October 09, 2021 9 min read

Everyone desires larger biceps, even those who claim not to. Many people engage in split training, bodybuilder workout mentalities, and isolation exercises.

But, if you genuinely want biceps that pop, you can't neglect the brachialis, which is perhaps an even more essential muscle that sits underneath them. The brachialis is responsible for moving your arm up and down, as well as forward or back depending on what you're doing with it.

It's a small muscle that runs from your upper arm to just below your shoulder blade, and it does most of the heavy lifting when you extend or bend at this joint! When it comes to arm muscles, most individuals are aware that they should work on their biceps and triceps.

They are, after all, the most visible upper arm muscles.

This entails a consistent diet of the barbell, dumbbell, and cable curls; triceps pushdowns with an emphasis on dips as well. A few sets of bench presses in there will totally do wonders for your chest development.

However, if you want to develop the most significant, strongest, and most muscular arms possible, you need to pay attention to the brachialis. This lesser-known muscle may significantly enhance the size of your upper arms as well as your arm power.

In this guide, we will explain what brachialis is, its performance, and the top 8 exercises for developing it.

What Exactly Is The Brachialis Muscle?

The brachialis muscle is often referred to as the elbow's workhorse because it produces and contracts with an incredible amount of force.It runs across your upper arm, which means that this small but powerful group plays a large role in many daily tasks such as opening jars or lifting heavy objects up off of surfaces like counters--the possibilities really are endless!

Biceps Brachii, Brachioradial, Brachialis muscles - didactic

The brachialis is an essential muscle for any pulling motions, like climbing or wrestling. Increasing its size makes your upper arm seem thicker from the front and also props up biceps by making them look more significant as well.

8 Exercises to Increase Brachialis Muscle Size

Because these muscles constantly function together, you are also working on your brachialis every time you exercise your biceps.However, a particular arm or wrist posture may be used to highlight the brachialis.The following are the greatest workouts for strengthening your brachialis:

1. Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are a great way to work your biceps and forearms. They even have the added bonus of looking like you're driving in nails.

Sit or stand with the weights in each hand. Then, turn your hands inside out and palms facing inward as if you were hugging yourself tightly while curling up into a ball - this will help keep tight control of where they go on top! 

Wrists should not be rotated throughout; keep thumbs raised high at all times so that no harm comes to them from dropping back down again after completing curls by accident.

2. Cross Body Hammer Curls

This hammer curl variant employs less biceps activation and greater brachialis activation.

  • With dumbbells in each hand, sit or stand as desired. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, sit or stand as desired. 
  • Then turn your hands inside and curl them up towards the shoulders so that you are doing bicep curls with just those weights. 
  • Maintain a tight grip on both arms while bending at elbows to fully bring them together.

Keep thumbs raised throughout this entire motion for best results and finish off repeat from the beginning by lowering back down again.

3. Barbell Curls with a Reverse Grip

Reverse barbell curls are often considered a forearm workout, but they are an excellent motion for targeting your brachialis.

  • On the barbell, take a palms-down, shoulder-width grip. 
  • Hold the dumbbells with your arms at your sides while you sit or stand. 
  • Curl the weights up and then lower them back down to place them in front of you, right between the shoulder blades, just below the neckline on the upper chest area.

Maintain a firm hold while gently bending the elbows until they are aligned above the head; this will be most noticeable while doing biceps curls.

4. Rope Hammer Curls

The rope handle puts your wrists in the perfect position for working out while also keeping muscles under continuous stress.

The cable machine makes this exercise ideal during high-intensity drop sets!

  • The first step is to attach a rope handle to the low pulley machine. 
  • Hold both ends of it with your hands facing inside and thumbs pointing up, grasping palm-inward at chest height so that you can twist upward without breaking form as if curling into an embrace (a la yoga). 
  • Curl these handles back towards each other until they meet close enough for shoulders; repeat this motion 5 times per side.

5. Chin-Ups with a Neutral Grip

Chin-ups are often thought of as a back workout rather than an arm-building activity, but they are both. When you use a neutral grip, your brachialis muscle becomes considerably more active.

  • First, hang from a parallel grip chin-up bar and then gently lean back. 
  • Next, bend your arms so that you can bring your chin up over the bar without losing control of this movement by letting yourself fall toward it then repeat for effectiveness.

6. Zottman Curls

This exercise works on both forearms as well as bicep muscles with Zottman Curls being classified in between reverse curl/regular curls because they target more than just one area but also work many parts at once to build muscle mass fast.

The weight of the curl should be in balance so it feels like a neutral position. As you bend at the elbows and curl up, make sure to turn your palms toward each other when curling last so that there's no momentum from swinging back down after returning for another rep.

As with most exercises this one requires good form which can become difficult if engaging muscles throughout the body, especially those around joints such as wrists or knees!

7. Prone Incline Dumbbell Curls

This exercise stimulates your brachialis since it essentially "turns off" your biceps, making them less active.

To pick up the slack, your brachialis muscle will have to work harder.

  • To do seated dumbbell curls, set up on a bench with your chest resting on the backrest and hang weights from shoulders. 
  • Curl them toward each other by bending elbows as if you were doing an arm curl but without extending fully so they stay close to the body for stability. 
  • Repeat this motion while holding position at different angles before returning palms facing forward when done.

