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To What Extent Do Hammer Curls Work the Bicep?


#1

I am doing Hammer curls on my upper wendler days and was wondering how much these actually work the Bicep compared to regular curls?

We have an extensive dumbbell collection at my gym going up to 150lbs but they design is clunky which makes regular curls a bit of a pain in the ass to do. How will doing hammer curls exclusively affect my bicep development ?

This isn't a major issue obviously but I was just curious.


#2

I do primarily hammer curls mostly because I think it helps my elbow inflammation, do you have access to EZ cur bars or anything like that? You could do cable curls, barbell curls etc


#3

[quote]cparker wrote:
I do primarily hammer curls mostly because I think it helps my elbow inflammation, do you have access to EZ cur bars or anything like that? You could do cable curls, barbell curls etc[/quote]

We have an EZ bar but There is only one and it is in constant use which is why I was considering just doing hammer curls. Is there that much of a difference on bicep recruitment that I couldn’t get away with just ding hammer curls and still get big biceps?


#4

Well not knowing anything about your current size/strength and training history I will say they will be a fine bicep movement if thats what you choose. Personally I didn’t do much direct bicep work at all for the first 2-3 years I was lifting, I did a ton of upper back work usually every workout and that grew my arms to about 18" or so, now after doing direct arm work for the past year and a half they are up to 20" (though I gained about 20lbs)


#5

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:
How will doing hammer curls exclusively affect my bicep development ? [/quote]

There is no exercise that exclusively hits one muscle group if you want to be technical.

It will work just as good as any other isolation exercise for the biceps.

[quote]
This isn’t a major issue obviously but I was just curious.[/quote]

The only way to compare muscular involvement would be to look at EMG studies. There are plenty of nerds in fitness who publish this sort of stuff even though it does little for us aside from shuffle information around. There are many fitness writers who like to fulfill curiosity of this sort.


#6

[quote]cparker wrote:
Well not knowing anything about your current size/strength and training history I will say they will be a fine bicep movement if thats what you choose. Personally I didn’t do much direct bicep work at all for the first 2-3 years I was lifting, I did a ton of upper back work usually every workout and that grew my arms to about 18" or so, now after doing direct arm work for the past year and a half they are up to 20" (though I gained about 20lbs)[/quote]

Thanks for the reply!

I am a beginner with no development whatsoever. I have skinny arms and while focusing on compound movements in my 3/5/1 5’s progression routine I want to address the tiny arms and shoulders as I feel they are holding me back when trying to do pull-ups and rows etc. My biceps give out and I can barely do one chin-up and my biceps can’t do anything else and just fail. I also have had shoulder injuries I think they are from lack of balance in the upper body resulting in shit posture.

My routine has a small amount of isolation work but it is mostly compound lifts:

3/5/1 Overhead press x5 x5 x5
Overhead press FSL 3x5
DB row 4x6-8
Lateral raises 3-4 sets
Hammer curls 3-4 sets

3/5/1 Deadlift x5 x5 x5
Deadlift FSL 3x5
Hypers 3-4 sets
Hanging leg raises 3-4 sets

3/5/1 Bench Press x5 x5 x5
Bench Press FSL 3x5
DB row 3-4 sets
Lateral raises 3-4 sets
Hammer curls 3-4 sets

3/5/1 Squat x5 x5 x5
Squat FSL 3x5
Hypers 3-4 sets
Hanging leg raises 3-4 sets

From the rowing and deadlifting and a few hammer curls I can expect to see some bicep development right.


#7

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]YamatoDamashii92 wrote:
How will doing hammer curls exclusively affect my bicep development ? [/quote]

There is no exercise that exclusively hits one muscle group if you want to be technical.

It will work just as good as any other isolation exercise for the biceps.

[quote]
This isn’t a major issue obviously but I was just curious.[/quote]

The only way to compare muscular involvement would be to look at EMG studies. There are plenty of nerds in fitness who publish this sort of stuff even though it does little for us aside from shuffle information around. There are many fitness writers who like to fulfill curiosity of this sort. [/quote]

Ha cheers dude. Thanks


#8

The program looks fine to considering your goals, obviously diet is the biggest factor if you are trying to put on any amount of mass though. Its just anecdotal but something I have always remembered I probably read it here but for every inch you want to add to your arms you need to gain 10lbs of bodyweight.


#9

Keep doing what your doing training wise and make sure your eating big enough to make the scale move

I did the bare minimum of direct arm work and now they are in my opinion an impressive part of my body. And I used to have stick arms and weight very little. Keep pulling and pushing and get strong on compounds. It will take a long time, patience and consistency. After maybe 4 years of doing the above, assess your arm situation.

you don’t see many people with truly impressive arms and lack of other development, not even the most dedicated of the curl brigade.


#10

Thanks guys!


#11

Yeah good lower bicep/‘lengthening out’ move which is often overlooked


#12

I think hammer curls are also good for beginners because you can use more weight hammer style than with supinated grip dumbbell curls. Before you really develop that “connection” to your biceps its easier to rely on just moving some weight. So hammer curls would be way more useful than concentration curls or zottman curls, or something more “pump” oriented.

Also, a few sets of hammer curls at the end of upper body day is probably way smarter than arm day at this point.

Once you get comfortable with hammer curls, don’t be afraid to toss in a few sets of barbell curls every once in awhile.


#13

I have used hammer curls exclusively for several years due to limited supination ability (bone structure / overgrowth in elbows) I cant supinate enough to do EZ curls nowadays. Any how I have noticed no down side to hammer curls I’m fat but Bi’s are 18"+