7 Intense Brachialis Exercises | How to Build Bigger Arms!

By
Mike Kenler
October 9, 2021

What Is The Brachialis?

The brachialis is a muscle in your upper arm that lies beneath the biceps.

While the biceps brachii gets most of the attention, the brachialis also aids in elbow flexion. Training the brachialis can add serious mass to your upper arms.

If you are interested in building stronger arms, you need to utilize exercises that target the brachialis. 

Benefits Of Brachialis Exercises

If you haven’t considered the brachialis in your arm training, now is the time to start! 

Specifically exercising the brachialis can provide the following benefits:

1. Stronger And Bigger Arms

Consistently training the brachialis will definitely help you build stronger and bigger upper arms. 

Strong arms can bolster your performance in a variety of exercises such as the barbell row, the supinated pull up, and many more.

Simply put, building strength in your arms will only help you accomplish your fitness goals.

2. Improved Athletic Performance 

You can also utilize these brachialis exercises to improve your athletic performance. Nearly all of these exercises will secondarily work your forearms as well.

Whether you are throwing a football, slapping a hockey puck, or swinging a golf club, stability throughout your arms is essential.

No matter what sport you play, building strong brachialis muscles can give you that extra edge over your competition. 

3. Improved Aesthetics 

Let’s face it—nearly everyone wants to have better looking arms. Depending on your goals, you can use the following brachialis exercises to develop larger or more defined upper arms.

These exercises are simple to learn and they can help you improve the appearance of your arms in no time.

7 Intense Brachialis Exercises

1. Cross Arm Landmine Curl

This cross arm curl recruits your brachialis to drive the barbell upwards.

Setup:

a) Secure the barbell in a landmine attachment, a corner, or however you can stabilize the end of one side of the bar on the ground in front of you.

b) Assume a standing position perpendicular to the barbell with your feet in a comfortable stance.

c) Grasp the barbell with your left hand and your palm facing upwards.

Action:

a) Contract your left brachialis to curl the barbell upwards and across your body.

b) Squeeze your brachialis hard at the top of the rep and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps and be sure to switch arms.

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2. Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is one of the most popular bicep curl variations. The hammer grip targets the brachialis to move the weight throughout the motion.

Setup:

a) Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other.

b) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. 

Action:

a) Engage your core and contract your brachialis to curl the dumbbells upwards. 

b) Squeeze your brachialis hard at the top of the rep and slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

c) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps.

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3. Resistance Band Zottman Curl

As you curl upwards, the tension on your brachialis increases during the banded zottman curl.

Setup:

a) Grab the ends of a resistance band (just below the handles) with your palms facing up.

b) Assume a sturdy standing position on the resistance band with your back straight. 

Action:

a) Keeping your back straight, contract your biceps to curl your hands upwards. 

b) Squeeze your biceps hard at the top and twist your hands so that your palms face downwards.

c) Slowly lower your hands to the starting position and twist your hands so that your palms are facing forward again.

d) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps.

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4. 1-Arm Kettlebell Reverse Curl

This brachialis exercise allows you to target each arm unilaterally.

Setup:

a) Grab a kettlebell with one hand and your palm facing towards you.

b) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. 

Action:

a) Contract your bicep to curl the kettlebell upwards. 

b) Squeeze your bicep hard at the top of the rep and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps. 

 

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5. Reverse Barbell Curl

Also known as the overhand curl, this brachialis exercise directly targets your upper arms and your forearms.

Setup:

a) Grab a barbell with your hands roughly shoulder width apart and your palms facing towards you.

b) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. 

Action:

a) Contract your biceps to curl the barbell upwards. 

b) Squeeze your biceps hard at the top of the rep and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps. 

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6. Reverse Dumbbell Zottman Curl 

The reverse zottman curl works your brachialis, biceps, and other muscles in your forearms.

Setup:

a) Grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing towards you.

b) Assume a standing position with your feet roughly hip width apart. 

Action:

a) Keeping your back straight, contract your biceps to curl the dumbbells upwards. 

b) Squeeze your biceps hard at the top and twist your hands so that your palms face forward.

c) Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position and twist your hands so that your palms are facing towards you again.

d) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps.

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7. 1-Arm Kettlebell Hammer Curl

The 1-arm hammer curl is another brachialis exercise that can help you correct muscle imbalances between your arms.

Setup:

a) Grab a kettlebell with one hand and your palm facing inward. 

b) Assume a sturdy standing position with your back straight. 

Action:

a) Contract your bicep to curl the kettlebell upwards. 

b) Squeeze your bicep hard at the top of the rep and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Repeat this motion for your desired number of reps. 

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Looking For A Full Upper Arm Workout?

Follow along to this intense 5-minute dumbbell bicep workout:

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Mike Kenler
Director of Writing | Certified in Plant Based Nutrition at T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies