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Dumbbell Hammer Curls with Drop Set

By RealJock Staff

This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body, which was voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.

To build your biceps, you sometimes need to push them over the edge. This exercise asks you to "rep out"—do as many repetitions as you can—until you can’t do any more. You’ll use lighter weights as you go to wring out those last few reps.

Muscles Worked

Starting Position
Choose a set of three pairs of dumbbells in descending weight increments. The heaviest should be a weight that you can lift for only eight curls (see Photo 1). Stand upright. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, your palms facing inward. Stabilize your shoulder blades and squeeze your upper arms tightly against your rib cage so that your shoulders are motionless throughout the entire movement (see Photo 2).


  1. From the starting position, lift the dumbbells up together in a hammer bicep curl, keeping the palms facing in and the upper arms tight at your sides (see Photo 3).
  2. Do as many curls as you can at this weight using proper form, immediately switch to the dumbbells that are one weight increment lighter. Do as many hammer curls as you can at this weight, and keep going until you cannot lift the weights for another repetition without giving up good form.
  3. After you have "rep'd out" using these weights, immediately switch to the third and lightest set of dumbbells. Perform hammer curls with these weights as many times as you can, stopping only when you feel you cannot complete another curl.
About Billy Polson: Billy Polson is the founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, which was voted the best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006. A competitive swimmer and triathlete in his own right, Polson has over 15 years of experience working as a coach and trainer, and was recently named by Men's Journal Magazine (December 2005) as one of the Top 100 Trainers in America.