How Rope Hammer Curls Enhance Those Bulging Biceps

rope hammer curls

A great variation of traditional hammer curls to really boost size.

Those bulging biceps are exactly what we all aspire towards heading into the warmer months. Whether it be a tight tee, tank, or shirtless, nothing makes others more envious than a shredded upper body full of gains. While we are all familiar with the traditional hammer curls, it is important to realize that other variations exist to challenge us in different ways and work our muscles differently.

At the end of the day, knowing the right exercises to perform and exactly how to do them can really boost our gains to new heights and our biceps, while they may look good, also serve as a pivotal muscle in functional movements, as well as more sport specific ones.

Having strong arms are important for a number of reasons that span more than just looking good. With stronger arms, we allow ourselves to work other areas like our shoulders, which can be more vulnerable, thus reducing our risk of injury and improving posture.

With reduced injury and better posture, we can tackle more advanced and heavier lifts to boost strength, size, and athletic performance. Strong arms will also help protect bones and stabilize joints to allows us to focus on other important factors while not feeling vulnerable during big lifts.

Roper hammer curls are a great variation of the traditional hammer curl to allow us to see greater strength and size in our biceps. By doing so, we work to give ourselves the chance to really boost growth and we’ll discuss just what this exercise is all about. From what it is, to muscles worked, to the benefits and how to perform it, you’ll want to give this workout a try as a new way to see great gains.

What Are Rope Hammer Curls?

Rope hammer curls are a popular arm-focused exercise using a cable machine and a rope attachment as the main tools of choice. With a neutral grip, it works your biceps, but also other muscles in the arms to give you a well-rounded exercise. This allows you to safely and effectively develop you muscles to maximize efficiency. This is an important exercise given that it helps not only tone a major muscle group, but also build functional strength for everyday activities we perform in our daily lives.

Muscles Worked

When it comes to muscles worked with the rope hammer curls, the main ones are your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis (1). On top of those, it helps stabilizer muscles to give us the best chance at maximizing support. Your forearms and delts will also get some work which is a nice bonus and your traps, although to a lesser extent, will get slight work done as well.

rope hammer curls

Benefits Of Rope Hammer Curls

What comes with this exercise are some great benefits to really give you the chance to have an effective arm workout. Benefits include:

Build serious arm strength: A great alternative to the traditional hammer curl, you can build real strength by performing a solid variation.

Enhance arm and upper body support: Working stabilizer muscles allows you to focus on supporting other muscles and joints, like your shoulders, which often times can be quite vulnerable.

Less pressure on the wrists: The neutral grip allows for less pressure on the wrists and elbows, thus limiting pain and the risk of injury (2).

Continuous tension: With continuous tension, you never give your muscles a true break, thus increasing resistance allowing for better gains to strength and size.

Great for toning: An effective exercise, this will work on toning those arms for all to envy as you pump up those bulging biceps.

strong man

How To Perform Them

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

Place the adjusting piece on the cable machine all the way to the last setting closest to the ground and hook up the rope attachment. Grab the rope using a neutral grip and stand with your feet at about shoulder width apart. Your palms will face inward as you engage your core to have a straight back with your elbows by your side.

Perform a curl, bringing your hands to around chest height, really giving a squeeze at the top. Pause for a brief second at the top and slowly bring your hands back to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

strong man

Helpful Tips For Maximum Effectiveness

This exercise is fairly simple to perform but there are some helpful tips that can get us to where we want to be. It is important to do this exercise in a controlled way so you don’t rely on momentum alone to get the weight up. You want to really maximize the time under tension so don’t cheat yourself of a good workout by relying on momentum.

While your in the movement of this exercise, work to keep your elbows tucked as much as possible. This will require more out of your arms to get that weight up only benefiting you in terms of strength and size. Keeping your core engaged throughout the whole movement is important so as to not sacrifice form and prevent any unwanted injury from potentially taking place. This exercise has potential to be a great one for you by following the proper steps to maximize its effectiveness.

Wrap Up

The rope hammer curls exercise is one to really challenge you and give you a great variation from the traditional dumbbell hammer curl exercise. It is important for us to constantly target our muscles differently in order to keep seeing that vital growth we all want most. With the ability to increase strength and size, work those stabilizer muscles, and give us a nice tone, those bulging biceps are closer than you think. Take a look at your workout routine and see where you can slide this in for a nice challenge. You won’t be disappointed by the results of the rope hammer curls exercise.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Bharambe, Vaishaly K.; Arole, Vasanti; Kanaskar, Neelesh (2015). “A study of biceps brachii muscle: Anatomical considerations and clinical implications”. (source)
  2. Ayhan, Egemen; Ayhan, Cigdem (2020). “Kinesiology of the elbow complex”. (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.