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Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

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This is a GREAT exercise for working the brachialis muscles that is limited only by the height of your ceiling! If your gym has high ceilings, you should be all set! If it's got drop ceilings, be careful - you may end up with ceiling tiles on your head...

First, you'll nee one Olympic barbell (start with just the bar the first time you do these - you can add weight later).

Pick up the bar and stand it up on end. In the pics, I'm using a bar loaded with 25's on both ends (make sure your collars are solid when you start adding weight on).

Grip the barbell with both hands, just like you were gripping a baseball bat (one right above the other). You should grip at a point on the bar where your elbows are almost fully extended. The bar will be only a few inches in front of you.

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

Now, using arm power, try to push the barbell end up into the ceiling. If you don't have low ceilings, your range of motion will be greater that what I'm able to manage in my gym. When I do this exercise, I hit the ceiling before I get full flexion of the elbows. But it's still a GREAT exercise for the arms, believe me!

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

Hold at the top for a second then lower the bar and rest it on the ground again. I found I got best results by momentarily releasing tension in the arms before the next rep, so setting the bar end on the ground worked perfectly.

Repeat this upward push/curl for as many reps as you can!

When you start getting fatigued, you can easily adjust your range of motion. Just grip higher up on the bar to start the exercise! At the beginning of this rep, my elbows are bent 90 degrees (with the bar resting on the floor).

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

So as I push/curl the bar up, I hit that top range of motion I was missing with the low ceiling before. But it makes a great continuation of the set after full-range reps, too.

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

When you've maxed out with that, we can even go one step further. Squat down a bit then grip on the bar with your elbows at 90 degrees:

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

Now stand up, using leg power to help get the movement started. This hurts like a bugger at this point and you can really toast your brachilias with this. Using your legs to spot an arm exercise and make it MUCH tougher is a really powerful way to train.

Vertical Barbell Hammer Curls for Targeting the Brachialis Muscles With a Straight Bar

Give this a try on your next workout and if anybody comes up and tells you you're doing curls wrong, make them do 10 reps of it.

 


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