty [Internet]. [cited 2024 Mar 8]. Out there from:
  2. Walker D. The Results of Coaching the Biceps Brachii Muscle to Failure [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2024 Mar 8]. Out there from: with/1721.1/40936/212409496-MIT.pdf
  3. ‌Corliss J. Transfer of the month: Arm curls [Internet]. Harvard Well being. 2023. Out there from: https://www.well

About The Creator

Adam Gardner is a proud resident of Utah, the place he lives together with his spouse and two children. He has been competing in powerlifting since 2016 in each the USPA and the APF. For the previous three years, he and his spouse, Merrili, have coached starting lifters to be taught the basics of powerlifting and compete of their first powerlifting competitions.

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