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!
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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