Hammer Curls Vs Reverse Curls – Best Option For You

Hello guys, I’m frequently asked in the gym what the difference is between a reverse curl and a hammer curl. so, I decided to make a full article about this.

I’m going to demonstrate how to perform each of them in this step-by-step guide and explain the distinctions between Hammer Curls Vs Reverse Curls and determine which is the most beneficial for muscle growth and which is the safest and best one for you.

We’ll explore which exercise is better for growing the biceps brachii muscle and which is better for growing the brachialis and brachioradialis, Let’s just get started.

Hammer Curls Vs Reverse Curls: How To Tutorial

How To Do Hammer Curls Properly

The Hammer wrist Curl is one of the most important weightlifting exercises. It works the biceps and forearms. Using dumbbells, you can do the exercise. It works the three largest muscles on the front of your forearms. In order to get the most out of the exercise, don’t lean back or swing your dumbbells.

The best way to learn how to do it right is to start with light weights. With your elbows against the wall.

Here’s how to do hammer concentration curls the right way.

Step 1

With two dumbbells in hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Your posture should be upright, shoulders over hips, and your core should be engaged to balance the body.

Note: Begin with a slight weight that you can easily manage for two or three sets of around eight to twelve repetitions. Select a weight that enables you to retain the best techniques and makes you well balanced all across the sets and repetitions.

Step 2

While your palms facing your legs, hold 2 dumbbells by your sides. Your arms should be fully extended and your elbows slightly bent. This position should be the beginning of all repetitions.

Maintain a static position for your biceps and begin bending at the elbows

Step 3

Lift the dumbbells until they are at your shoulder level by bending your elbows, squeezing your biceps, and holding in this position for a while.

Then, return to the starting position and do the same movement again depending on how many repetitions you want to do.

How To Do Reverse Curls Properly

if you’re seeking an arm exercise that will strengthen your biceps and forearm muscles, then, the reverse curl (also known as overhand bicep curls)is an option for you!

The reverse curl is a variation on the regular curl that utilizes a different grip type.

Although reverse curls are a very simple exercise to complete, that does not mean they cannot be done incorrectly! Utilize this step-by-step instruction to ensure that your reverse wrist curl sets are both safe and effective.

Step 1

Grab the EZ-curl bar, the barbell, or even the dumbbell with your hands crossed over your chest, your thumbs on top of the bar. With your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, take a deep breath in and out. The distance between your hands and hips should be just a bit wider.

Step 2

Do not move or lean. Bend your arms and curl the bar up to your shoulders. Flex your wrists a little at the top of the movement to get the most out of your forearms.

As you move, your arms must be long with a bent elbow. Keep your wrist in a stable position and your grip should be comfortable.

Step 3

Turn your shoulders outward to work your lats and upper back, then Bend your elbows so that your lower arms meet your upper arms at the elbow joint.

At the top of the exercise, squeeze your biceps and pause for a second

Step 4

Return to the beginning position by gradually straightening your elbows, then repeat the same movement. 

Read Also: Smith Machine Biceps Drag Curls Step By Step Guide

Hammer Curls vs reverse Curls: Muscles Worked, Variations

Hammer Curls Muscles Worked

Hammer curls, when performed properly, can assist maximize arm gains and increase overall grip strength.

Hammer curls are very efficient because they isolate the external head of the biceps brachii, the brachialis

In summary, The hammer curl is used to target the brachialis, although it also works the brachioradialis dramatically.

Primary musclesBiceps brachialis
Secondary musclesForearm Flexors (Brachioradialis)

Reverse Curls Muscles Worked

Reverse curls mainly target the biceps brachii, brachioradialis, and brachialis muscles. They also engage the biceps brachii and forearm extensor muscles. The deltoids and trapezius muscles are also engaged, but primarily for the purpose of support and stabilization.

Note that Forearm muscle brachioradialis jumps out on the outside of the elbow when your palms are down if you add wrist extension to the exercise, reverses curls target that muscle extremely well.

