View Full Version : Hammer Curls

Bob Evans
08-12-2003, 04:31 PM
I know this has probably been answered some where before. But regarding hammer curls. Two quick questions.

1) I find that they are easyer than regular curls. I can lift 5 to 10 lbs more per dumbel with hammer curls than with traditional curls --- Is this normal?

2) I know hammer curls are good for your forearm. Are they as good for your bicep as a regular curl? (somehow since they are easyier my warped mind thinks they might not be as effective)

Thanks, Bob http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/worship.gif

08-12-2003, 08:12 PM
Hammer curls *MIGHT* be the supreme biceps builder...and I'll tell you why. The prime mover is the Brachioradialis. They are the little instertions on the top of your forearm. If you dont know look at this (http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/Brachioradialis.html) link. But the synergists, are as you guessed - Biceps Brachii/Brachialis. The 5-10lb.'s extra is by adding more synergists in the movement, and making it *less* isolative. Work with them and tell us your gains!

08-13-2003, 04:11 PM
Hiya, Bob!

According to Per Tesch's MRI studies, the exercises that best light up the major elbow flexors (both heads of the biceps and brachialis, only the upper arm was tested) are incline hammer curls and straight bar curls with a close grip.

My elbows wouldn't tolerate the straight bar curls, but the incline hammers are a real favorite... I use them for negs because I can reach over and spot the DB up with the non working arm.

Interestingly enough, the standing hammer curl focuses on the short head of the biceps with only mild support from the long head and brachialis. By sitting on an incline bench and keeping the elbows pointed at the ground, you prestretch the long head and brachialis and they participate more fully in the curl. I'd guesstimate I set the bench at about 30 degrees.

So short answer, hammercurls, and in particular incline hammer curls ARE good for the biceps, as well as brachialis (which makes a nice little shelf to put those bis on) and brachioradialis in the foream.

For the sake of my joints I change up my curls regularly, but if I were forced to choose just one, it would be the incline hammers.


Bob Evans
08-13-2003, 04:25 PM
Going, going, going ---gone --SOLD to the lovely lady from the rocky mountains. Tonight I am doing incline hammer curls.

Thanks for the help Kate and Illfacell,


08-14-2003, 09:54 AM
My primary biceps exercises have been close grip EZ curls and incline hammer curls for as long as I can remember.

They just call me Mr Arms http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I concur with Kate and IlFacell...

08-14-2003, 10:20 AM
I also like incline hammer curls.

My favorite way to do them is inclined in my Lazy-Boy, also at about a 30 degree angle with feet elevated, and use an ice cold 12-16oz weight. As many reps as possible - though I do try to avoid "failure".


Bob Evans
08-14-2003, 11:06 AM
Israaf you can also get a weighted remote at Target. http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Blade (a.k.a Mr. Arms)-- close grip EZ bar curls --- where do you grip it ? (I know I have asked this before) I forgot the answer. Grip it inside of the "Z " on the bar? Or maybe another way to ask it how far apart are your hands.


08-14-2003, 11:33 AM
I use the narrowest part of the 'Z' - about 6" or so between the inner part of my hands. I also like to use the Arm Blaster, a favorite of Arnold...

08-14-2003, 04:56 PM
hmmm "mr arms" gotaa be better than "hey, schmuck...."

08-14-2003, 05:27 PM
What is the Arm Blaster?

08-14-2003, 05:31 PM
Quote[/b] (savagebeast @ Aug. 14 2003,4:27)]What is the Arm Blaster?
Here ya go:

Armblaster (http://www.armblaster.com/about.htm)

08-14-2003, 06:52 PM
I usually do standing supinating curls or incline curls with my palm facing up (I use the same weight and do the inclines the session after the supinating as they're harder, then move the weight up and repeat).

I always thought supinating curls were superior to hammer curls or curls with your palm up because the bicep participates in the turning motion of the hand so it gets work harder? i must admit i thought this before i started hst and as hst has buggered up everything else i thought i knew i'm probably wrong here but confirmation would be nice! http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

08-15-2003, 05:16 AM
Momentum usually takes over the supination, so you'd need a machine specifically designed to provide resistance during the rotation to get any benefit from it. There is one advantage though, you get a better stretch in the bottom position (good) and a more intense contraction in the top position (not much of an effect, possibly some additional benefits during higher reps due to hypoxia).

08-15-2003, 10:19 AM
Here is a little trick for those who want to derive more benefit from supination during the curl: put more weight on the pinkie side by adding a plate mate to the end of the dumbbell (if you have a plate loaded dumbbell, then you can just make one side heavier). This will cause your biceps to work a little harder during supination.

Lil Popa Pump
08-17-2003, 07:02 PM
Quote[/b] (Kate @ Aug. 13 2003,4:11)]Hiya, Bob!
According to Per Tesch's MRI studies, the exercises that best light up the major elbow flexors (both heads of the biceps and brachialis, only the upper arm was tested) are incline hammer curls and straight bar curls with a close grip.
How close is "close" ? Is shoulder width "close" or do your arms need to be angled in towards the body's midline?

Thanks in advance!

08-17-2003, 09:53 PM
Quote[/b] (Lil Popa Pump @ Aug. 17 2003,7:02)]How close is "close" ? Is shoulder width "close" or do your arms need to be angled in towards the body's midline?
Hiya, Popa!

The picture in the book shows thumbs to the outside of the shoulder at the top of the curl. With arms extended, the model's arms appear to be parallel.

Good question! I wonder if I messed myself up trying to make these too narrow...


08-20-2003, 08:30 AM
I tryed inclined hammer curls for the first time today (I used to do incline DB curls) and I found them heavyer (16kg was my 5rm for DB curl and today I could only do 4 reps for hammer curl). I was not cheating before so where am I wrong?

08-20-2003, 11:36 AM
Nope, I also find them "harder/ heavier " than normal curls.
Bob's just an animal http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Wait until tomorrow morning your forearms (Brachioradialis)
will not like you http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif but it will feel good and worked.

10-20-2003, 10:38 AM
I use a reverse zottoman incline offset dumbell curl

the (easyer) concentric move up is a hammer curl, the (harder) eccentric move down is supinated, I hold the dumbell off center

I have very stubborn biceps, this is the only thing that has worked.

03-08-2005, 09:34 PM
hi i got a quick question too... how do you hold a dumbell when doing hammer curls? does your grip have to be right in the middle of the dumbell like any dumbell workout? when i do that, my grip slips because of sweat http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
thanks in advance http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/thumbs-up.gif

03-16-2005, 08:43 AM
anyone?! does anyone have any guidelines on how to do proper inclined bicep curls? puhleaseeee http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif

03-16-2005, 10:35 AM
Could they be talking about This (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Biceps/DBInclineCurl.html) one?