Almost every bodybuilder concentrates on building bigger arms at some point of time. The usual exercises for biceps consist of a few movements such as the barbell biceps curl, dumbbell biceps curl, scott biceps curl etc. The hammer curls, however, are not so common throughout the arm routines. And this is why you should use them if you want to build badass arms.
Besides targeting the biceps, the hammer curls give your anterior shoulders, traps, brachialis and brachioradialis a piece of the hard work. The brachialis is the muscle under your biceps, while the brachioradialis is the long muscle running from the center of the upper arm to the center of the forearm, responsible for elbow flexion. Although the biceps usually get most of the attention, the strengthening of these two muscles is the crucial step for developing completely shaped, impressive arms!
Other benefits of the hammer curls include increased tension in the biceps (since it forces you to stop the range of motion when your wrists are parallel to the floor) and a different way of working the arms from standard curls, which makes for a better overall development of the biceps and forearms.
In order to gain more size and strength to your arms, make sure that you include the following exercises in your workout routine:
1. Hammer dumbbell curls
Grab the dumbbells with palms facing each other, flex your elbow and raise the dumbbells to your shoulders. Hold the position for a moment, then lower the dumbbells to their original position. Do 3 sets with 12 reps each.
To ensure full muscle development, you need to achieve the proper form and control. Performing the exercise improperly lead to an incomplete use of the potential of your muscle fibers. If you haven’t performed this exercise before, use lighter weight until you develop the full range of movement with proper extension and contraction.
Even after that, always use weight that allows you a controlled motion and don’t move weight past the point of tension. Also, make sure to keep the elbows locked and close to the body, with the wrist in a locked position throughout the whole movement as well.
Some of the most common mistakes made while performing a dumbbell hammer curl include performing the movement too fast, using too much weight, too much upper body involvement and moving weight past tension point.
2. Barbell curls
This isolation exercise develops the strength and mass of the entire bicep, while secondarily involving the brachialis, forearms and anterior shoulders.
With a shoulder-width grip and palms facing up, raise the bar until your forearms are vertical and the bar reaches your shoulders, then lower it back down. Do 4 sets with 8 reps each.
Make sure you don’t lean backwards or swing the weight while performing barbell curls to avoid de-emphasizing your biceps during the lift.
This exercise has a powerful ability to strengthen more than a dozen of muscles, including the latissimus dorsi muscles of the back, posterior deltoids, triceps, biceps and lower and middle traps. If you want a greater involvement of the biceps, pull yourself up from a dead hang. In addition, pause at the top and hold yourself above the bar. Do three to four sets to failure.