The key to successfully developing your bicep muscles to their peak lies mainly in the targeting of specific exercises which will target the muscle area located under the biceps known as the brachialis. When observing the trained professional bodybuilder as he flexes his upper arms, the brachialis will have the distinctive look the muscle fibers tied in a thick knot appearing to bulge out from the sides of the upper arms. As the brachialis muscle continue to develop it will lift the muscles to create a peaked biceps appearance.
One of the problems faced by fitness professionals when developing the brachialis is rooted in the fact that many of the traditional curling movements used in developing the biceps muscles functions solely as the main flexing tool of the upper arms. This has resulted in the need to select a range of specifically designed exercises used to place the biceps muscles into a physically weakened state, thus targeting the brachialis muscles allowing them to develop. By continuing to target the brachialis muscle, the tissues will be forced to increase in their physical growth and adaptation of the performed exercises allowing the biceps to become more defined.
Some of the exercises which have been designed specifically for the development of the brachialis muscle groups and performed by many of fitness experts and professional bodybuilders within the industry include, the Hammer Curls, Reverse Curls, Overhead Curls and the 90-Degree Preacher Curl.
The Hammer Curl exercise if performed with the use of a pair of traditional dumbbells. The exercise is begun by the individual holding the dumbbells at both sides ensuring the palms are positioned facing inwards to the thighs. Keeping the palms facing inwards, both dumbbells are curled together keeping the elbows securely locked in position preventing them from moving outward or upward during the curling motion. When the high point of the lift is reached, the muscles are further tightened after which the dumbbells are gradually lowered to the initial position at arms length.
The Reverse Curls similar to the Hammer Curl exercise is also performed with the assistance of a traditional barbell and is begun by the individual holding the barbell at arms length. However instead of maintaining a position with the palms facing inwards to the thighs, they are effectively positioned facing downwards. This positioning of the palms will target the brachialis as well as the brachioradialis muscle located within the forearm forcing them to work intensively during the exercise. The exercise is performed using the same motion as the Hammer Curls, keeping the elbows locked at the sides and maintaining a straight wrist throughout the exercise set.
The weight of the dumbbell used should be of a moderate weight with the exercise performed in reps of no more than 12. In situations where individuals have found it difficult using the barbell, a more suitable and preferred option has been recognized by instead using an EX-curl bar.
The Overhead Cable Curls is one of the more preferred exercises used by many trainers and professional bodybuilders to target the brachialis muscle groups. The exercise is performed by laying in front of a weight stack on a flat bench. The distance between the bench and the weight stack should be a minimum of at least one foot while attaching a short straight bar to the upper pulley. While laying flat on the back, with both feet positioned firmly against the floor, a spotter is used to hand the bar to the exerciser.
The arms are held in a straight position before curling the bar both downwards and backwards to achieve the maximum contraction when the bar is positioned behind the head. The curling motion is begun by effectively pulling the elbows slightly backward and tilting the head just a bit forward. This position is held for one count before the bar is returned to the start position.
The 90-Degree Preacher curl observes the individual curling vertically rather than at an angled side of the preacher bench. In this exercise the weight of the barbell used should not exceed more than 70 percent of the normal weight used in the traditional Preacher curl exercise. The individual begins the exercise by positioning himself with his armpits firmly pressed at the top of the bench. The weights are then taken in hand allowing both arms to hang straight down.
The curling begins by targeting and working the brachialis muscles during the exercise. This is achieved by locking the elbows and shoulders into a singular position while flexing the arm as much as possible squeezing tightly at the peak of the movement. After completing the motion the bar is lowered back to the starting position.