Are you fully training your arms? Most guys think they are but overlook a very important area of the arms – and neglecting this is a huge mistake, because when you build up this crucial area of your biceps it will add significant size and substance to your arms. What is this mystery muscle? The brachialis.
LESSON IN BRACHIALOGY
The brachialis is a very unique muscle that snakes down from the lower part of your upper arm to the upper part of your lower arm. When this muscle is well developed, the result is impressive biceps size and thickness. But that won’t happen if you aren’t specifically targeting this muscle, since it’s not typically isolated in everyday routines.
The upside here is that if you do start training this muscle, your arms can improve significantly.
The brachialis has the unique ability to help fill in the gap between biceps and the lower arm, as well as build up the size of the upper arm. This double whammy makes the brachialis a “must train” muscle for every guy who wants great guns.
Is it possible to actually close that gap in the upper arm? Some training gurus point out that the way the biceps are shaped is largely genetic – and that is true. However, when the brachialis is developed, it does fill in some of this area in the gap region.
When the brachialis muscle is developed, it in turn raises up the biceps muscle to a point above where it would be without any brachialis development. Picture this – as you build up your brachialis, it acts as like a freight elevator to lift up your biceps to a higher point on your arm. A well-developed brachialis muscle gives the biceps an elevated starting point, thus making them automatically appear bigger, as well as making the arm measurement larger. The brachialis muscle not only builds upward, but also outward. This outward development gives the arm a very unique, rugged look.
TWO EXERCISES TO TARGET THE BRACHIALIS
The brachialis lies intertwined with the biceps, yet standard curls don’t do the job of getting the its neuro-muscle path fired up. What does? A variation of relatively small proportions that provides large results that can make all the difference in the success or failure of triggering a response in the brachialis.
The variation is simply a twist of the wrist. The best way to target the brachialis is to perform a curl with the wrist twisted so that the reverse grip comes into play. That is, instead of having your palms facing up in the traditional fashion for a curl, you turn your hands over, with the palms facing downward.
One of the exercises that stimulates the brachialis the most is the reverse curl. Another exercise that strongly works the brachialis muscle is the reverse grip (palms outward) chin up. The reverse grip chin-up (palms facing out, getting a full range of motion with the chin going over the bar) is tough but one of the better ways to get your brachialis to respond. Keep your hand placement fairly close together as you perform this exercise.
Adding a few sets of reverse curls and reverse grip chin-ups to your workout will fire your brachialis muscles up and get them growing.
MAKING IT A PRIORITY
If you’re serious about seeing what developing the brachialis can do for your arms, make brach training a priority. If you put it at the end of an arm workout, after all of your energy and focus has gone into your common curling routine, then you won’t make as much progress in brachialis development. To cut to the chase, position the brach training at the beginning, not the end, of your arm training routine. Don’t give it the leftovers – make it the main course. And watch what happens to your arms.
PACE & FORM
Move the weight at a moderate to slow pace. This lift is somewhat uncomfortable initially and there is a tendency to just let momentum have its way at the upper and lower ends of the movement, or to simply cut the movement short. Fight against these tendencies and focus on good form, a slower speed of movement, and a full range of movement. You will likely have to start off using lighter weight than you’re used to, but the rewards will be there, and you can start moving the weight load up as you learn to perform this unique exercise
BRACHIALIS-FOCUSED BICEPS WORKOUT
|Reverse Grip Chin Up||3||10,10, 10|
|Reverse Grip EZ Curl||3||8, 8, 8|
|Reverse Cable Curl||3||10,10, 10|
|Dumbbell Hammer Curl||3||10,10, 10|