Hammer Curl Alternatives

Hammer Curl Alternatives

Hammer Curl Alternatives: Hammer Curl is one of the best bicep exercises to increase strength and muscle growth. This exercise targets short, middle, and long heads of the biceps along with training forearms and shoulder muscles too. But like this, there are some other alternative exercises that you can perform at the gym instead of doing a re4gualr hammer curl exercise. Find out how these exercises are similar to hammer curl exercises, and how they build biceps growth faster.

This article includes the 9 best hammer curl alternative exercises, to do at the gym. It includes bodyweight exercises, gym barbell exercises, and dumbbell exercises.

These 9 great alternative exercises to the hammer curl that builds biceps faster.

Hammer Curl Alternatives

Muscles worked in Hammer curl exercise

The hammer curl also referred to as the dumbbell hammer curl or the neutral grip dumbbell curl, targets the long head of the bicep, the brachialis( muscle in the upper arm), and the brachioradialis( forearm muscle). 

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This is a strength training exercise to build and boost your biceps size. 

Thus, choosing an alternative exercise for hammer curl, then we should look for an exercise that also targets similar muscle groups, and provides similar muscle growth. 

So now let’s jump into the hammer curl alternatives

Hammer Curl Alternatives

  1. Zottman Curl

This multi-movement piece is one of the best hammer curl alternatives, due to its similar motion pattern. It primarily targets biceps brachii( both short and long head) and brachioradialis( forearm muscle). The movement consisted of all the muscles working simultaneously during lifting and pulling motion

In addition, it also targets the brachialis, a muscle in your biceps that lies beneath your biceps brachii and your abs and back muscles are also engaged. 

Muscles Targets: Brachialis, brachioradialis, and biceps brachii

Mode: Intermediate

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative:

Both exercises have similar movements, and both exercises target the same muscle groups. Thus, it is a great exercise to replace with a hammer curl. This is a multi-movement exercise, which can be difficult to understand and do properly. 

Also, this exercise boosts wrist strength and Mobility which is an additional perk of this exercise. 

Related: 11 Best Pec Deck Alternative 

Pro Tip:

If you are a beginner, then lift lightweight in this exercise as there are different movements, and with heavyweight, it is difficult to get the proper form during exercise. 

How To Do The Zottman Curl

  • Stand straight and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your side. 
  • Keep your palm face forward. 
  • Without moving your upper arm, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbell close to your shoulders. 
  • Hold for a second, rotate the dumbbell to keep your plan face forward. 
  • Gently lower the weight without moving your upper arm. 
  • Rotate the dumbbell, to go to the original form. 
  1. Standing Reverse Barbell Curl

This is another great exercise similar to hammer curl. Instead of using a dumbbell, in this exercise, a barbell is used, or you can also use a preacher bar. This exercise puts a lot of strain on the brachioradialis, which is not very well used in a bicep workout. The exercise primarily targets the long head of the biceps and forearms muscle, and also the motion is similar, thus making it a great alternative for hammer curl. 

Muscles Targets: Brachialis, brachioradialis, and biceps brachii

Mode: Beginner

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative:

The Standing Reverse Barbell Curl is a great way to build and strengthen the bicep muscles. Like hammer curl, this exercise targets the underused bicep muscles, thus giving the boost to muscle growth of the biceps. 

Related:  best Cable Shoulder Workout for faster growth

Pro Tip:

It is hard to lift heavyweight, with an overhand grip, thus lightweight should be preferred for the exercise. 

Also, the straight bar and EZ curl bar can be both used for exercise. 

How To Do The Standing Reverse Barbell Curl:

  • Standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Hold the bar with an overhand grip( the distance between hands should not be too wide). 
  • Without moving your upper arm, slowly lift the weight upwards. 
  • Your elbows, shoulder be slightly forward from the body for the exercise. 
  • While lifting the weight, squeeze the bicep, and hold the position at the top. 
  • Slowly, lower the weight down without any use of momentum. 
  • In between reps( do not straighten your elbows), keep them slightly locked. 
  1. Preacher Curl

The preacher curl is a great exercise to create a lot of tension in a single bicep muscle group. This bicep exercise is common in most bodybuilders around the world. This exercise focuses on the long head of the biceps, and also forearm muscles are also engaged. Unlike any other biceps exercise, where the user has to lock the elbows to avoid straightening. This exercise causes the exercise range of motion to a full extent. 

It is a great exercise to increase upper arm mobility and endurance. 

