Also known as neutral grip bicep curls, hammer curls are an upper-body exercise that targets the biceps.
This arm-focused exercise helps build up strength and muscle in the biceps and can be used to tone and strengthen the overall upper-arm area. In turn, this greatly benefits further upper-body strength exercises and can help with overall range of motion.
Targeting The Biceps
Bicep strengthening techniques have been around for centuries, going way back to ancient civilizations such as Ancient Greece and Egypt. Weightlifting as a strengthening tool and competitive sport was big in both civilizations and was even part of the original ancient Olympic Games.
These exercises were supported by the use of weights that aren’t too far off from the kinds of dumbbells we’re familiar with today.
Though the size and shape of dumbbells have changed throughout history, the idea of lifting a certain amount of weight with each arm has remained the same since the earliest days of lifting.
Since weights have been around, targeting the biceps has been key in weightlifting practices. The biceps are indicators of general upper-arm strength and can be bulked and toned to extreme levels in the case of things like bodybuilding.
How The Hammer Curl Works
To perform a hammer curl, an individual will stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. The palms of their hands will be facing their torso in what is referred to as the “starting position”.
Then, while holding their upper-arm still, the dumbbell will be curled forward while the biceps are contracted. This will continue until the weight is at about shoulder level.
At this point, the position will be held for a count of a few seconds before the dumbbell is brought back into its starting position.
This will be repeated on the other side of the body, and then will alternate for the individual’s desired number of repetitions.
Evolution Through Equipment
The hammer curl as we know it today has evolved with the equipment used to perform the exercise – the dumbbell. Though weight lifting has been around for thousands of years, the dumbbell is an invention of the 17th century.
Since then, improvements to the weights have resulted in minimal changes to exercises like the hammer curl. Today, the exercise is typically done with standard dumbbells, either adjustable or otherwise.
A Fitness Staple
The hammer curl is an incredibly popular move with weightlifters of all experience levels. For this reason, you’re likely to catch a glimpse of the move at any public gym or fitness center.
Go For A Bicep Boost
To learn how to properly to the hammer curl, you may want to start by going to your gym and sitting in on any weight training classes they may have.
From there, you can speak with an instructor or other trainers about proper form and choosing the right dumbbell weights for your experience level!
A Great Upper-Arm Exercise
The hammer curl is the perfect example of an exercise that’s accessible for all lifting levels. By learning this move, you can greatly boost your arm muscles while working on your overall upper-body strength!