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Best Workout for Biceps: How to Achieve Baseball-Sized Upper Arms

What is the best workout for biceps? Common answers may include bicep curls, preacher curls, or prison curls. These exercises are all fine and dandy. However, for an exercise that really targets the biceps like no other, give hammer curls a try.

Why Hammer Curls?


The bicep is actually comprised of two separate muscles: the long-head and short-head biceps. The long-head is located in the outer edge of the upper arm, while the short-head is located in the inner part. Common isolation exercises like bicep curls tend to work more of the short-head with little of the long-head bicep being recruited. Hammer curls are one of the few isolation exercises that place more of the emphasis on the long-head. This is what makes it one of the best workouts for biceps.

How to Do Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are performed with the weights held vertically. If using a barbell, then you will need a T-grip barbell. With this in mind, perform them the way you would perform a basic curl. This means adhering to good form with the upper arms firmly tucked into your ribs if using free weights.

Incorporating hammer curls every other arm workout is a terrific way to target both the long-head and short-head biceps for maximum arm muscle gains.

Here are a few sample hammer curl workouts:

Hammer curls on bicep curl machine (grab the vertical portion of the handles) 3 sets, 5-6 reps
Hammer curls on cable machine (using a tricep pull-down rope like the one pictured above) 3 sets, 5-6 reps


Standing hammer barbell curls (using T-Grip barbell) 3 sets, 6-8 reps
Seated hammer prison curls 3 sets, 6-8 reps


Preacher hammer curls 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Alternating dumbbell hammer curls 3 sets, 8-10 reps

These exercises should be done after your compound workout. It's also best to swap them out every now and then with conventional bicep curls to target both the short and long head of the bicep.

So What Do We Do Now?

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