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  1. #1
    Registered User takingbacknelso's Avatar
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    Hammer Curls vs. Curls?

    Alright so, I was just standing in front of the mirror releasing that when I stand with my palm facing up, in a supinated position, my biceps look much more defined. However normally when your just standing around your palms would be facing your body, not the sky. And my arms like much less defined. Now I should add that I have too much body fat, around 20%, to see any real cuts. However it got me thinking that maybe I should do more hammer exercises since that is much more of a everyday body position? Or does it really not matter? I currently only do very limited hammer stuff.

    Any thoughts would be great. Thanks, Chris.
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    Well it works the bicep in a different way and it works part of the forearm too. I'd advise doing them as they'll give you a more fuller looking bicep.
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    I don't really have a choice since I have tendon damage in my forearms, regular curls hurt like hell. I am good for 2 or 3 sets then after that it just gets too uncomfortable. I start with regular curls, then end up moving to hammers. Hammers work your forearms a bit more, but the bicep is still actively engaged.

    The reason your bicep looks bigger is your wrist rotation position. Flex your bicep with your fist closed and your fingers pointing towards you, now rotate it so your fingers are facing away from you, watch your bicep "peak" and then elongate. That's really the biggest difference, the muscle is still getting worked on both exercises, and in my experience and opinion, both exercises are important.
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    Your biceps look better when you supinate your hands becase of of the actions of you biceps is to supinate your forearm (think about them contracting when you do it).

    Hammer curls will recruit the brachioradialis more. Personally I always do one movement with the brachioradialis in mind.

    Both are good options.
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    Registered User takingbacknelso's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I am going to try to add in a few more hammer exercises since it won't hurt. Always good to change it up a bit anyway.
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    to get the most out of your upper arm you gotta do both...plain and simple.
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    Smile Love hammers

    Ok I know this thread is old & I've been bumping some oldies but here is the deal. Genetics play a huge role in the shape of people's muscle but I'm not a huge guy neither am I a small dude I consider myself athletic build and somewhat of a hard gainer or maybe in between. I'm just under 6 foot tall and 195lbs with 15% BF. People ask me all the time hey Tim are your arms like 18 inches lol or hey you have Guns etc. Now me being the gym rat or I call myself a bodybuilder even though I do not look like one or ever will I take this as a compliment but then I'm like man maybe my arms are too big for my chest shoulders back foreRms etc. It's really an illusion thought my arms are just over 16 they are I think 16 1/2 inches. Anyways I've been doing hammer curls as my second lift with dumbells on arm day. Arm day is so easy for me and some times I kill it & chest some & sometimes I keep strict perfect form and go a little lighter I always do 6-12 reps & people say it's overkill on what I do for arm day but you know what I get a great pump & slowy it's the one part that always seems to grow even if it's a tad bit. Maybe my wrist are smaller than most I know my bones are not huge so that makes em look bigger or it could be oter things. On arm day I do about 4-5 lifts for biceps & 4-5 for triceps. It just feels so damn good and they never get smaller unless of course if I stop lifting for longer than a month or so....that happens about Once every 2-3 years stuff comes up. I will do a set of dumbell curls with 50s 8-10 reps then go straight to tricep push downs and go heavy as I can for 8 reps...100lbs on cable machine but legit 100 not the ones on the inside that feels like 50lbs lol u know what I mean. Then after 4 sets of each I do HAMMER curls with maybe 45lb dumbells then I lay down on bench & do skull crushers or whatever you want to call em. Then I do concentration curls & dips and EZ bat curls then rope extentions or something else seriously I do about 20 sets for bi & 20 for tri. From most stuff I read that's overtraining but I'm not so sure I hit them once a week not twice likes lot of people do. Anyways it was a long long time ago but ever since I added hammers my biceps & arms in general have been my best body part. I didn't do them first couple years back in 90s then added them and boom they grew half inch. I think it gives them a longer look without hurting the peak helps front part of bicep IMO . I know I rambled on & on about something I could have answered or typed in two sentences sorry
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    Originally Posted by takingbacknelso View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys. I am going to try to add in a few more hammer exercises since it won't hurt. Always good to change it up a bit anyway.
    Well Keys guy above u said I best sorry for the Long post lol but you can tell I love hammers I think it CAN make a big difference and help a lot
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    Originally Posted by Tommyobrien View Post
    Well it works the bicep in a different way and it works part of the forearm too. I'd advise doing them as they'll give you a more fuller looking bicep.
    Let's be more specific, mmkay?

    Biceps Brachii, short head, long head.



    Short head: originates at the coracoid process, inserts into the radial tuberosity(forearm). When you supinate your wrist to have the inside of it facing upwards, you rotating the short head to be at a greater stretch, thus in this movement, the short head will receive a greater ratio of the load during the exercise with this movement. Wrists up for short head(the inside) of the biceps. The short head will also be more responsible for the action of the biceps from a 90 degree flex and up, that, "peak."

    Long head: originates at the supragenoid tubercle... basically the very tip top part of the humerus facing you. It inserts into the same spot. One could argue that to get more action out of the long head, one might pronate the wrist(inside facing downwards) to hit this, as it stretches the long head out over the humerus. The long head will also receive the greatest load from full arm extension(resting at the sides), to 90 degree flexion. The further your biceps are stretched, the more the long head is loaded.

    Now the brachialis and brachioralis, both very handsome muscles, play a very large role in pronated and hammer grip curling exercises. The brachialis really only shines with low bodyfat, but if you plan on competing, definitely work on this. I've noticed in my own training that it's very easy to overtrain the brachialis and have to take weeks off because of this. It's a very small muscle and so I'd really only recommend doing pronated curls after you've exhausted your biceps with supinated working set curls.

    It should also be noted that the biceps and brachialis/brachidioralis make up less than 4% of your total lean muscle mass. You'd be better off stretching to loosing up the fascia for half your workouts than to try to overload the biceps, if you're looking for growth. Your back days will activate your biceps plenty, and will be enough for mass, assuming the fascia is loose enough to allow for growth. A lacrosse ball wouldn't hurt either. The biceps are like the calves; they'll grow better if you take as much time stretching them, as you do working them.

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    Ha, I was waiting for LadyLore to show up for the next Anatomy and Physiology lesson. Thank you for that. But your diagram doesn't show the Brachioradialis! All of what she says is accurate.

    I will emphasize that you will get a huge benefit on the brachioradilis, doing hammer curls, which can be easily visible because its the largest wrist flexor in the distal arm(forearm). I did them today, and my arms were pumped.

    This "illusion" of being leaner in a supinated position, is true of many people, but you should still incorporate hammer curls. I believe on a functionality standpoint, like you said, it serves a great purpose for gripping in a natural position. I say continue to have this be part of your workout, as it will only improve your strength on regular bicep and back movements.

    Can't go wrong with bigger, stronger forearms.
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    Originally Posted by LadyLore420 View Post
    Your back days will activate your biceps plenty, and will be enough for mass, assuming the fascia is loose enough to allow for growth.
    I hate seeing this because it isn't true for everybody. Traps and lats can easily take over for biceps for a lot of people, and if their form is such that they're using a lot of bicep for any given pulling movement then they probably aren't getting a very good back workout. I speak from experience.

    Then again, there is this bizarre idea in fitness that it's stupid to do any more than the least amount of work possible - no cardio, no direct bicep/ab/calf/forearm work, no isolations, minimal accessory lifts, so on and so forth. I don't know why people believe this. It makes sense on paper that for example, squats would give your abs "all the work they need," but we're trying to get insanely fit here, there's no such thing as "all I need."
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    haaa you learn something new everyday hey
    I've always done hammer curls in my bicep workout along side your normal bicep curls (barbell, concentration, preacher etc) for some reason, probably because to me they feel easier to do?
    but nice to know I made a half decent decision for once haa
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    The best bicep exersize is the seated bicep curl machine I gained a inch on my arms in 4 weeks by doing only that machine bb curls r best for stregth not size
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    Originally Posted by IDrinkBloodLOL View Post
    I hate seeing this because it isn't true for everybody. Traps and lats can easily take over for biceps for a lot of people, and if their form is such that they're using a lot of bicep for any given pulling movement then they probably aren't getting a very good back workout. I speak from experience.

    Then again, there is this bizarre idea in fitness that it's stupid to do any more than the least amount of work possible - no cardio, no direct bicep/ab/calf/forearm work, no isolations, minimal accessory lifts, so on and so forth. I don't know why people believe this. It makes sense on paper that for example, squats would give your abs "all the work they need," but we're trying to get insanely fit here, there's no such thing as "all I need."
    Hey now, the point still holds true. I believe that most people who need to work their arms out more, are really just trying to get more pump to stretch the fascia. Stretching IS work. Stretching is time and pain invested. If you spend half your arm day stretching then you'll have worlds better results than the, "least amount," of stretching possible.
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    Wink

    Just to insert some of my own experience into this discussion, there is a middle ground. Not isolating biceps at all can easily shortchange biceps development if you're properly activating your back to do stuff like bent rows and pull ups. It's not that your biceps won't be hit, just not as hard as when you isolate them. OTOH, it's overkill to hammer your biceps with as much volume as you just put into your back, they're a smaller muscle, they don't need that much work, espcially consdiering they get some activation (albeit not sufficient in itself) from that back work.

    On another note, I'd strongly recommend finishing off your biceps workout with either hammer curls or reverse curls. They really work that brachiordialis, which, when not suficiently developed, can cause tendonitis in things like pull ups, a not uncommon problem.

    One doens't need a PHD in physiology to know these things.
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    Just to insert some of my own experience into this discussion, there is a middle ground. Not isolating biceps at all can easily shortchange biceps development if you're properly activating your back to do stuff like bent rows and pull ups. It's not that your biceps won't be hit, just not as hard as when you isolate them. OTOH, it's overkill to hammer your biceps with as much volume as you just put into your back, they're a smaller muscle, they don't need that much work, espcially consdiering they get some activation (albeit not sufficient in itself) from that back work.

    On another note, I'd strongly recommend finishing off your biceps workout with either hammer curls or reverse curls. They really work that brachiordialis, which, when not suficiently developed, can cause tendonitis in things like pull ups, a not uncommon problem.

    One doens't need a PHD in physiology to know these things.
    I just love the philosophy that curls and tricep extensions have a legitimate place in bodybuilding and strength routines(Cube Method, 5/3/1), but if one even mentions hamstring curls in a strength routine, everyone starts screaming, "good mornings! RDLs! No curls!"
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    Originally Posted by LadyLore420 View Post
    I just love the philosophy that curls and tricep extensions have a legitimate place in bodybuilding and strength routines(Cube Method, 5/3/1), but if one even mentions hamstring curls in a strength routine, everyone starts screaming, "good mornings! RDLs! No curls!"
    Well, I didn't say anything about not doing hamstring curls....

    On that subject, I think hamstring curls are fine, but it's also good to do some form of compound to target hamstrings and then to use curls to finish off the hamstrings.

    Everyone is different, I'm pretty sure I'm hamstring dominant, and most of that has come from deadlift variants. But a lot of people are quad dominant, and to them i'd more highly recommend hamstring curls to finish off their hams.
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    Originally Posted by Rasputin4 View Post
    Well, I didn't say anything about not doing hamstring curls....

    On that subject, I think hamstring curls are fine, but it's also good to do some form of compound to target hamstrings and then to use curls to finish off the hamstrings.

    Everyone is different, I'm pretty sure I'm hamstring dominant, and most of that has come from deadlift variants. But a lot of people are quad dominant, and to them i'd more highly recommend hamstring curls to finish off their hams.
    I have big biceps from bench pressing 95lbs. Not even kidding. Monster biceps for a girl, and my entire routine for upper body is bench, incline bench, pullups, face pulls, and a ton of stretching and trigger point release. In fact, I stretch and release more than I lift. Works.

    Although I do curl a lot of 45lb plates, loading and unloading for my leg compounds. Maybe that counts for something.
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    Originally Posted by LadyLore420 View Post
    I have big biceps from bench pressing 95lbs. Not even kidding. Monster biceps for a girl, and my entire routine for upper body is bench, incline bench, pullups, face pulls, and a ton of stretching and trigger point release. In fact, I stretch and release more than I lift. Works.

    Although I do curl a lot of 45lb plates, loading and unloading for my leg compounds. Maybe that counts for something.
    Maybe you just have good genetics for biceps.
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    Why not switch it up when you're using dumbells? I usually do one rep hammer one rep curl and keep alternating
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    Originally Posted by coolguy7414 View Post
    The best bicep exersize is the seated bicep curl machine I gained a inch on my arms in 4 weeks by doing only that machine bb curls r best for stregth not size
    0MG!&!@! Show meh the secrets to that machine!
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    Originally Posted by LadyLore420 View Post
    I have big biceps from bench pressing 95lbs. Not even kidding. Monster biceps for a girl, and my entire routine for upper body is bench, incline bench, pullups, face pulls, and a ton of stretching and trigger point release. In fact, I stretch and release more than I lift. Works.

    Although I do curl a lot of 45lb plates, loading and unloading for my leg compounds. Maybe that counts for something.
    Any links to online resources regarding trigger point and fascia release?
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