Dumbbell Hammers

“Hammers” standing - a common exercise for working out the biceps. It is accessible to all levels involved and can be performed with minimal equipment. It fits most people. But the problem is that many people perform it with technical errors, throwing dumbbells to the shoulders with the force of inertia, or making too many extra movements. This is what keeps people away from pumping the most impressive biceps, and not the wrong choice of exercise. Fortunately, everyone can learn to make hammers, it's easy enough.


  • 1 Technique
    • 1.1 Caution
    • 1.2 Recommendations
  • 2 Options
    • 2.1 Simultaneous bending of both hands using the hammer technique
    • 2.2 Hammering in front of the chest
    • 2.3 Concentrated "hammers"
    • 2.4 Hammers on an incline or Scott bench
  • 3 Analysis of exercises
    • 3.1 What muscles work
    • 3.2 Pros
    • 3.3 Cons of exercise
  • 4 Preparation
  • 5 Proper execution
    • 5.1 Errors
    • 5.2 Performance Tips
  • 6 Inclusion in the program
  • 7 Contraindications
  • 8 How to replace

Execution technique

Starting position

  1. Choose a pair of dumbbells for warm-up, and for working approaches. It is pointless to give any general recommendations here. According to the rules, the last two repetitions should be given hard, at the limit of strength. The weight is selected independently, based on this;
  2. Next, you need to take the dumbbells in your hands with a neutral grip, the palms are aligned with each other, the body is upright, the spine is neutral, you need a fairly well-tucked stomach and gathered shoulder blades;
  3. The forearms are pressed to the body, the position of the body is regulated by stabilizers, you can not swing.


  1. From the stretched position, the dumbbells are brought to the shoulders due to bending of the elbows;
  2. The biceps work as the main mover and bring dumbbells to the shoulders;
  3. You should stop at the point of maximum tension, bring dumbbells to your shoulders above this point is not worth it, this does not lead to a better result;
  4. You can do bending alternately, you can simultaneously. In the first version, it is better to concentrate on the work of the biceps, so for most athletes the alternate version of flexion is suitable;
  5. Bending is performed on exhalation, lowering on inspiration;
  6. You need to work smoothly and slowly until all repetitions are completed, the lifts are adjusted to the normal pace of breathing, and not vice versa.


  • The elbows should be approximately in the plane of the spine. They do not need to be driven back, reducing the amplitude of the lift and facilitating movement. If this is the only way, take the dumbbells easier;
  • Leading the elbows forward loads more of the forearm and also reduces the amplitude. This is a mistake;
  • Rocking the body and throwing dumbbells due to inertia is not allowed;
  • It is better to refrain from fully straightening the arms at the lower point of the amplitude. This can lead to an overload of the ligaments of the elbow joint.


  • Keep your brushes in the same plane, dumbbell vultures rise along two parallel elliptical trajectories. Otherwise, the turn will violate the lifting mechanics and lead to a technical error;
  • Do not lift too quickly, so as not to beat off the dumbbells from the forearms and not to lose muscle tension. In this exercise, it is important to always tighten your biceps, and not relax it at the bottom

Execution Options

Simultaneous bending of both hands using the hammer technique

This exercise option is suitable for those who have been practicing for quite some time. It is more voluminous than the usual dumbbell lifts for biceps, so it may not be suitable for beginners. This option is good for those who can keep their hands fairly straight, in the same plane, and lift the dumbbells without twisting them in one direction. This variation can be performed with heavier dumbbells, and be the first or main exercise in training your biceps. Alternate lifts usually complete the workout and are performed with lighter weight.

Hammering in front of the chest

This kind of bicep flexion seems to be oblique, the dumbbell goes to the opposite shoulder along an elliptical path in front of the body. Hammering biceps in front of the chest involves the shoulders more in the exercise. This option is loved by the "monsters of the mass", as it is technically more convenient with large arms, but you need to remember the balance and the need to isolate the working group of muscles.

Concentrated Hammers

Exercise is performed on Scott's bench, or in support of the elbow in the thigh in a sitting position. Hammers become “concentrated” when the elbow is placed on an inclined bench, and the arm is bent at full amplitude. In this version, less weight is taken, body reading does not work out with all desire, the exercise is performed quite accurately and in a limited amplitude;

Hammers on an incline or Scott bench

In halls where there is no Larry Scott bench, the exercise is performed on the usual “lean”. The forearm is placed on a bench, tilted at an angle of 30 degrees, and with the fixation of the hand, movement is performed. In the halls where there is a Scott bench, you can use it. This type of exercise is more isolated, it is good in that you can work out the hands with less weight, and also not to include the body at the same time.

