What can I do to build the muscle on the thumb side of my forearm near my elbow?
—Seth K., San Diego, CA

The muscle you’re referring to is called the brachioradialis. It starts on the upper arm bone, crosses the elbow joint, and attaches to the ulna (the large forearm bone). Some genetically fortunate guys can grow their brachioradialis muscles through their back and biceps workouts alone. The rest of us need to take a more direct approach to see any real growth.

To place more focus on the brachioradialis and less on the biceps when performing a barbell curl, flip your grip from underhand to overhand. Using an overhand grip on an EZ-bar places even more focus on the brachioradialis.

To do the reverse-grip EZ-bar curl, hold an EZ-bar with an overhand grip. To specifically target the brachioradialis, push your elbows back and keep the bar close to your body as you raise it.

The Workout

Excercise Sets Reps Rest
Reverse Grip Curl 3 8-12 1 min
Barbell Wrist Curl 3 8-12 1 min
Superset w/ Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl 3 8-12

1 min

Quick Tip

Instead of curling the weight in an arc, keep the movement of the bar in more of a vertical (straight up and down) path.