Competing, training, and coaching others, I see how built arms have exemplified powerful physiques. The bicep or biceps brachii is the large muscle that lies on the front part of the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. It arises on the scapula and runs towards the upper forearm. The biceps muscle has two heads – therefore its name – the short head and the long head. The biceps main function is to flex and supinates the elbow -allowing it to rotate so the palm faces up or forward. The biceps is one of three muscles in the anterior compartment of the upper arm, along with the brachialis muscle and the coracobrachialis muscle.
A great bicep exercise is the Hammer Curl. It targets the long head of the biceps as well as the brachialis and the brachioradialis (a forearm muscles). Some of the stabilizer muscles involved in the movement are the anterior deltoid, the trapezius, and the extensor carpi radialis.
Hammer Curls Benefits
- Hypertrophy: Hammer curls help increase bicep size.
- Strength & Endurance: Dumbbell hammer curls allow the muscle to be under tension for a longer period than when performing barbell bicep curls, increasing muscle endurance and making you stronger.
- Strong Wrists and Grip: Hammer curls improve wrist stability and strengthen your grip, much needed when lifting heavy and engaging in other compound moves.
- Safety: Another positive is that your wrists and elbows are less likely to be strained as it’s a more controlled movement.
- Simple: The Hammer Curl is a straight forward and simple movement. You just need a pair of dumbbells.
How to Do Hammer Curls
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them with a neutral grip so that your palms face your body and the dumbbells hang down at your sides. This is what differentiates dumbbell bicep curls with hammer curls, where your palms face forward
- Move your shoulders back and tight up your belly
- Slowly flex at the elbows and curl the weights up while keeping your upper arms steady and your elbows close to your body
- Pause for a second at the top and lower the dumbbells to the initial position in a controlled manner.
Avoid Hammer Curls Mistakes
- Be sure not to move your elbows and upper arms throughout the movement. Aim to maintain the arm steady.
- Avoid performing the move fast. Slow down the repetition timing by lowering the weights in a controlled way.
VIDEO: Hammer Curls
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