Hammer Curls vs Normal Curls

There’s so many favorites when it comes to exercise selection on arm day (specifically biceps). Where curls are pretty much the foundation for arm training, there’s so many variations that it’s hard to know which is the best for building your biceps better. Today we look at dumbbell exercises with the hammer curl and standard, palms-forward bicep curl…which is more worth your time?

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

  • Targets wrists, forearms and biceps
  • Improves grip strength
  • Works more of the long head of the biceps (the longer bicep muscle)
  • May be able to use more weight than with standard curls

Standard Dumbbell Curls

  • Targets more of the short head of the biceps
  • May find a fuller range of motion with a bigger stretch on the biceps
  • Easy to perform for beginners
  • Improves the ‘peak‘ of your bicep

Hammer Curls vs Standard Curls?

You’ll not be shocked to know that both exercises do a great job at isolating the biceps, helping to build strength, muscle and definition. Both allow for many variations (i.e. standing, incline, cables, barbell, machines etc.)Standard curls will allow for a deeper stretch at the bottom of the movement while also engaging more of the ‘peak‘ of the bicep. Hammer curls are more effective for building forearm, wrist, and grip strength, while also hitting more of the biceps long head.

But say you’re short on time and can only choose one!? The hammer curl will work more muscle groups and work the biceps in ways that regular bicep curls do not. You can even increase the stretch issue by doing the exercise on an incline bench. You’ll be able to handle more weight with hammer curls, target more muscle groups at once and get a great stretch!

Hammer curls are more about increasing the thickness and the overall development and strength of the arm and forearm, which will also help to assist you with your other bigger compound exercises such as rows, deadlifts, bench etc.

Variety is key…switch it up a little!

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