Hammer curls are a great exercise for the biceps and forearm muscles. They aren’t considered by many to be a primary compound movement for building overall muscle, but if done correctly it can add excellent definition to the upper arms.
While the bodybuilder’s hammer curl exercise is sometimes ignored, it can be a valuable addition to your biceps workout and can help you add more size to your arms in a short period of time.
Which muscles do hammer curls work?
Hammer curls are considered as one of the most important exercises that should be part of your training program. But if want to make the most out of this exercise, it’s ideal if you understand which muscles do hammer curls work. Here are some of the muscles worked:
- Bicep Brachii
We will take a look at each muscle in turn and explain what role they play in Hammer curls exercise.
Brachioradialis (brachio-radialis) is the muscle that allows you to extend your forearm at the elbow. It gets its name from Latin brachium meaning arm and radius meaning a straight bone. Hammer curls work Brachioradialis by targeting the elbow and forearm muscles. Brachioradialis is responsible for elbow flexion (bending the elbow), and grip strength.
2. Bicep Brachii
Bicep Brachii is a shoulder muscle, the most prominent of the two shoulder muscles. It is attached to the upper arm bone (Humerus) at the shoulder and runs along with the muscle Pectoralis major down to the elbow joint. The bicep brachii muscle helps in nearly every movement of your arms. Hammer curls work the biceps brachii by flexing the elbow and shoulder joints. This movement targets the muscle fibers that run diagonally across the front of the arm.
The Supinator muscles are part of the same group that makes up your biceps. They are located on the back of your forearm and act on your radius and carpals as they flex! The Hammer curl targets these muscles specifically as you isolate them by keeping your arm in a stationary position while you curl the weight up.
The Radialis Muscles are those that radiate and control the movement of your forearm. These muscles originate on the lateral epicondyle of the humerus, or outside end of your upper arm bone, and insert on the ulna, or lower bone of your forearm. Hammer curls specifically target these muscles by working them through an extended range of motion.
The Brachialis muscles are located on the upper arm and are connected to a joint between the humerus and the ulna bones. This muscle is responsible for flexing your elbow. It also helps to rotate your forearm inwards and grip an object.
The Hammer Curl targets the Brachialis muscle by providing resistance as the forearm is rotated inward.
How do you do Hammer curls?
If you are new to the entire world of workouts and whatnot, you might have no idea how to do a proper Hammer curl. Here is how you do it the right way;
- Standing with a weight in each hand, let them hang at arm’s length by your sides, with your palms facing your thighs.
- Curl the weights as close to your shoulder as possible.
- Pause and squeeze your biceps at the top of the curl.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.
Make sure to focus on using good form and not swinging the weights up. You should also use a weight that is challenging but not so heavy that you can’t complete all the repetitions.
When it comes to hammer curls, your biceps are definitely in on the action, but your forearms are going to get a pretty big workout as well. This exercise will help target the overall curl of your arms and shape your biceps into a nice shapely peak, but your forearms will also be part of the equation and you won’t want to forget about them either.