Neutral Grip Curls, Palms-In Curls
Wrist Wraps, Chalk
Hammer Curl Instructions with Pictures
1. Starting Position
- Grasp the dumbbells firmly in both hands, leaving the palms turned in towards the midline of the body
- Make sure both arms are completely straight and extended.
- Make sure to have a slight anterior pelvic tilt and abdominal brace
2. Concentric Movement
- Forcefully flex the elbow to raise the dumbbells.
- Keep the elbows pinned into your sides and try to to flex/swing at the shoulder.
- Once you have reached maximal flexion in the elbow, actively and deliberately squeeze the biceps for a brief pause.
4. Eccentric Movement
- Once the dumbbells achieved a motionless position, reverse by deliberately extending the elbow.
- Put conscious effort into resisting the pull of gravity and slowly bring the weights back to the starting position.
- Once the dumbbells are motionless at the start position, repeat the movement.
Common Hammer Curl Errors to Avoid
Using hip momentum to start the lift
If you can’t initiate elbow flexion without swinging the hips, you need to drop the weight and focus on just using the biceps to start the pull.
Extending the trunk at the midpoint
Leaning back to “cradle” weight into the midpoint position is a sign of poor motor control of the biceps. Focus on gradually squeezing the bicep at the top of the movement and only bringing the weight up asd high as your elbow flexion allows.
“Relaxing” back to the start
Deliberately resist the weight on the way back down without losing elbow position at your sides. Allowing the elbows to swing forwards or backwards and relaxing the muscle negates the eccentric benefits of the exercise.
Incomplete Elbow Extension
Make certain to return the dumbbells all the way to the starting point. Complete extension is key to maximize the effectiveness of the exercise.
Hammer Curl Tips
- Don’t swing the elbows or shoulders to achieve a greater range of motion.
- Ensure complete extension of the elbows between reps.
- Squeeze the biceps hard into the mid-point to get the most active range of motion out of your elbow flexion.
- Resist the weight and the force of gravity when returning to the starting position to get the most benefit out of the eccentric portion of the exercise.
Is the Hammer Curl Right for You?
Hammer Curls are an excellent exercise for any level of lifting experience. Especially those individuals pushing heavy weight pretty regularly, training the biceps from a neutral (palms facing each other) will create a welcome reprieve in shoulder torque that can be extremely with supinated/pronated straight bar curling.
Also, hammer curls do an excellent job distributing the workload to all of the muscles responsible for elbow flexion. Hammer Curls should be a staple arm exercise in every training program.