HomeExercise LibraryHow To: Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl

How To: Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl

Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a very similar movement to the regular bicep curl, however the weight is continually held in a neutral grip, without the typical twist performed when curling a dumbbell up.

“If hammer curls are so great why do we need to do them on an incline bench, SJ?”

The dumbbell hammer curl is often performed as an ego lift, as the majority of gym-goers will be able to lift a substantial bit more weight when they’re utilizing the netural grip of the hammer curl… with excessive increases in weight our form ever so quickly goes out the window, along with the tension placed on the muscle and the growth of the biceps.

Laying on an incline bench eliminates the swing, you can’t calf raise the weights up as if you were performing a standing set of heavy hammer curls.

Movement: Isolation

Targets: Biceps

Required: Dumbbells & Incline Bench

Optional: N/A

Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl Form:

In order to perform the incline hammer curl set up a bench at a 45 degree angle with the bottom pad angled slightly, as if you were going to perform an incline dumbbell press.

Lay down on the bench with your arms fully extended gripping a pair of dumbbells, the dumbbell should be slightly off the ground upon full extension.

See also
Foot Position on Calf Raises Explained

While laying back keep your elbows locked in place, curl only your upper arm until fully contracted.

Squeeze at the top for 1 second.

Slowly lower the dumbbell back down until its returned to your side in the fully extended position.

Proceed with your other arm

Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl Variations

Standing Hammer Curl

A hammer curl (neutral grip) performed while standing with a pair of dumbbells.
Traditionally you'll find that you're able to lift heavier on the standing hammer curl than the majority of your other curl variations.
Maintain a slight bend in the knee but do not jerk the weight up.

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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See also
How To: Dumbbell Spider Curl

Common Dumbbell Incline 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 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.

See also
How To: Reverse Pec Deck Fly (Rear Delt Fly)

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 Overhead Press
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Front Raise
  • Clean & Press

Any Questions Regarding The Dumbbell Incline Hammer Curl? Ask Below!

See also
How To: Foam Roll Arms
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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