Seated Hammer Curls

For reasons we will explain here, seated hammer curls are biomechanically one of the best hammer curl variations for isolating the target muscles and setting them up for hypertrophy. The cable hammer curl may be the only contender as better.

Mike demoing seated hammer curls

Seated hammer curls require a seat of some sort, as the name makes obvious, and dumbbells. The lifter has the luxury of selecting any available seat, with or without a back.

Utility benches–the short benches with backs frequently used for dumbbell shoulder presses–are probably the best suited. An incline bench would make a fine seat, but then that turns the seated hammer curl into an incline hammer curl.

The seat makes cheating more difficult, which is one of the two top reasons why seated hammer curls are such a good pick for arms.

Seated hammer curls can be done single sided, both arms curling simultaneously, or alternating arm to arm.

Muscles Worked by Seated Hammer Curls

Seated hammer curls work the biceps, the brachio-radialis, and the brachialis in isolation when performed properly.

The brachio-radialis is that upper arm muscle that creates that bulge on the outer elbow when flexed and adds height to the arm when bent.

The brachialis adds height and width to the upper arm and because of its location. That little pronounced golf ball bulge on the outside of the upper arm? That’s the brachialis.

Hammer curls preferentially work the brachio-radialis a bit more than palms-up versions do because it is aligned perpendicular to gravity.

The biceps are also worked anytime the forearm moves toward the body. The biceps insertion on the forearm isn’t quite as aligned with resistance as is the brachio-radialis.

To build a thick, muscular elbow and outer upper arm area, seated hammer curls are great.

Hammer curls of all sorts are a bit more tendon-friendly than palms up or palms down versions since the biceps tendons are not stretched as far from origin at the shoulder to their attachment on the radius (thumb-side forearm bone).

How to Do A Proper Seated Hammer Curl

To do a proper seated hammer curl:

Seated hammer curl good form
  1. Sit on the edge of a flat bench, or sit slightly reclined against the back of a utility bench.
    • There’s biomechanical benefit to leaning slightly back against the back pad.
  2. Select a pair of dumbbells that will allow you to strictly curl for the desired number of reps.
  3. Using the neutral grip (thumbs up grip), bend your elbows only and bring your hands toward your chin. Raise the dumbbell until your arm is completely flexed.
  4. The wrist should not flex or “break”. You should be able to place a ruler across your forearm and hand with no gap between skin and ruler. If you couldn’t throw a punch with your hammer curl grip, your grip is wrong. Sorry.
  5. Let your working arm extend almost all the way until straight by your side.
    • It’s important that the target muscles are fully lengthened at the bottom of each rep. Too much stretch though can put the tendons under too much stress and lead to inflammation of the connective tissue
  6. Depending on your workout program, you can perform continuous reps with no rest at the bottom, or, you can continuously rep by stopping just short of the bottom before immediately beginning the next rep.

How NOT to Do a Seated Hammer Curl

Hammer curls make good form easier than doing some hammer curl variations, but screwing them up is still possible. Common hammer curl mistakes can be made seated as well.

Not fully flexing and extending the arm

Seated hammer curls low ROM

Arresting the range of motion so that you’re short-stroking each rep only partially works the target muscles. Do partial reps create lactic acid burn? Yes, they do, and a novice lifter will believe that alone signals the onset of hypertrophy. Lactic acid is a metabolic byproduct that creates “burn” regardless of whether conditions for hypertrophy are being created or not. Burn does *not* mean muscle size is being affected.

Swinging the dumbbells

Swinging seated hammer curls

If the shoulder is moving, you’re not doing a proper seated hammer curl. The elbow should be the only joint that moves and the upper arm should look like it’s made of cement. No movement. None. Anything else is cheating.

Going too heavy

Mike trying to curl heavy weights

Using weights that are too heavy so that they compromise form. Work your arms not your ego.

Rocking

This is similar to swinging the dumbbells above. Any extra body movement that generates momentum is a mistake. Sitting makes this error more difficult to commit but doesn’t prevent it completely.