Parsing exercise

What muscles work

  • The main movers are biceps and brachialis;
  • How stabilizers work brachiradialis, shoulders (front delta), body muscles, if we work standing, and even press


  • This movement is often used if you need to develop the ability to pull a lot of weight in an inclination to the back. It prepares the elbows and forearms for the load, allows you to build up not only strength, but also the endurance of small muscles;
  • Exercise allows you to get rid of problems with the underdevelopment of one half of the body, it helps to create a symmetrical physique;
  • A fairly simple technical movement is suitable for beginners;
  • It can be performed with the simplest equipment;
  • An exercise is done at the end of the training, it can be performed with a small weight to avoid overstretching of the ligaments of the elbow joints;
  • The movement is suitable for beginners;
  • Allows you to increase the total mass of hands

Cons exercise

  • Trainers often remove movement from the programs of more advanced amateurs, so that they can more harmoniously develop biceps with exercises with a higher degree of isolation. This movement, as it were, “blurs” the load between the biceps, brachialis, and muscles working in static. Many do not like it;


Preparation for this movement is quite simple. It is not put at the beginning of the workout, therefore, the joint warm-up is carried out general at the beginning, there is no need to do any special before bending with hammers. Usually, horizontal traction for the back, or other exercises for this muscle group, are the “warm-up”. Exercises are best done so that it is not the first in the plan, and then the need for some kind of joint warm-up will disappear.

Before working approaches, a movement with a small weight in the number of repetitions of about 15-20 is performed to fill the working muscles with blood, and additionally involve the neuromuscular connections.

Correct execution

  • Rises are carried out on exhalation, the pace is quite slow, muscle contraction is concentrated. Do not bring dumbbells to your shoulders and keep them in this “empty zone”;
  • It is not allowed to cheat and swing the case in all versions of the movement;
  • Hammers with a neutral grip are considered a universal movement that involves not only biceps and brachialis, but also brachiradialis. Distribution depends on grip. If the palms are directed towards each other, biceps work more, when you turn the palm down, the brachial and brachioradial muscles;
  • The elbows should be kept motionlessly pressed to the body. They are not moved forward, backward or displaced in different directions;
  • The exercise is performed in a relatively limited amplitude, to fully straighten the elbows and bring dumbbells in the "dead hang" should not be. As soon as the load on the biceps decreases, the trajectory should be reduced;
  • It’s not quite right to do this movement in “cardio mode”, that is, performing multiple swings with dumbbells in large volumes. It is better to do it concentrated and slow enough to achieve maximum study.


  • The main technical error is the “relaxation” of hands with dumbbells and the lowering of shells along the body, too quickly, so that they inertia fall without the participation of muscles;
  • No need to lift weight due to shocks with legs and body;
  • Avoid bringing the dumbbells close to the shoulders;
  • You can not bring elbows from the body in different directions

Performance Tips

  • The best option for this movement is to choose the weight so that it is optimal, do not overload your elbows, and do not force you to make hammers by cheating;
  • Beginners should not start with the hammers while standing, but with the seated exercise to make the exercise probably isolated;
  • If the elbows diverge, and move away from the body, it makes sense to lean your back against the wall, or stand with your spine close to any vertical support;
  • At the top point you need to statically strain the muscles and make a stop

Program Inclusion

Movement may be the only biceps exercise in bench and powerlifter programs. In bodybuilding and fitness, it is most often used as a “second” exercise along with bending the arms with a barbell.

There may be other inclusion options. For example, hammers precede bending the arms with a barbell so that a person can warm up qualitatively.

Seto-repeat patterns may be different. Performs 8-12 repetitions or 15-20, depending on weight and purpose. In pumping mode, muscles work with less weight and more repetitions.


Unambiguous - injuries of the elbows and wrists. It is necessary to wait until these zones are completely healed;

Relative - injury to the lumbar spine. In this case, light weight, controlled equipment and most of the load for the set of static weight holding at the top

How to replace

Can be used to replace the bottom crossover unit with a D-handle, shaking hands alternately. Sometimes hammers are made with rubber expanders. There is also a biceps curl trainer. It is a relative replacement, but it is preferred by those for whom strict control of the trajectory of movement is important.

Hammer bends can be replaced with classical bending with dumbbells from an extended position (on an inclined bench) while sitting, or with concentrated bending, if a person’s priority is to pump biceps, and not to perform exercises for the integrated development of biceps, brachialis, brachiradialis, and front deltas in statics. Hammers can be introduced into the training from time to time or on an ongoing basis. Here, each person decides, depending on the response of the body, physical fitness and personal preferences.