People who are seeking “big guns” want to make sure to train the brachialis muscles. When properly developed, the brachialis muscles help the biceps appear bigger, especially the lower portion of the biceps. The brachialis helps in elbow flexion when an overhand grip is used on a weight bar, and also helps to initiate elbow flexion. It’s best to do your brachialis work at the end of your biceps workout and before your forearm workout, advises James Stoppani in “Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength.” Do one or more brachialis exercises each time you work your upper arms.
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Perform hammer curls with a neutral grip. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms along the sides of your body. Curl your elbows to raise both dumbbells. Lower the dumbbells after a small pause. Your palms will face your body throughout this exercise. Also keep your upper arms still during the entire exercise, advises dumbbell-exercises.com.
Grab a straight barbell with about half of the weight you’d use for eight reps on a regular biceps curl. Utilize a shoulder-width grip on the bar, and grip on the top of the bar rather than with hands underneath. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you bring the bar up, the way you would with a regular curl. Your knees should be slightly bent during this exercise. The top grip on the bar ensures you utilize the brachialis muscle. There will be strong tension in your forearms as you get to the top of the curl, says criticalbench.com.
Grab rope to do a thumbs-up curl. Stand about 1 foot away from a low-pulley machine. Grab the rope and keep your elbows and upper arms close to your sides. Also keep your thumbs up during the entire exercise. Curl the rope until your biceps are fully contracted. Lower until your arms are fully extended. Use nonstop repetitions, and do as many as you can. You may also use a V-bar to do this if a setup with a rope is not available. However, the rope is the better choice, advises Robert Wolff in “Bodybuilding 201.”