Not keeping elbows at the sides

Elbow position comparison

As we’ve emphasized above, the humerus (upper arm bone) should remain locked in a vertical position. An all-to-common mistake is for the lifter to move the elbow forward as one might if they were running.

The elbow comes forward and that means that the hand and dumbbell would cross vertical and “fall” back under its own weight and with no help from the lifter.

Ergo, no work is being done for almost half the lift. No muscle building results can be expected from this type of form.

Benefits of Seated Hammer Curls

Seated hammer curls have an advantage over other hammer curl variations due to their ability to mitigate common mistakes, primarily using the hips and legs as locomotion. The seat and use of dumbbells add the following biomechanical benefits.

Early phase loaded

Seated hammer curls are more challenging near the bottom of each rep when the muscle is able to generate the most force, and recruit muscle fiber.

The lift maintains a degree of challenge throughout so long as the lifter doesn’t lean backward, causing the weight to “fall back” to the shoulder as it passes over the point vertical to the floor.

Time Under Tension

As long as the lifter adds no momentum and uses strict form to raise and lower the weight, time under tension is almost constant.

Stopping the weight short a degree or two (not 20 or 30 degrees) before the arm completely straightens can increase the time under tension.

The slight lean backward when a utility bench keeps the dumbbell from cresting at the top where the weight is perpendicular to the floor (and the arms are working almost not at all). The weight is kept somewhat shy of straight up and down and so the target muscles stay loaded.

Range of Motion (ROM)

Seated hammer curls allow for a full range of motion. For the lifters who are able to strictly lift big, heavy dumbbells, the head of the dumbbell can prevent a 100% full range of motion, but so can big muscular upper arms.

Suffice it to say that the ROM for seated hammer curls is very good unless the lifter performs partial reps (which as we’ve already said have negligible muscle-building benefit).

Reduced Risk and Greater Comfort

The biceps are more easily inflamed from overuse injury or injured during palms-up grip curls, especially when the beginning position for the curl places the tendon under great load in a mechanically disadvantageous position.

Free weight preacher curls are the best example for a curl variation that incurs this kind of risk.

Seated hammer curls (as well as hammer curls of all sorts) make more use of the brachio-radialis and therefore share the load more evenly with the biceps.

And, because the brachio-radialis attaches farther down the arm, there is additional mechanical advantage due to improved leverage.

Drawbacks

Drawbacks to the seated hammer curl? None that we can think of.

The strictness that the seat enforces along with the upper body position relative to the floor makes the seated hammer curl an excellent option to work the anterior upper arm muscles.

Share your love
Default image
Perry Mykleby
Perry started lifting weights in 1974. He is an ACE-certified personal trainer and fitness writer. He holds a journalism degree from the University of North Texas, where he competed in powerlifting. His final competition was the Texas State Open in December of 1982, but has continued to study and practice muscle strength and hypertrophy. He is a four-decade veteran of the medical device industry.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

The best online fitness resource you'll ever need. We filter out the BS to ensure you meet your health and fitness goals!

