How To Do Pinwheel Curls Properly

Pinwheel curls also referred to as the cross-body hammer curl entails lifting the dumbbell very close to your chest focusing particularly on the brachialis muscle and your forearms.

Unlike the hammer curl, this workout is steady in nature as it minimizes any excess momentum by preventing the dumbbells from swinging back and forth.

This isolation exercise allows you to cause more tension to your forearm muscles while safely carrying more weight compared to its variation, the hammer curl.

With proper form, the pinwheel curl will stimulate your arm muscles boosting arm hypertrophy and muscle strength.


To perform this exercise, you will need a set of dumbbells while standing in a neutral spine and grip.

  • Take a set of dumbbells and face your palms inwards. Maintain a neutral and upright position throughout.
  • Start this workout with your dumbbells on your sides close to your thighs then lift the right dumbbell by curling it a bit higher than your elbow across your body to your chest.  To fully target the brachialis, ensure that you raise the right dumbbell at a 45-degree angle.
  • Alternate to your left dumbbell and curl it across your chest then pause to sustain that tension. Check for your breath by inhaling when you lift the dumbbell and exhaling when you lower the dumbbell back to your outer thighs.
  • Continue alternating from the right to the left arm and ensure that you hold the dumbbells tightly the entire time to work your arm muscles properly.
  • Repeat this exercise with a high rep range of 15-17 reps for the best results.



The brachialis muscle is found in your upper arm, a bit deeper than the bicep muscle. This muscle is used to curve your forearm at your elbow providing more stability and strength than the bicep.

The advantage of performing a pinwheel curl is that it allows you to use more weights isolating your brachialis.


The cross-body hammer curl also works the brachioradialis, a muscle found on your forearm. This muscle works together with the bicep muscle and the brachialis to move your elbow at a 45-degree angle as you lift the dumbbell.

By flexing the arm, the brachioradialis makes it easier to complete each set from raising your dumbbells to lowering them.


The bicep muscle also known as the bicep brachii is a large muscle found on the front portion of your upper arm. Made up of the long and short head, the bicep muscle is responsible for elbow extension as well as lowering the dumbbells as you carry out the pinwheel curl exercise.



Overtime, as you work your bicep brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis, your forearm is bound to grow stronger. This is as a result of muscle tension that ensures that the forearm muscles are being trained.


Once you grasp the dumbbells and lift and lower them across your chest, you boost your wrist stability which ultimately improves grip strength.

A stronger and stable wrist will make it easier for you to perform daily activities i.e., gripping objects.


As you alternate from one forearm to another by lifting and lowering the dumbbells, you improve muscle endurance especially when you do higher reps.

Muscle endurance is important as you train your muscles making them stronger.



You will need a dumbbell for this exercise that will increase your arm size in hypertrophy and growth.

  • With your feet hip-width apart, hold a pair of dumbbells while maintaining a straight back.
  • Your palms should face forward as you flex the dumbbells upwards then squeeze as hard as you can so that you can fully target your biceps.
  • Twist your dumbbells so that your palms face downwards then slowly lower the dumbbells to your sides.
  • Repeat and ensure that you squeeze really hard at the top before switching the direction of your palms.


You will need a preacher bench and an EZ bar to perform this workout.

  • Set your preacher bench at the right height then place the back portion of your upper arms and elbows on the preacher bench pad.
  • Hold the bar up then slowly lower it but not completely then curl it back by squeezing your biceps and not raising your arms from the preacher bench pad.
  • Pause then lower the EZ-bar and do it over again


Hammer curls help build your forearms, specifically your biceps in strength and growth. To perform this exercise, you will need a pair of dumbbells.

  • Take two dumbbells and hold them firmly on your hands with a neutral grip, palms facing each other.
  • Standing straight, lift the dumbbells from your sides by bending your elbows to your shoulders.
  • Hold for a few seconds then slowly bring the dumbbells down to your sides
  • Perform 9-15 reps.



Just like with any exercise, it is important to ensure that you’re using weights you can handle. You should therefore ensure that you take the time to gauge your weight threshold before you start doing the pinwheel curls

In the long run, the aim of this exercise is to work your forearms with the right size of dumbbells while still maintaining a full range of motion.


Another mistake is swinging your elbows excessively while doing the pinwheel curl. With this workout, you need steady elbows in order to engage the right areas adequately while lifting and lowering the elbows.

Preventing your elbows from moving back and forth will make sure that your forearms and biceps are doing all the work minimizing any help from your elbows.


The cross-body hammer curl can lift more weight compared to the hammer curl This makes it prioritize your brachialis, brachioradialis and bicep working these muscles properly.

Incorporate this exercise especially if you are looking to build your forearm size, boost muscle strength and improve your overall forearm health.


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