8. Preacher Curls

Preacher curls are a type of hairstyle popular among preachers. Preacher curl often refers to Scott-curls, as this was Mr.Olympia Larry's favorite move and he had massive biceps due in part to doing these exercises regularly with little tension on them allowing his brachialis muscle work more efficiently which helps him keep those bulging arms well into old age.

male athletic exercising with barbell on preacher bench in fitness center

  • Place your upper arms against the armrest of a bench. 
  • On a barbell, EZ bar, or dumbbells, use an underhand grip that is little less than shoulder width.
  • Bend your arms, then curl the weight up to your forearms until they are vertical.
  • Extend your arms to the side, stopping just short of fully straightening them, and repeat.

Increase Your Peak

Without a doubt, genetics have a significant role in the overall form of your biceps, so praise or blame your parents appropriately.On the other hand, the long head has a higher proclivity to be highly peaked than the short head. As a result, if you want to maximize the peak of your biceps, it's recommended to perform a few exercises that stress the long head.

Frequency, Sets, and Speed

Slower curls emphasize the brachialis, while faster curls emphasize the biceps. With that in mind, it makes sense to speed up some of your curls.Don't overdo it since we want your biceps to remain linked to their tendon and that tendon to stay tied to your radius. Maintain the eccentric portion of the curl between one and two seconds to maximize biceps activation rather than longer.

The number of sets for the biceps is mostly decided by the severity of the exercises and the frequency with which you will train the biceps.Strength and muscle mass grow best when you give your arms a variety of workouts with different exercises. 

For optimal development, do 9-12 sets for biceps or brachialis muscles in one session and 3-4 distinct sessions per week to keep the elbows from getting bored. 

If forced reps or negative intensity techniques are used on occasion instead of every day then four total workout days may suffice depending upon how often they're employed during that period rather than including them throughout all three weeks like we would not want this habit becoming too routine so as not allow overtraining set in before their next scheduled rest period.

The Plan For Rapid Growth

One of the best ways to build your biceps is by working them more frequently. Try bi's on three nonconsecutive days each week (Mon, Wed, Fri) for six weeks before stopping.This works well if you're a beginner so just do two exercises and limit yourself to 2-3 sets per session. 

First, train up until failure then stop one or two reps shy; be careful not to go too heavy because it can lead to strains which would decrease its effectiveness when training again later down the road - as always take advice from an expert beforehand though.

Regardless of the body area, it is usually recommended to hit various rep ranges and even rest intervals while bodybuilding.Keeping in mind that your rep range and rest time should be inversely proportional.

Below are a few examples of various rep ranges/rest periods:

  • 5 × 5 reps with a 120-second rest
  • 3 × 8-12 reps with a 75-second rest
  • 4 x 12-15 seconds with 30 seconds break

The first scenario increases the mechanical stress on the biceps, which promotes protein synthesis and neuromuscular improvements.The latter increases metabolic exhaustion and the blood volume response, resulting in hypertrophy of "stuff" other than actin and myosin.

The 3 x 8-12 is that lovely area in the center.Because you want to gain muscle mass, you should stress and promote hypertrophy in all muscle cells' components. As a result, diversity is crucial in this case.

Rep Speed

Another factor to consider when optimizing brachialis activation is repetition speed, particularly the eccentric or called negative component of the repetition.According to one research, performing the eccentric component more slowly enhances brachialis activity while reducing biceps brachii activity.

This is believed to be due to the brachialis having more slow-twitch fibers than the biceps.Similarly, the brachialis is more for stabilizing, while the biceps is more for quicker, explosive motions.

When it comes to brachialis, one exercise is enough for most people but if you have an undeveloped bicep or just want a stronger arm in general then try doing two neutral grip elbow flexion exercises every other session.

Remember These Points

  • If you want to enhance the size of your biceps peak and arm circumference, you can't neglect the brachialis.
  • The brachialis pushes the biceps up, making the biceps seem taller as it increases in size.
  • To maximize brachialis activation, practice elbow flexion with a neutral or hammer grip.
  • Err on the slower side of rep pace vs. a quicker tempo to enhance the stress placed on the brachialis.
  • The biceps have two heads, and you may focus on one or the other. Curls with a tighter grip, for example, highlight the long head, while curls with a wider grip emphasize the short, inner head.
  • Curling the bar to your nose causes a biceps peak contraction. Hammering them hard on three nonconsecutive days per week for six weeks can spark some major muscular development.

Final Thoughts

It's incredible how essential tiny, inconspicuous muscles may be.In many instances, these superficial muscles are indirectly engaged in the activities you currently perform. But, now and again, it's worth putting a spotlight on them and paying closer attention to them.

Use the exercises and workouts in this article to strengthen your brachialis and improve the size and strength of your upper arms.If you want larger and more muscular arms, you need more than simply biceps curls in your arsenal. Brachialis workouts, in particular, will assist you in making greater development and developing a healthier body.

Now that you know which brachialis workout choices will offer you the most bang for your money, it's time to go to work. Include these exercises in your next workout, and get ready to see results!

It would also be better to take fitness supplements like our Ultimate Mass Stack to aid you with your fitness journey.

Always remember that taking an enhanced pre-workout supplement can fuel the body with everything it needs, before, during, and after training. It's never too late to get into shape! Take this opportunity and make the most of yourself.


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