The brachialis is a muscle located underneath the biceps that extends from the lower part of the front arm down to the front side of the forearm. The muscle originates at the front of the humerus, or arm bone, crosses the elbow joint and inserts at the coronoid process of the ulna, or outer forearm bone. The brachialis, when sufficiently developed, can be seen from the outer side of the arm. The muscle has similar function as the overlying biceps -- elbow flexion. You can emphasize the involvement of the brachialis and deemphasize that of the biceps by adjusting your shoulder and/or handgrip position when doing arm curl exercises.
Seated Dumbbell Preacher Curl
Sit on the preacher bench grasping a dumbbell in each hand using a supinated, or underhand, grip, and place your elbows on the preacher pad with your arms straight and a very slight bend in your elbows.
Bend your elbows, moving the dumbbells up toward your front shoulders.
Extend your elbows, moving the dumbbells down to the beginning position.
Seated Dumbbell Overhand Preacher Curl
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated, or overhand, grip, sit on the preacher bench and position your elbows on the preacher pad with your arms extended, although not fully.
Flex your elbows, bringing the dumbbells up until they are close to your front shoulders.
Extend your elbows, bringing the dumbbells down to the starting position.
Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl
To maximize the development of your elbow flexor muscles, do at least one exercise that emphasizes the brachialis, two exercises for the biceps and one exercise that emphasizes the brachioradialis, a muscle similar to the aforementioned elbow flexors that is mainly located on the forearm.
When you do the preacher curl exercise, do not fully extend your elbows during the downward motion and do not hyperextend your elbows. Doing so is likely to lead to elbow-joint injury.
Stand with your body upright grasping a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated grip, and position the dumbbells by your sides with your arms straight.
Flex your elbows to raise the dumbbells up toward your front shoulders.
Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells down to the initial point.
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Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.