How Incline Hammer Curls Stretch & Tone Your Biceps

incline hammer curls

Give your biceps a serious workout with incline hammer curls.

We all love working our biceps, especially in efforts to get that shredded aesthetic to really pop and having a great exercise like incline hammer curls in the mix is exactly what you need. Feeling a pump in those bulging bis is something that can’t be overstated. It’s one of the first things people see when they look at you. Mix that with some triceps exercises and your arms will be something others will for sure envy.

So many biceps exercises exist which is to our benefit for the options to see growth are endless. But the trick is finding out which ones are actually worth doing for the most efficient gains. Through trying new exercises and programming them into your training routine, you can better understand which ones will give you those gains you want most. Incline hammer curls are most certainly an exercise to make the top of the list.

Let’s take a look at incline hammer curls and see what makes this exercise so great. From what is it, to what muscles get worked, all of the great benefits, and how to perform it, you will have a phenomenal exercise to include on your biceps days to see those bulging bis start to really grow.

incline hammer curls

What Are Incline Hammer Curls?

Incline hammer curls are a great strength-based, isolation exercise that can be done by any experience level. The only equipment needed are dumbbells and a bench as this will work your biceps muscles and forearm muscles. A nice variation of the traditional hammer curls exercise, the only difference is you are seated, at a slight incline, as opposed to standing. Having the correct incline and form is key but once that is nailed down, you are well on your way to bicep gains.

Muscles Worked

This is mainly a biceps exercise so those three biceps muscles will see great work done being your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. Since this exercise requires great grip strength, your forearm muscles will also get work done as a result of that necessary grip. Nothing beats a good isolation exercise to target strength, size, and functional grip strength.

incline hammer curls

Benefits Of Incline Hammer Curls

The benefits of incline hammer curls may seem obvious, for this is an isolation exercise targeting your biceps, but there are a few benefits that may seem a bit unknown. While on the surface this is simply a variation of the traditional hammer curl, but the incline adds that challenge to give you a different way to target these muscles.

Benefits of the incline hammer curls exercise include:

  • Increased biceps growth: By targeting your biceps, you work to increase strength and size and better tackle other biceps workout and more functional movements (1).
  • Enhanced grip strength: Secondary muscles worked in this exercise are your forearms which are important for grip strength and nothing beats bigger forearms (2).
  • Range of motion and stretch: With the incline and position of this exercise, what you get is a bigger biceps stretch as a result of the longer range of motion. This will work the muscle more for better growth (3).
  • Nice variation: A good variation of the traditional hammer curls exercise, this will work to give you similar benefits with the upside of sitting down.
  • Better wrist stability: By strengthening your forearms and those smaller muscles around your wrist, you start to build better wrist stability, so risk of injury is decreased.
  • Focus on form: With the bench as the added challenge, it forces you to focus on form so you can’t cheat at all.

How To Perform This Exercise

Here are the steps for performing the incline hammer curls exercise:

  1. Grab your desired weights and adjust a bench to around 60-degrees.
  2. Sit on the bench and position yourself in a comfortable position. Grab the dumbbells and let them hang by your side.
  3. Plant your feet, brace your core, and with your elbows still, bring the weights towards your shoulders, really feeling the squeeze in your biceps.
  4. Once at the top, give a quick squeeze and gently lower back down to the starting position. Remember to keep your core engaged the entire time.
  5. Repeat for your desired number of sets and reps.

Ways To Alter Or Change

If you find yourself struggling, or are looking for a slight change, you can use resistance bands with this exercise as a way to replace the free weights. Also, feel free to take the incline away and change them to seated hammer curls. If two arms are too much, you can start alternating, which may be key to fixing imbalances, but on the whole, correct form is needed for all of the above so don’t alter just to make it easier.

Best Supplements For Continued Growth

Along with a solid training routine should be a supplementation plan that offers continued gains. After performing incline hammer curls, two supplements to consider are protein powders and creatine. Protein supplements will work to boost growth and recovery by pumping you with that much needed protein. Creatine will increase strength and size and restore those depleted energy stores for better bounce back come your next workout (4). Give yourself the best chance at success with only the right supplements on your shelf.

Wrap Up

Incline hammer curls are a great isolation exercise to really work your biceps so they see great growth. On top of that, the benefits around this exercise like forearm strength, wrist stability, better range of motion, among others, are unmatched. The added challenge of the bench is nice, and it forces you to pay attention to form so as to not slack and cause unwanted injury. Place this exercise into your routine as a nice alternative to the traditional hammer curl exercise and you won’t be disappointed by the results.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Kryzsztofik, M.; et al. (2019). “Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods”. (source)
  2. Incel, N.; et al. (2002). “Grip strength: effect of hand dominance”. (source)
  3. Schoenfeld, B.; et al. (2020). “Effects of range of motion on muscle development during resistance training interventions: A systematic review”. (source)
  4. Rawson, E.; et al. (2003). “Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.