Cross-body hammer curl

The cross-body hammer curl is a dumbbell exercise that targets the biceps, brachialis, and forearm muscles. Rather than lifting the weights directly in front of the body, you lift them across the torso. Throughout each rep, the wrists remain neutral, like a carpenter hammering a nail. This helps isolate the brachialis muscles on each arm. It is generally performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps or more, as part of the arm-focused portion of a workout.


  1. Works not only the biceps but also the brachialis and brachioradialis
  2. Helps increase biceps and forearm thickness
  3. Places more emphasis on the biceps long head than the standard hammer curl

Cross-body hammer curl Images


Cross-body hammer curl Instructions

Cross-body hammer curl muscle diagram
  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Your hands should be down at your side with your palms facing in.
  2. While keeping your palms facing in and without twisting your arm, curl the dumbbell of the right arm up towards your left shoulder as you exhale. Touch the top of the dumbbell to your shoulder and hold the contraction for a second.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell along the same path as you inhale and then repeat the same movement for the left arm.
  4. Continue alternating in this fashion until the recommended amount of repetitions is performed for each arm.

Variations: You can also perform this exercise in between two pulleys using the end of a rope attachment on each arm.