Muscles Targets: Brachialis, and biceps brachii

Mode: Advance

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative:

Both exercises target the same muscle group, and performing preacher curl shoes more significant muscle growth. It’s because, in exercise, the biceps are under tension for long durations. 

Related: 20 Minute Stairmaster HIIT workout 

Pro Tip:

Lifters can use an EZ bar instead of a straight bar, as with an EZ bar, the hands are inwards. This gives an advantage to the lifter, as the wrist is in a more comfortable position, and also it makes it easier to lift the weight. 

How To Do A Preacher Curl:

  • Sit down on the preacher’s bench and rest your arm on the sloping pad. 
  • Hold an EZ bar with a neutral grip; palms should face upward. 
  • The distance between both your hands should not be greater than 10 inches.
  • Keep your upper arm touched to the sloping pad, and bring the weight towards your shoulder. 
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds, while keeping the biceps squeezed. 
  • Slowly go back to your original position. 
  1. Incline Dumbbell Curl

It is one of the standard bicep exercises, to increase muscle mass. The exercise gives an advantage to the lifter, by removing any use of momentum from the exercise. It is done, because of the curl from an incline position. 

In addition, the curl from the incline position causes the arms to extend properly and enables more range of motion. 

Muscles Targets: Brachialis, and biceps brachii

Mode: Beginner

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative:

The range of motion is similar to the hammer curl, and like hammer curl it also targets the long and short head of the biceps, thus it is a great alternative for hammer curl. Also, the user can cheat him to lift weights, because this exercise excludes any way to add momentum. 

Related: Average Calves Size: Male And Female 

Pro Tip:

For maximum growth, try to stick your back and head to the seated bench. Also, when lowering the weight, gently move it to create more tension on muscles. 

How To Do A Incline Dumbbell Curl

  • Sit down on an incline bench, keeping your lower and upper fully stacked to it. 
  • Keep the bench angle at 60 degrees. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with a neutral grip. 
  • Don’t move your shoulders, and begin moving the weight upward. 
  • Keep the weight close to your shoulder and hold it there for 2 seconds. 
  • The upper arm will slightly move forward from its position. 
  • Slowly, lower the arms without losing control, and go back to their original position. 
  1. Bent-Over Row

Bent over row is one of the traditional bicep exercises, and both old-school bodybuilding and modern bodybuilding follow this exercise. This exercise not only targets biceps and forearms muscles but also creates a huge impact on back muscles. 

Although it is often confused as back exercise only, with a proper technique it targets bicep muscle. Also, you’ll build biceps muscles fast, as you can manage more weight as compared to other bicep exercises. 

Muscles Targets: Brachialis, and biceps brachii, back

Mode: Intermediate

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternatives:

Despite the different motions in both exercises, this exercise is a great exercise to target the long head of the bicep. As long, the brachioradialis, gets engaged, due time the heavy weight lifting. Thus it is a great alternative to hammer curl exercise for quick bicep muscle growth. 

Related: How Often To Train Calves 

Pro Tip: 

Keep the back angle at 60 degrees, if you bent your back too much, the back muscle will be targeted more than bicep exercise. You have to maintain a balance, and avoid using momentum or pumping, to lift the weight. 

Three variations of palms are placed on the barbell, palm facing outward, facing inward, and opposite. Palm facing outward is the best variation, as it engages the bicep long head. Palm facing inwards, engagement of brachioradialis muscle is noticed. 

How to Do the Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row

  • Stand straight, and hold the barbell shoulder-width apart. 
  • Slightly bend your back to make a 60-degree angle. ( Avoid making an arch, keep back flat). 
  • Row the barbell to the stomach, and squeeze your bicep muscle. 
  • Hold for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower the weight. 
  • Avoid doing it quickly ( Try to maintain the muscle tension). 
  1. Cable Curl

Cable curl is one of the best exercises to train biceps, due to its property of keeping tension in the muscle through the exercise. In addition, if you use a dumbbell or barbell, the midpoint is the tensest area because it is farthest from the body. But in comparison, cable curl allows you to train the biceps with full muscle tension for the entire exercise. This creates more muscle growth in a significant period. 

In addition, cable curls have different variations, allowing you to train with lightweight, to fully squeeze the bicep muscle( as it is resistance free( gravity). 

Mode: Intermediate

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative:

The exercise motion is identical, and both exercises target the similar muscle group in a similar manner. In addition, with cable instead of dumbbells, there is a constant tension throughout the movement. Thus it is a great hammer curl alternative exercise for you to do. 

Related: How Often To Train Calves 

Pro Tip:

Add a different handle, rope, to create a new variation to the cable curl exercise. Every cable curl variation with any handle targets a similar muscle group. Add a drop set to the workout and perform exercise till failure. 

How to Do the Cable Curl

  • Stand near the cable pulley machine, and set the machine to its lowest setting. 
  • Attach a handle( any handle) and hold with arms, and take a few steps back. 
  • Palms( should face upward) and pull the weight upward. 
  • Avoid moving your upper arm too much. 
  • Bring the handle to the chest area and hold it there for 2 seconds. 
  • Gentle lower the weight, without creating any momentum. 
  • Get back to the original position and perform 10 reps. 
  1. Concentration Curl

Concentration curl is the most popular bicep exercise. It is one of the first bicep exercises you do when you join the gym. The reason behind it is simple, it targets the bicep muscles, and also builds a muscle mind connection. This exercise allows you to feel the muscles squeezing, and tension on the muscle. 

The isolated exercise provides the ability to focus more intently on every bicep muscle. 

Mode: Intermediate

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternative: 

Similar to hammer curl, this exercise follows a similar range of motion and targets the same bicep muscles, making it a great alternative for hammer curl exercise. In addition, the movement is slower, and tension remains constant for a long period, resulting in faster growth stimulation. 

Related: Can you work out your chest and shoulders on the same day? 

Pro Tip: Focus on one arm, at a single time, as this burns more calories, and you can target both muscles concentrated equally. 

How to Do the Concentration Curl

  • Sit on the bench and your one-arm elbow should rest on the thigh.
  • Hold a dumbbell on the hand with a neutral grip, begin to curl.
  • The movement should be slow, and the bicep muscle should be flexed.
  • Concentrate on contracting the biceps to move the weight.
  • Reaching the top, begin to curl, and then slowly lower the hand.
  • Never lose tension during the exercise.
  1. High Cable Curl

The high cable curl variation where the user’s arms are parallel to the floor. This exercise is popular for its muscle target of the short bicep head. Curling high, above the shoulder range, flexes the shoulders and arms more conservatively. Thus, it is a great exercise to build and strengthen bicep muscles. 

 Mode: Advance

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternatives:

This exercise targets both arms at the same time, and the use of cables over dumbbells creates a constant tension in muscle( removal of unwanted resistance ( gravity)). Thus, it is one of the best alternative exercise fro hammer curl.

Related:  

Pro tip: 4 Ways to Get rid of Sore Legs from Squats

Begun exercise with lower weight, as with heavier weight, the user began using momentum for the exercise. Also, form stars degrade with heavier weight. 

How to Do the High Cable

  • Sett h cable pulley machine to shoulder height and attach D-handles.
  • Hold the handle with a neutral grip, and extend your arm as much you can.
  • Keep your shoulder stacked up and back straight.
  • Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor, and only move yu lower arm.
  • Maintain muscle tension while pulling the load towards you.
  • When close to the face, hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Get back to its original position and repeat the steps.
  1. Chin-Up

This is a bodyweight exercise, popular for building muscle strength of the biceps. It is a traditional exercise that even people without the gym perform. In addition, the technique is simple, which can be performed by everyone, who has the ability to lift their body weight with their bicep strength. As the user lists his own body weight with the arms, the load is heavier as compared to any barbell exercise. 

Mode: Intermediate

Why it’s a great hammer curl alternatives:

Despite the movement being completely different, as you have to push your upwards, both exercises show enormous growth in biceps, thus it is a great hammer curl alternative.

Related: How to get Big calves? 

Pro Tip:

Use grip pads or gloves for the exercise, as this boosts grip strength. Also, when pulling up, flex your biceps instead of your back muscles. 

How to Do the Chin-Up

  • Stand near a bar, and hang on it with hands shoulder-width apart and palms should be facing you. 
  • Relax your body, and while sneezing the shoulder blades and biceps, lift your body. 
  • If you find a problem in balance( either increase the distance of your hands or criss-cross your legs). 
  • Reach the peak position with your pushing curling, and hold the position for 2 seconds. 
  • Get back to the original position, and repeat the steps. 

Final Words

These are some best hammer curl alternative exercises that target biceps muscles similarly and a few of them follow a similar range of motion and movement. So, pick out your favorite hammer curl alternative and include it in your biceps workout routine. If you find any difficulties, check out the pro tip mentioned below the exercise.

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