Muscles Targeted: The seated dumbbell alternating bicep curls target the biceps muscle group along with the forearm and the brachialis muscle. This is a great exercise to work the brachialis which is the knotty muscle on the outside of the arm. Training this muscle will result in very impressive looking arms. The key reason the forearm and brachialis muscles are targeted in the hammer curls is due to the hand position during the movement. Most of the time with biceps training, you will be curling or twisting the dumbbells during the movement. With the hammer curls, your wrists will stay in a fixed position during the entire range of the exercise so your forearms and brachialis really come into play.
Exercise Advice: Grab 2 dumbbells and position yourself on a flat bench in the seated position with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Let the dumbbells hang down at your sides with your palms facing in towards you. Start by raising one dumbbell up to the top position and make sure your wrists stay in a fixed position and do not turn or curl at any point during the exercise. Focus on keeping your elbows tucked in close to your sides throughout the entire exercise. At the top of the movement, really try to have peak tension and flex your biceps muscles. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the bottom position and repeat with the other arm to complete one full repetition.
Things To Avoid: You want to avoid arching or slouching your back on this exercise. Focus on keeping your back flat with your head steady and your eyes looking forward. Avoid any type of fast or jerky movements and really try to use a slow and controlled tempo to ensure your technique is solid and that your placing all of the stress on the targeted muscles. If you start having issues with your form on this exercise, simply reduce the weight of the dumbbells and grab some lighter ones to make sure your technique is spot on. There is no reason to cheat with your form to lift heavier weights. This is called cheating and it will not get you to your desired goal of getting an impressive set of muscular arms.
Reps and Sets: For overall muscle growth, focus your repetition range on 8-12 reps per set with an overall set total of 2-3 with this exercise. Your total overall sets for your entire bicep workout should be in the range of 4-6 sets for optimal results. Try to avoid doing too many sets for your biceps since its a smaller muscle group and you really don’t need to kill them with 12-15 sets or you will probably run into issues of overtraining them which will result in a plateau in muscle growth. Hit them hard with short and intense workouts and then let them rest and grow. Train your biceps only once per week for the best results. Remember, you will also be training your biceps as a secondary muscle group during back day, so they will be stimulated a few times during the week.
Other Exercises To Use: A couple of great exercises to combine with the seated dumbbell alternating bicep curls are the Barbell Curls and the Cable Rope Curls. This will give you a great all around biceps workout and allow you to really hit your muscles with different angles to really shock your arms into growth!