Hammer Curl

The dumbbell hammer curl is a basic weight training exercise for the biceps muscle.

Primary Muscle Biceps
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Difficulty Beginner
Also known as Neutral Grip Biceps Curl, DB Hammer Curl, Hammers, Alternating Hammer Curl
Equipment Dumbbells
Short Code DBHC

Hammer Curl Guide

The hammer curl is a popular weight training exercise to develop the biceps muscle.

Whilst it is an exercise that can be performed by beginners, biceps isolation exercises such as the hammer curl are recommended primarily for experienced lifters looking specifically for advanced biceps development. Beginner lifters would be better suited training with compound exercises for more well rounded muscular development.

How to do Hammer Curls

  1. Stand upright and grip two dumbbells at the side of the body with the arms straight and palms facing your torso.
  2. Raise one dumbbell until the forearm is vertical and the thumb faces the shoulder. Hold the movement for one moment and squeeze the biceps. 
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell to starting position and repeat with other arm. 


  • Instructions above are for alternating hammer curls although both arms can be lifted at the same time.
  • Keep the upper arm stationary through this movement.

Hammer Curl Variations

The hammer curl can also be performed -

  • Seated Hammer Curl
  • Alternating Hammer Curl
  • Synchronised Hammer Vurl
  • Cross body Hammer Curl
  • Preacher Hammer Curl
  • Incline Hammer Curl


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise.