Hammer Curl vs Bicep Curl: Which One is Better for Arm Strength?

In terms of targeting the biceps for arm muscle isolation, the hammer curl and bicep curl are two widely used exercises in almost any training regimen that isolate these muscles specifically.

Both exercises involve similar mechanics and activate the same muscle group, but they possess unique different features. Comprehending these distinctions is essential to optimize the efficiency of your bicep exercise routine.

n this in-depth article, we’ll go over both exercises, examines their respective benefits, and provides guidance on proper form to ensure maximum gains. By the end, you’ll be able to choose which exercise is best suited for your biceps.

Related Comparison: The Difference Between Concentration Curl and Bicep Curl

What Are Bicep Curls?


Bicep curls have been a popular workout for gaining larger biceps. You’ll need dumbbells or a barbell to perform them, Here are the main steps to follow:

  1. Stand with your feet at shoulder width and hold the dumbbells or barbell using an underhand grip.
  2. Keep a tight grip on the weights as you lift them up toward your shoulders, with your elbows staying close to your body.
  3. Pause for a count at the peak of the motion, then gradually bring down the weight to its starting position.


Performing bicep curls with different equipment and grips makes them a versatile exercise.

In addition, including them in your workout routine can be highly beneficial. They strengthen and shape the biceps muscle, resulting in a more pronounced and muscular appearance in your arms.

Also, bicep curls mainly target the short head of your biceps, which is responsible for the “peak” of your bicep muscle.

What Are Hammer Curls

The hammer curl is one of the most knowns variations of a regular bicep curl, adding it to your workout routine can prevent boredom and keep your muscles challenged.

To execute hammer curls, you will need two dumbbells, Here are the instructions:

  1. Stand up while your feet are at shoulder width, and grasp the dumbbells with palms facing inwards for a neutral grip.
  2. Slowly lift the weight towards your shoulders while keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Once you have reached the top of your action, take a pause before gradually bringing down the weight to the initial position.

The benefits:

Hammer curls are a highly effective exercise for developing grip and forearm strength, which can translate into improved performance in other exercises, like pull-ups or deadlifts.

Also, worth noting is that by concentrating on the brachialis muscle group, performing hammer curls can help you achieve a more prominent and developed arm definition because this particular muscle causes your upper arm to be thick.

Hammer Curl vs Bicep Curl: The Differences

Hammer curls and bicep curls are both great exercises for developing arm muscles, but they contrast in various important ways.

The Grip Position:

Hammer curls and bicep curls differ mainly in the grip hold. When performing a hammer curl, you grasp the dumbbells with your hands in a neutral position and facing toward one another.

On the other hand, to perform a bicep curl, you grasp the weights with an underhand grip (your palms are facing upwards).

Targeted Muscle Groups:

Hammer curls and regular bicep curls are both beneficial for working your biceps, but they emphasize various muscle groups in the arms.

Hammer curls work the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles, while bicep curls primarily work the long head of the biceps.

Range of Motion:

Hammer and bicep curls have different ranges of motion. they enable a greater range of movement than bicep curls due to the grip being neutral.

This signifies that a wider range of motion can lead to greater muscle activation and growth in your arm muscles.

Bicep Curl Vs. Hammer Curls: Which One Is Better?

Both! Hammer curls and bicep curls can help you achieve bigger biceps if you do them regularly and with the proper form. Nevertheless, they help at targeting different angles of the muscle.

However, bicep curls are the ideal exercise if you want to build your bicep peak. Choosing hammer curls is ideal if your goal is to focus on developing the thickness of your upper arm and adding overall mass to your biceps.

Here is the caveat, if you want to achieve a more defined bicep peak, concentration curls can be more effective.

Tips for Maximizing Your Results

  • Maintain proper form by keeping your elbows close to your body and avoiding swinging the weights.
  • Select a weight that provides a challenge without compromising your form.
  • Try out multiple grips and variations to pinpoint different muscle groups and stave off boredom.
  • Include different arm routines: As noted before, including different exercises for your arms can assist in correcting muscle imbalances and preventing injuries.

The Verdict:

It’s good news that you don’t have to decide between the hammer curl vs bicep curls since they can both provide equal effectiveness with proper execution. To be honest, carrying out both methods at once might generate better results than using them separately.

Therefore, to achieve maximum results and develop strong, toned arms, Including both the hammer curl and bicep curl exercises in your training program is crucial for achieving significant definition in your biceps. 


  1. Schoenfeld, B. J., & Grgic, J. (2020). Effects of range of motion on muscle development during resistance training interventions: A systematic review. SAGE Open Medicine, 8, 205031212090155.
  2. Leonello, D. T., Galley, I. J., Bain, G. I., & Carter, C. D. (2007). Brachialis Muscle Anatomy. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 89(6), 1293–1297. https://doi.org/10.2106/jbjs.f.00343
Hassane Sghir
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