If you’ve been spending hours in the gym trying to bulk up your biceps with classic curls and chin-ups, and yet remain entirely unsatisfied with the size of your upper arms, the chances are you’ve never heard of the brachialis muscle.
There’s no shame in that – who can keep tabs on all of the hundreds of muscles in the human body? However, the brachialis is one it’s worth getting acquainted with, because it’s a key muscle for anyone hitting the gym with the aim of building sleeve-busting upper arms.
Your brachialis muscles are found on the outside of your upper arms right next to the biceps. By targeting the brachialis in your workouts, you’ll add mass to your upper arms and help your biceps stand out more. And one of the best ways to work the brachialis is to add the hammer curl to your training routine. Here’s how to do it.
How To Do A Hammer Curl
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing towards your body – this is the main difference from the standard curl, which you start with your palms facing forwards. Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders. Pause for a second at the top of the lift, squeeze your biceps, then lower the weights under control.
Hammer Curl Variations
Rope cable curl
Using a cable machine means that you work against a consistent level of resistance throughout the movement. In the case of the hammer curl this means the same level of resistance at the top of the movement as the bottom. Attach a rope handle to the low pulley on a cable machine. Curl it up with your palms facing one another, keeping your core braced throughout the movement.
Alternating hammer curl with twist
In this variation of the hammer curl you lift one dumbbell at a time and twist your wrists at the top of the movement to hit the biceps from a different angle. Start with your wrists facing one another, then turn them to face you at the top of the curl so the position is the same as when doing regular biceps curls.