Bicep training is a staple for newbies and pros alike. Not only do the biceps provide a solid strength point but they're also one of the most prominent show muscles. Sun's out, guns out, right?
One of the muscles located in your biceps is the brachialis muscle that runs along the outside of your bicep. This is one of those muscles that a lot of the common bicep exercises just doesn't hit properly so today we'll go through some moves that will help your brachialis training so your guns are popping!
Incline Hammer Curls
As with both of the exercises that I'll mention here, your emphasis, and tension, should be on the brachialis (the outside portion of your bicep). The rest of your bicep and forearm will also come in to play but as long as you're focussing on the outer portion of your bicep you'll get the intended result.
- With an incline bench, grab a pair of dumbbells and sit in the seat. The bench's incline should be only slightly leant back from 90 degrees.
- With the dumbbells hanging beside you and rotated so your thumbs are pointing straight ahead, curl the weight so your thumbs move toward the roof.
- At the top of the movement you need to make sure you're flexing so that you feel the pressure in your biceps and brachialis.
- Once you've reached the top of the movement, lower the weight to prepare for your next rep.
This exercise can be a great addition to your current bicep training as it focusses on the brachialis muscle. The benefit of the incline bench instead of standing is that you'll be able to keep tension on the muscle for longer which will equate to better results!
Rope Hammer Curls
This movement is mostly similar to the incline hammer curls in movement with a few tweaks to include the brachialis even more.
- With a rope attached to a low pulley you'll want to grab the rope so that your arms are extended beside you and your hands are positioned so your thumbs are pointing ahead of you.
- With this as your starting point you're going to perform the curl, thinking about bringing your thumbs to your shoulders but at the top add a slight outwards twist. This twist should be performed at the top of the curl and consist of you turning your thumbs outwards slightly. The amount that you twist should be about 45 degrees and at that point you should be flexing and pausing for half a second.
- After flexing at the top of the movement, lower the weight back to the starting position to complete one rep.
This exercise allows you to get the slight twist at the top of your movement which will help you bring your brachialis into play a little bit more and in turn help you grow your biceps.
Drop sets for size
I suggest adding both of these exercises at the end of your bicep training each week and structure it so you're doing 3 drop sets for both exercises. The drop sets will leave your biceps burning but it will be worth it.
For both exercises start by curling your desired weight for 8 reps. This weight should be difficult to complete for 8 reps but not impossible. Immediately following the 8 reps, drop the amount of weight by around 5kg (11 pounds) and continue on for another 8 reps.
The first 8 reps and the second lighter set is counted as one set.
After this set is completed (16 reps in total) take a 90 second break and repeat.
You can expect that the amount of weight you start with for each set will diminish as your muscles fatigue but this is expected. Keep trying to lift as heavy as possible for your first set but don't be discouraged if you can't sustain the same starting weight.
Following your 3 sets of incline hammer curls, proceed to do the same with your rope hammer curls.
Try and add these two exercises to your current bicep routine for at least 6 weeks. Throughout the time period, track your results and make note of the fullness of your arms. Hopefully you'll find that your arms feel fuller and appear larger and if so keep going, just increase the weights!