Hammer Curl | Which Muscles Does It Involve? Execution and Variations

By the healthiergang writer , personal trainer.

Hammer Curl: Muscles Involved

Before moving on to the Hummer Curl exercise, let's make a premise about the main flexor muscles of the forearm.

The main flexor muscles of the forearm are:

  •  Brachial biceps (consisting of a long and a short head)
  •  Anterior brachialis
  •  Brachioradiale.

Hammer Curl | Which Muscles Does It Involve? Execution and Variations

The main functions performed by the brachial biceps are elbow flexion and forearm supination; furthermore, the long head carries out a rotational action of the humerus. The maximum effectiveness of the flexor action, carried out by the brachial biceps, occurs with the elbow flexed between 80 ° and 90 °.

The main function of the anterior brachialis is elbow flexion, regardless of pronation or supination; that of the brachioradialis, on the other hand, is the flexion of the elbow, especially if one maintains a neutral or prone position and accompanies the forearm in returning to the neutral position from pronation or supination.

Il brachial biceps it is the motor of a third type lever, that is, disadvantageous and, for this reason, it is a muscle that is not suitable for having a special strength but, on the contrary, is excellent for performing movements quickly and above all with amplitude. It is important to remember that, unlike what has been said, all the exercises for the development of this muscle stress all the same muscle bundles unlike what can happen for larger muscles that leave a lot of space for a large variety of exercises.

To train the brachial biceps optimally, it is necessary to perform a contraction with the hands placed in supinationThis is because when the hands move to a pronation position the work moves more to the other flexor muscles of the forearm, while the muscular work of the biceps decreases.

The main reason for training the biceps is that with this muscle you want to demonstrate your strength and increase the size of the arm; the advice I can give you, however, is to remember that the triceps is, in size, larger than the biceps, so if you want a big arm you shouldn't neglect training this muscle.

After this brief introduction, let's move on to explain the exercise.

How is it done?

THEHammer curl o Hammer Curl, is a complementary exercise as the only joint involved is the elbow.

The muscles involved in the execution of the exercise are the anterior brachialis, the brachioradialis and the biceps brachialis (especially the lateral head).

For a correct execution, stand up (or even seated), legs slightly apart in order to have a good balance, trunk still.

1) Grasp the dumbbells and place your hands along your hips in a neutral position, perform the contraction without pronating or supinating your hands, touching the shoulder and returning to the starting position. You can perform this exercise with a simultaneous movement of the arms or alternating.

Hammer Curl | Which Muscles Does It Involve? Execution and Variations

The difference lies in the fact that in this last case the work will be lighter, as one arm will be at rest compared to the other for a few seconds and moreover there will be less stress on the lumbar level; you want to avoid losing contraction you can perform the exercise with the "rest" at the top, in order to add intensity.

Frequent Errors

- most frequent mistakes that are committed in the execution of this exercise are:

  • Swing with the body to help the contraction;
  • Bring your elbows back to reduce the contraction and push the weight with the contribution of the back;
  • Bring your elbows forward pushing the weight with the contribution of the deltoid;
  • Push with your legs to lighten the load and help contraction;
  • Use excessive or too light loads for a good solicitation.


Some variations to the Hammer Curl with dumbbells can be:

  •  Hammer Curl with low cable rope, using both arms or alternating arms; in this case the difference lies in the fact that the cable allows to keep a continuous voltage;
  •  Hammer Curl with Pause at the point of maximum contraction;
  •  Hammer Curl on a 45 ° inclined bench, in prone decubitus, this variant is recommended for people with back problems, as with this variant the weight is placed directly on the bench.

This exercise is suitable for both professional athletes and novice athletes.

The important thing is to pay the utmost attention to the correct execution of the exercise, to the execution times and to perform the movement in all its amplitude, in order to encourage muscle development.


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