Every week, trainer and Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere posts content to YouTube in which he shares his insight and expertise on how to build strength and size in specific muscle groups. In his most recent video, he demonstrates how to grow wider and stronger forearms by paying special attention to two specific muscles: the brachioradialis and the extensor carpi radialis.
When targeting the brachioradialis, Cavaliere explains that you want to focus on flexion of the elbow. He recommends picking up a straight bar or EZ bar and performing reverse curls, which pronate your grip and therefore places more of the work on the brachioradialis rather than the biceps. Similarly, in order to ensure that the brachioradialis—and not the brachialis—is doing all the work, he advises shortening the range of motion on the curl, starting with the bar at your waist and then performing it almost like a reverse drag curl, lifting it up in a straight line.
Extension of the wrist, meanwhile, hits up the extensor carpi radialis. In order to recruit this muscle in the same curl, all you have to do is lift your wrists up at the top end of the movement. "This will hammer both muscles at the same time and light them up in a way you probably have never experienced before," says Cavaliere.
Of course, progressive overload is an important factor in muscle growth, and so Cavaliere also suggests an exercise where you will be able to lift heavier: the dumbbell hammer curl. He points out that the biceps and brachialis will be recruited here due to the movement pattern and lack of full pronation, but adds that it works well as part of a one-two combination with the reverse curl.
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