By Steve Green STACK.com
When they’re in the weight room, most lifters focus on their arms at some point in their routines. When working the arms, Curls are often the weapon of choice to build serious muscle. Outside of standard Barbell Curls, Hammer Curls can, and should, be used to create serious mass for the arms. Looking at your routine, you may wonder why you need to use these Curls at all, but they truly can take your workout to the next level.
Hammer Curls are important because of the way they work your arms. The biceps typically get all the attention, but the arms include two other major muscles, the brachialis and brachioradialis, which work with your biceps to flex your elbow. The brachialis sits under your biceps and the brachioradialis is a long muscle that runs from the center of your upper arm to the center of your forearm.
Building these muscles with Hammer Curls helps to develop these muscles, which add strength, size and definition to your arms. Working the brachialis is particularly important for size, and is one of the keys to adding girth to your arms.
So in your quest for bigger arms, make sure Hammer Curls are a part of your routine. To develop the entire arm complex, I have my clients and athletes perform the exercises below.
- Use a pair of dumbbells that will challenge you.
- Grip the dumbbells with your palms facing each other, flex from the elbow and raise the dumbbells to your shoulders.
- Pause for a brief moment at the top of the lift, then lower the dumbbells to the starting position.
- Sets/Reps: 3×12
- Load the barbell with a challenging yet manageable weight.
- With a shoulder-width grip, raise the bar to shoulder height, then lower it back down to your waist.
- Barbell Curls are probably the most performed Curl, but there’s always room for them in any arm routine.
- Sets/Reps: 5×8
Chin-Ups work the biceps, but they’re often overlooked by many lifters. The key to working the biceps with a Chin-Up is to pull yourself up from a dead hang. Chin-Ups focus the lifting to your biceps, forcing your arms to lift your body weight above the bar. For an added twist, pause at the top of the movement and hold yourself above the bar. I prefer to do Chin-Ups to failure as a way to cap off any workout routine. Four sets to failure.