HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Cross Body Hammer Curl

How To: Cross Body Hammer Curl

Cross Body Hammer Curl
When it comes to building big biceps no gym-goer needs an introduction to the bicep curl.
Most guys alternate between the three version they’re most familiar with – the regular dumbbell curl, the barbell curl and the over the knee concentration curl.

However the hammer curl is a build mass builder for the biceps that's often neglected.

Give these side hammers a try!

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Biceps

Required: Dumbbells

Optional: N/A

Cross Body Hammer Curl Form:

Grasp a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing inward while standing up straight.

While keeping your upper arm in place proceed to curl the dumbbell in your left hand up to right your right.

Hold the contraction while the dumbbell touches your shoulder for 1 second.

Lower the dumbbell down in a slow and controlled manner back to your side.

Proceed to curl the dumbbell in your right hand to your left shoulder.

Cross Body Hammer Curl Variations

Incline Hammer Curl

A hammer curl while performed laying down on a incline bench adjusted to a 45 degree angle.
The dead hang of the arms ensures no momentum or swinging comes into play while performing your hammer curls - providing superior isolation.

Side Hammer Curl

A hammer curl performed one dumbbell at a time being curled up towards the sternum.
Performed with palms facing towards your body.

See also
How To: Lat Pulldown

Here Are The ONLY Pair of Dumbbells I'll Ever Recommend...

Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Weights

Instead of buying multiple sets of dumbbells or messing around screwing weight plates on and off your dumbbells between sets and exercises the Bowflex adjustable dumbbell makes progressing with your routine and exercise so much easier and efficient.

Adjustable in 2.5lb increments all the way up to 52.5lbs per dumbbell, ideal for the beginner or intermediate gym-goer

You can invest in a pair of these dumbbells that'll last you forever here.

Common Cross Body Hammer Curl Mistakes


Every guy in the gym wants to swing around heavy weight on biceps, I get that.

As I said earlier – if you want to build big arms you’re going to have to lift heavy, HOWEVER form always have and always will take priority over the weight being lifted.
The bottom portion of a bicep curl is without a doubt the hardest portion of the movement, and when lifting too heavy many gym-goers attempt to swing backwards or hip thrust to attempt to move the weight.
Using momentum to move the weight takes tension off the bicep, doing you no good.
If you’re swinging and swaying your back on every repetition you’re also placing your lower back at a high risk of injury – not good.

See also
How To: Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Pick a weight that’s heavy for you to perform with good form, save the cheat curls for Arnold.

Performing Biceps Curls Too Often

it didn’t take me long to realize that training my arms every single day wasn’t getting me very far in terms of results given all the effort I was exerting.

Train smart.

The biceps act as the secondary muscle group when we’re training back, and the triceps act as the secondary muscle group when we’re training chest.
Training chest, back and one dedicated arm day per week (or triceps and biceps split up onto seperate days instead) is more than enough to build big, strong arms.

More isn’t always better – if you’re training frequency is any higher than this you may very well be hindering your own progress, like all other muscle groups the biceps and triceps require time to recover.

Lifting Too Light

If you don’t generally train in the lower rep range I recommend you give it a try, stop lifting in the 10 – 15 rep range for at least a month and focus on heavy, low rep sets. Once you start to see results you won’t want to go back.

Now, you may still think high reps are beneficial, but let me tell you they’re far from it.

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How To: Car Drivers

High repetitions result in increased stress on your CNS, increase in localized inflammation and increased soreness.

“Movements or exercises that do not give the muscle the required resistance, but are the kind that involve a great number of repetitions, never break down any tissue, to speak of. These movements involve a forcing process that cause the blood to swell up the muscle, and simply pump them up”– George F. Jowett, 1926

Similar & Substitute Exercises 

  • Barbell Bicep Curl
  • Dumbbell Preacher Curl
  • Seated Dumbbell Incline Curl

Any Questions Regarding The Cross Body Hammer Curl? Ask Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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