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Superset Hammer Curls: Bigger Arms

Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
October 3, 2017
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[video width="640" height="360" mp4="http://www.americangrit.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/hammer-curl.mp4"][/video]Hammer your biceps into shape with hammer curls. They are an excellent single-joint exercise that targets both your biceps and your forearms, which is what makes them different from regular curls.

Why You Should Do Hammer Curls

The neutral wrist positioning places less stress on the wrists, and therefore they don’t play out at the end of your repetitions like they can in other curl exercises.Hammer curls work three major muscles located on the front of your upper arm, your biceps brachii, brachialis , and brachioradialis. Not all curl variations work all three of these muscles, and not all curl variations compress your biceps through a full range of motion.Making size gains in the brachialis, which runs along the outside of your upper arm, and brachioradialis, your forearm, causes them to push upward on the biceps which gives you the appearance of having larger bicep peaks. This works because of the anatomical positioning of the muscles in your arms. The brachialis runs underneath your bicep. The brachioradialis starts in the center of your upper arm. It’s a long muscle that extends to your forearm. Hammer curls work your forearm at an appropriate angle and within an appropriate range of motion to engage both parts of your forearms. This development of the brachioradialis leads to size and strength improvement of your forearms and overall more developed arms from top to bottom.

How To Do Hammer Curls:

  1. Stand in an athletic stance, upright with feet shoulder-width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand. Let them rest at arm’s length. You’ll hold the dumbbells much like you would a hammer, hence the name, palms facing inward. Your elbows should be close to your body.
  2. Keeping the upper portion of your arm stationary, bend at the elbows to curl the weight up toward your shoulder while contracting your biceps. Keep your wrists locked throughout the entire movement. Stop when the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Hold for a two count as you squeeze your biceps.
  3. After the two count, begin lowering the weight in a slow and controlled fashion.
  4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
hammer curls

Trainer Tips:

Hammer curls may seem like a very simple and basic exercise, and they are. One way to make them very effective is to slow your reps down and increase your time under tension or TUT. You want to feel your biceps and forearms working. If your repetitions are done too quickly you are relying on momentum. This takes away the “emphasis” from the muscles you are targeting. Slow and steady wins the race here.

Sample Exercise Plan:

Try the following arms workout as supersets!

Superset #1:

  • Dumbbell Skull Crushers
  • Hammer Curls 3 sets of 15

Superset #2:

  • Cable triceps extensions
  • Dumbbell curls 3 sets of 12

Superset #3:

  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Reverse Curls 3 sets of 15

Superset #4:

  • Cable One Arm Triceps Extensions 3 sets of 10 -12 (each arm)
  • Preacher Curls 3 sets of 10-12
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