Want thicker arms?
Developing the brachialis muscle will:
- Increase the size of your arms
- Help correct any imbalance in size between the 2 arms since the brachialis is usually underdeveloped in the smaller arm.
If you don’t know where this muscle is, here it is (in the middle)
You already involve this muscle when training your arms, especially with movements like EZ bar curls. However, I recently started adding 2-3 sets of pinwheel curls to specifically target the brachialis at the end of my arm workout.
Pinwheel Curls Vs Hammer Curls
I personally prefer pinwheel curls over hammer curls. I just can’t feel much of anything with hammer curls. The difference is that with pinwheel curls the weight moves along the oblique plane, whereas hammer curls move along the sagittal plane (the video will show this). Basically you won’t be raising the weight out in front of the body as you do with hammer curls.
As with some other exercises, the form I recommend is a little different as you’ll see. This is an example of a movement where a full range of motion is not desirable. Check it out…
How To Do Pinwheel Curls
- So the dumbbell is moving across the body, not out in front of it. Your palms facing in towards the body.
- I prefer to do these one arm at a time, although many recommend using an alternating method (left, right, left, right). The problem with that is that you should be using fairly light weights for pinwheel curls. Alternating between arms, and giving each arm a rest, means the set lasts forever before reaching positive failure.
- Raise and lower the dumbbell quite slowly under full muscular control.
- The bottom of the movement is NOT when the arm is fully extended. I’m stopping about 45 degrees up from full extension to involve the brachialis throughout the range of motion. That bottom section will only fatigue the biceps and forearms. Really target the brachialis by employing this partial range of motion.
- Use a low weight and high rep range for this movement. Even 14-16 reps to failure is not too high.
- Only do pinwheel curls AFTER you’ve finished your other arm work. So if you have a dedicated triceps and biceps day, throw in 2-3 sets of pinwheel curls at the end. You don’t want to fatigue those larger muscles for the sake of this small one.
- If you have any trouble feeling these work the brachialis, try gripping the dumbbell tightly throughout the whole set.
Test the form I’ve recommended here and let me know how you get on.
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