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Thread: Hammer curl vs regular curl question

  1. #1
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    Hammer curl vs regular curl question

    I broke my wrist recently and it did not heal correctly (my fault). Since then, regular curls hurt the joint if I use weight anything close to my max. I have found that hammer curls do not hurt, so I have been doing hammer curls. My question is, what is the difference between the two? Are there other exercises that I should consider? I'm worried that my biceps aren't getting hit like they were before. After my workout, I'm feeling my tricpes and they are rock hard, but my biceps not as much.
    thanx

  2. #2
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Hammer curls involve more brachialis along with biceps, so they are not a biceps isolation movement.

    Have you tried using a preacher curl bar? Or doing alternating dumbbell curls? They are typically easier on the wrists.
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    Preacher bar still hurts when I get heavy. Not sure what you mean by alternating dumbell curls, unless it's just doing one arm at a time?

    To get an idea of my situation, 25lbs curls with palms straight up are about my max before pain in wrist, but I can do 70lbs hammer. I have found I can do cable (kneeling between the cables) pretty well as it allows me to turn my wrists.
    Are hammers a poor exercise?
    thanx much.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bass slayer's Avatar
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    I get the same thing when using the straight bar for barbell curls. I fell on my arm a couple years ago, so its deffinely a week point. The only thing you can do is strengthen that part. I would add in some wrist curls and some other wrist exercises to strengthen it.
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    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    Curls are for gurls. Id do some underhand rowing instead.
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 11-01-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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  6. #6
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    The hammer curl is also going to bring the brachioradialis into the mix more so than the straight bar curl - at the expense of the biceps. Not a poor exercise by any stretch.
    To get wrist relief, try curls with the E-Z curl bar.
    Alternating DB curls are standing or seated w/DB's in each hand & simply curl 1 at a time, alternating back & forth. This is a good option as you can adjust the supination (rotating of the wrist from facing your side to sky ward) to suit your pain threshold.

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    Senior Member Beverly McD.'s Avatar
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    A good tight wrist-wrap might help you Dave. It takes some of the stress off of the joint and helps lock the wrist in position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMonkey View Post
    Curls are for gurls. Id do some underhand rowing instead.
    Dont want to hijack your thread Dave, but Zen whats the difference between underhand and overhand rowing?
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  9. #9
    SchModerator ZenMonkey's Avatar
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    The bis are more involved in an underhand row.
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  10. #10
    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    You could also do underhand pullups (palms facing towards you).

    The way that I perform dumbell curls is where it begins as a hammer curl and then you rotate your palm toward your body as you complete the movement, finishing with palms facing up. I have been able to do these even with wrist problems.

    Wraps may be one way to take pressure off of the joint but I would only use them on your heaviest set.

    In the end heavy back work will hit your biceps hard enough, and a couple of isolation movements to finish them off could be used to maximize results. Biceps respond well to minimal volume.
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  11. #11
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    Thanx much for the responses. I shall try some of the tips, though I already tried wraps without success.

    Iím thinking the underhanded row and/or pullups with some isolation exercises to finish? Itís time to change my routine anyway, as I have been doing the cables and hammers for quite awhile. Tom , could you give me an example of good finishing isolation exercises that would not be too hard on my wrists?
    Iím also curious about the underhanded row. I guess the key would be to keep everything but your forearms and hands from moving?

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