Situs Togel 4D Bo Togel Bandar Togel Deposit Pulsa Agen Togel Deposit Ovo Togel Bet 100 Perak Bandar Togel Terbesar Toto Togel Bandar Togel Daftar Bandar Togel Terbesar agen togel deposit ovo situs togel 4d Slot Bonus 100 Situs Judi Slot Terbaik Slot Gacor Slot Pragmatic Link Slot Gacor Dingdong Togel Slot Deposit Pulsa Situs Slot Judi Online Agen Slot Online BO Togel 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Agen Togel Bet 100 Perak Toto Togel Agen Togel Resmi Bandar Togel Deposit Pulsa Dingdong Togel Situs Togel Terbesar Bandar Darat Togel Togel Toto Online Togel Singapore BO Togel Bet 100 Perak Agen Togel Deposit Pulsa Situs Bandar Togel Hadiah 4D 10 Juta 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Agen Slot Online Togel Hari Akun Slot Bet Game Situs Judi Slot Situs Judi Slot Resmi Game Slot Slot Game Bonus New Member 100 Agen Togel terpercaya 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya Agen Togel Online Agen Togel Singapore Togel Toto Macau Situs Togel Terpercaya 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Bandar Judi Togel Situs Togel BRI Online 24 Jam situs togel dan slot SITUS TOGEL DEPOSIT VIA DANA situs togel terbaik 5 bandar togel terpercaya bandar togel hadiah 4d 10 juta terpercaya BANDAR TOGEL HADIAH 4D 10 JUTA Situs Slot Bet 100 Perak situs bandar togel terpercaya Bandar Togel Deposit Pulsa Situs Slot Situs Slot deposit Pulsa Agen Slot Dan Togel Toto Slot Bandar Togel Hadiah 4D 10 Juta Situs Togel Online Situs Slot Togel Terlengkap Agen Slot BO Togel Agen Togel Online Situs Bandar Togel Dan Slot Situs Togel Togel Deposit Pulsa Slot Gacor Bandar Togel Lengkap Situs Slot 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Bo Togel dan Slot Toto Togel Judi togel Togel Hadiah 2D 100rb Bandar Togel Dan Slot Togel Bet 100 Lotre Togel bandar darat togel 5 bandar togel terpercaya Situs Togel Terpercaya bandar judi terpercaya Bandar Togel Terbesar Bandar Togel Online bandar togel bandar togel terpercaya hadiah terbesar judi togel bandar togel terbesar situs judi online bandar togel terbesar Togel Online Bandar Togel Bolak Balik Dibayar Bandar Togel Lengkap situs togel Bandar Togel Togel Hadiah 4d Terbesar bandar togel hadiah terbesar Bandar Togel Hadiah 4d Terbesar judi togel Togel Online Terbaik Situs Togel Terbesar Bandar Lotre Togel Togel Kamboja Dingdong Togel Bandar Togel Terbesar dan Terpercaya Bandar Togel Terpercaya Daftar Bandar Togel Togel Deposit Via Dana 5 Bandar togel terpercaya agen togel terpercaya slot online Situs Bonus New Member Slot Gacor 10 Situs Bandar Togel Slot Online Agen Slot Online Slot Pragmatic Slot Pragmatic Agen Togel Lengkap Bandar Togel Hadiah 4d 10 Juta Slot Resmi Bo Togel Situs Togel Terpercaya 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Agen Bo Togel Bandar Togel Slot Pragmatic Judi Slot Pragmatic agen togel online Agen Togel Terpercaya toto togel 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Bandar Togel Terpercaya Bandar Togel Online Situs Togel Resmi Agen Slot Judi Slot Online 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya Slot Pulsa Tanpa Potongan Situs Slot Gacor Bo Togel Togel deposit pulsa Agen Judi Slot Online Terpercaya Situs Slot Gacor Mesin Slot Bandar Togel dan Slot Agen Judi Slot Pragmatic Slot Online Via Dana Link Slot Gacor Situs Game Slot Online SITUS SLOT ONLINE GAME SLOT Agen Togel Terpercaya Bandar Togel Slot Bandar Togel dan Slot Bandar Togel Terpercaya Hadiah 4d 10 Juta Bo Togel Bandar Togel Deposit Pulsa Bandar Togel Terpercaya Bandar Togel Hadiah 2d 100rb Slot Pragmatic 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Bandar Darat Togel Bandar Togel Dan Slot Bandar Togel Hadiah 2d 100rb Bandar Togel Hadiah Terbesar Bandar Togel Lengkap Bandar Togel Online Bandar Togel Terbesar Daftar Bandar Togel Tertua Agen Slot Bonus 100 Agen Togel Mesin Slot BANDAR TOGEL HADIAH 2D 100RB Bandar Togel 77 TOTO SLOT 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya 2022 Situs Judi Slot Terbaik Bandar Darat Togel Bandar Lotre Togel Bandar Togel Bet 100 Rupiah Bandar Togel Bet 100 Bandar Togel Hadiah 4d 10 Juta Terpercaya BANDAR TOGEL HADIAH 4D 10 JUTA Bandar Togel Terpercaya BANDAR TOGEL TERPERCAYA HADIAH TERBESAR Bandar Togel Terbesar BANDAR TOGEL LENGKAP Bandar Togel Hadiah Full Togel Online Bandar Togel Resmi Bandar Togel Terbaik Bandar Togel Terbesar Situs Slot Online Bandar Judi Slot Online BANDAR JUDI SLOT ONLINE BANDAR TOGEL TERPERCAYA KUMPULAN SITUS JUDI SLOT 4D Situs Bandar Togel Hadiah 4d 10 Juta LINK BANDAR SLOT TERPERCAYA Daftar Bandar Togel Terbesar Dan Terpercaya Daftar Bandar Togel Tertua Dingdong Togel Daftar Situs Judi Slot Online BANDAR TOGEL TERPERCAYA AGEN JUDI SLOT ONLINE TERPERCAYA DAFTAR JUDI SLOT ONLINE Slot Pragmatic BO JUDI SLOT ONLINE DAFTAR SITUS SLOT GACOR Nama Nama Situs Judi Slot Online Terpercaya Togel China Bandar Judi Slot Online SITUS JUDI SLOT DEPOSIT PULSA Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Togel Kamboja Agen Togel Resmi AGEN SLOT ONLINE Slot Bonus New Member 100 LINK BO TERPERCAYA SITUS SLOT GACOR Slot Gacor Agen Judi Slot Online Resmi DAFTAR NAMA NAMA SITUS JUDI SLOT ONLINE DAFTAR SITUS JUDI SLOT ONLINE AGEN TOGEL RESMI DEPOSIT PULSA Toto Slot Agen Judi Slot Gacor SLOT ONLINE KUMPULAN NAMA SITUS SLOT ONLINE TERPERCAYA Bandar Togel dan Slot GAME SLOT ONLINE Togel Bandar Darat BANDAR TOGEL TERBESAR TOGEL HADIAH PRIZE 123 BANDAR TOGEL TERPERCAYA Agen Slot Online Situs Slot Deposit Pulsa Situs Judi Online Situs Slot Online Situs Judi Togel Situs Judi Slot Online Terpercaya 5 Bandar Togel Terpercaya Toto Slot Agen Judi Slot Online Situs Slot Terbaru Togel Deposit Pulsa Slot Online Situs Judi Slot Online Terpercaya Slot Pragmatic Bandar Togel Bet 100 Perak Situs Slot Slot Deposit Pulsa Slot Mpo Situs Judi Slot Online Slot Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya Game Slot Agen Slot Pulsa Slot Gacor Agen slot dan Togel Agen Judi Slot Online Terpercaya Togel dan Slot Agen Togel Slot Gacor Slot Gacor Agen Judi Slot Online24Jam Slot Gacor Judi Online Judi Slot Online Bo Togel Slot Online Sultanplay Situs Judi Slot Online Situs Mpo Slot Gacor Slot PG Soft Slot Online Sultanplay Situs Togel Online Agen Judi Slot Online Situs Togel dan Slot Online 10 Situs Togel Terpercaya 10 SITUS TOGEL TERPERCAYA Slot Online Terpercaya Joker Slot Bandar Togel Dan Slot Bandar Togel Hadiah Full Bandar Togel Hadiah Terbesar Bandar Togel BANDAR TOGEL TERPERCAYA Akun Togel Resmi Togel Macau Togel Kamboja Slot Deposit 5000 Slot Terpercaya Togel Singapura Toto Macau Nama Nama Situs Slot Online Bandar Togel Kamboja Bandar Togel Terpercaya Togel Hadiah 4d 10 Juta Terpercaya Agen Slot Agen Judi togel Resmi Situs Togel Terpercaya Situs Togel Terbesar Bandar Toto Terpercaya Agen Slot Gacor Togel Hongkong Judi Slot Online Hondatoto Ojktoto