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Biceps Workout (5) – Alternate Hammer Curl

July 18th, 2010 · 2 Comments ·


Most of us are not too adventurous when it comes to working our biceps. Many stick with basic curl. Nothing wrong with that, but a slight tweak in hand position transforms an ordinary curl into a Alternate Hammer Curl. And with this small change comes big rewards. Hammer curls revamp your biceps training by hitting your muscles in a different way, and by involving your often neglected forearm muscles.



  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and pick up a pair of dumbbells.
  2. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your arms hanging at your sides, with your palms facing in toward your body.
  3. Keeping your palms facing inward, curl the weight in your left hand directly up toward your left shoulder.
  4. Squeeze the biceps hard at the top for a one-count and then slowly return to the start position. Resist as you lower the dumbbell.
  5. Repeat this movement with your right arm.
  6. Be sure to keep your wrists locked throughout the movement, facing in toward your body the whole time. Only your lower arm should move. The only bending should be at your elbow.
  7. Do 3 sets for each set and 8 to 12 repetitions for each hand.


  • To avoid rocking forward or overusing your lower back, lower the dumbbells slowly and with control. While you should not allow your elbows to stick out as you lift, you should not press them against your body, either.
  • You can lift the dumbbell with both arms at the same time.



  • To change this exercise so that you can work more on your forearm instead of your bicep, you can rotate your palms upward as you lift and rotate them back to a palms-inward position as you lower. I am doing this for variation.
  • This exercise can be done standing or seated. I prefer standing for this one.




Category: Biceps

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2 responses so far ↓
  • Jack Bronson // Jul 30, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    This is a very useful article. You see a lot of people in front of the mirror doing the same dumbbell curls over and over again when what they really need to make progress is a change in their workout and hammer curls are an excellent twist.

    I also like how you’ve divided this workout advice into steps and tips to help people. Great work!

  • Ian // Oct 17, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    I like this variation.

    As you said, it does seem to work the forearms in a way that is often neglected by standard grip bicep curls.

    I also like the reverse grip. It seems like each grip (standard, hammer, and reverse) works a different side of the bicep, and a different angle of the forearm as well.

    Thanks for your post,


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