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Great arms are usually on the top of most gym-goers' lists -- nothing beats a nice set of "guns" in a snug t-shirt. The biceps are generally the target muscle group and can be worked with any number of biceps curl variations. There are, however, only a select few of these exercises that also target the brachioradialis muscle. These exercises can be done using a variety of gym equipment including dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands and cable machines.
The biceps brachii is a two-headed muscle found on the front of the upper arm. It's primary job is to flex the elbow and rotate the forearm to the palm-up position, which is called supination. The brachioradialis is the most superficial muscle of the lateral forearm, the part that really bulges out when you flex. This muscle assists the biceps in elbow flexion and helps stabilize the elbow joints.
The Hammer Curl
The hammer curl is the best exercise for developing the brachioradialis while also pumping up the biceps. Sit or stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other and your arms extended at your sides. Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides as you exhale and bend your elbows to lift the weights toward your chest. You can work both arms at the same time or alternate arms.
Reverse curls work the brachioradialis intensely as well as the forearm extensors while still working the biceps, just to a lesser degree. Stand with your legs separated slightly and your arms extended. Grasp a barbell with an overhand grip slightly wider than your shoulders. Stabilize your abdomen and exhale as you bend your elbows to lift the weight to your chest. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position as you inhale.
The barbell curl significantly challenges the biceps muscles and works the brachioradialis slightly less so. Stand with your back straight and your arms extended. Grasp a barbell with an underhanded, shoulder-width distance grip. Contract your core muscles as you exhale and bend your elbows to lift the weight toward your chest. Inhale and slowly lower back to the starting position.