Train This Oft-Neglected Muscle for Big Time Arm Gains
This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.
If you want to stretch your shirtsleeves, you need to strengthen your biceps and triceps. After all, those two muscles comprise the bulk of your upper arms (your triceps alone accounts for about two-thirds of them).
But if you also want to maximize your arms’ overall strength, you can’t ignore the other muscles that control each of your wrists, elbows, and fingers, including the hugely-important (yet perpetually-neglected) brachioradialis.
What Is the Brachioradialis Muscle?
There are more than 20 muscle in each of your arms, and most of them are located in your forearms (along with your bis and tris, the brachialis and coracobrachialis are in your upper arm). The majority of the forearm muscles are on the smaller side, but the most prominent ones work in tandem with the larger muscles of your upper arm to flex and extend your elbows.
Key among them is the brachioradialis, which works directly with your biceps and brachialis, kicking into gear any time you bend your elbow to bring your lower arm closer to your upper arm.
How to Strengthen the Brachioradialis Muscle
If your training program includes the biceps curl, pullup, chinup, or any other exercise that requires you to flex your elbow, you’re already putting your brachioradialis to work. But if you want to maximize its strength and power, make sure your workouts include moves that require your palms to face down and/or inward, such as the reverse curl and hammer curl.
Another excellent option: the Zottman curl. That’s because the brachioradialis also assists in rotating the forearm—a key component this double-action exercise, which alternates between an underhand grip and an overhand grip at the bottom and the top of each rep. When you combine that forearm rotation with the elbow flexion that’s inherent to nearly all curls, you have a near-perfect exercise for strengthening one of the most powerful arm muscles that most men don’t even know they have.
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