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A developed brachialis pops out of the side of your upper arm.
Lying beneath your biceps, the brachialis muscles begin at the bones in your upper arms and extend to your elbows. They assist in the bending of your arms, particularly during the first 30 degrees of elbow flexion. Because your biceps are the primary movers in most standard curls, you need to perform specific lifting exercises to shift the stress from the biceps to the brachialis. By developing the brachialis, your biceps will appear larger.
Reverse the Grip
By performing biceps curls with an overhand grip, palms facing down, you'll give the brachialis muscles an intense workout. When you perform the curls, keep your elbows pinned to your sides and wrists straight and firm. Begin by standing with feet hip-width apart, and holding a pair of dumbbells with the pronated grip and arms hanging next to your sides. Exhale and draw the weight toward your shoulders, maintaining the overhand grip. Hold the peak position for a second, inhale, then lower the weights to starting position. Perform 10 to 12 reps for three or four sets. You don't need to use heavy weight for your brachialis to benefit from this exercise.
The hammer curl is one of the most effective exercises for the brachialis. Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and holding a pair of dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing your body. Exhale and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders. At the top of the movement, squeeze your upper arm muscles for a full contraction. Inhale and return the weights to starting position. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps. By modifying the movement, you can put even more stress on the brachialis. Instead of curling the dumbbell straight up, move your forearm across your chest and toward the opposite shoulder. For this variation you can only move one dumbbell at a time.
The Preacher Position
The preacher curl targets the lower region of your biceps and will work your brachialis. You can perform this exercise with both arms and a barbell or do a one-armed version with a dumbbell. If you use a barbell, use only 60 to 70 percent of your normal curl load. Position your body on the bench so the top of the apparatus presses into your armpits and the backs of your arms rest against the pad. Grab the bar with an underhand grip and extend your arms down. Exhale and slowly raise the bar until your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Inhale and lower the weight to starting position. Maintain your shoulder and elbow position throughout the exercise. Aim to complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Concentrate and Curl
An exercise made popular by Arnold Schwarznegger in the film вЂњPumping Iron,вЂќ the standing concentration curl will strengthen the brachialis, according to "Natural Bodybuilding" by John Hansen. This version of the curl will also help your biceps to peak and build the mass on the outer head. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat so your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Bend at the waist and place your non-working hand on the corresponding knee to support your body. Hold a dumbbell with your other hand, using an underhand grip. Your upper arm should hang down vertically to the floor. Exhale and curl the weight toward your shoulder; return to starting position as you inhale. At the bottom position, your knuckles should face the floor. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.