Primary musclesBiceps brachii and brachialis
Secondary musclesForearms (brachioradialis)

Hammer Curls Variations

Incline Hammer Curls

To perform the hammer curl, sit on an incline bench. When seated, the starting position, the arms behind the hips to minimize shoulder engagement.

Incline Hammer Curls

Alternate Hammer Curls

The alternating hammer curl is a dumbbell exercise that does not require wrist supination. Rather than simultaneously elevating both arms, keep the wrists neutral during each repetition.

Alternate Hammer Curls

Preacher Hammer Curl

The preacher dumbbell hammer curl is a biceps workout that is a version of a single-arm or tow arms hammer wrist curl.

When performing preacher dumbbell curls, utilizing the preacher set provides a fixed range of motion, giving for more targeted activation of the biceps. do not forget to exhale as you lift the dumbbell by flexing your elbow while your palms facing each other.

Preacher Hammer Curls

Reverse Curls Variations

Dumbbell reverse curls

Dumbbells are also effective for a bicep workout. If you choose them, hold a dumbbell in each hand during the movement to accomplish this reverse curl. utilize one dumbbell at a time, lift two dumbbells together, or do alternate arm movements.

If you are a beginner you can start with light weight dumbbells

Dumbbell Reverse Curls

EZ-curl bar reverse curl

Holding an EZ curl bar (a curl bar with a curved handle that relieves pressure on the wrists) with a shoulder-width overhand grip, your knees should be slightly bent, your arms almost fully extended, and the bar should be across your thighs.

Breathing technique: Inhale as you slowly descend the EZ curl bar to the beginning position.

EZ Curl Bar Reverse Curl

Barbell reverse curl

Also known as thick bar reverse curls,

You should use a thick bar to do reverse curls.
Try a barbell curl instead of a dumbbell curl if you don’t feel safe with dumbbells. the same steps and moves are used. but, the barbell makes this exercise a lot harder in most cases.

Barbell Reverse Curls

Reverse Cable Curls

Additionally, you can practice this workout with a cable station equipped with a bar attachment. Connect the bar to the bottom pulley 

Remember to maintain a pronated grip with your hands (palms) facing downward

Cable Reverse Curls

Hammer Curls vs Reverse Curls: Which One Builds Bigger Arms?

Hammer curls are more effective at bulking bicep brachii as well as the brachialis than reverse curls.

Muscle mass is gained by stressing your muscles with high weight for three to five sets of eight to twelve reps. Hammer curls let you lift far more weights than reverse curls, which indicates that your biceps are more susceptible to overload.

This will stimulate your long head and short head of the biceps leading to upper arm growth and strength.

Reverse curls however are an excellent workout for increasing forearm growth and strength because they isolate the brachioradialis far more.

Therefore, if you want to strengthen the brachioradialis and put it to the forefront, reverse curls should be your preferred bicep workout.

Reverse curls also strengthen your grip and increase your performance during other weightlifting exercises like deadlifts and bench presses.

Which Is Better Hammer Curls Or Reverse Curls

There isn’t a single best biceps workout for everybody. It all comes down to your needs and priorities.

Overall, most people would be better off with hammer curls, which work more of their upper arms including brachioradialis and brachialis than reverse curls, which work more of their forearms.

To gain forearms extensors size and strength, reverse curls are better for you because they isolate the brachioradialis more and inhibit the brachialis and biceps.

The best thing you can do is to do both exercises. As we talked about in-depth, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Leave your better option in the comment below!



Fitness Coach


Sghir Hassane

Hi there, I’m the founder & editor of optimalbodypill.com. Because of stress and an unhealthy lifestyle, I’ve decided to start my fitness journey through bodyweight and also weight training. Now, I enjoy sharing my tiny experience with fitness & gym equipment, I’ve tested tons of gym products, accessories, and supplements for over 4 years now.

Good Luck!

Hassane Sghir
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