Muscles can be classified in a number of ways: by their possession of fibers arranged in various manners, whether they originate from single or multiple origins, and whether their action is concentric (lengthening) or eccentric (lengthening). Though the biceps and triceps are both muscle groups associated with your upper extremities, they differ in many ways.
The biceps and triceps are two major muscle groups of the arm. The biceps are responsible for flexing the arm at the elbow—think trying to lift your arm to touch your shoulder.
The triceps extend the arms from the elbow—think of getting a hand behind you to reach your lower back. Both are important for everyday activities such as picking up children, pushing a lawnmower, or just looking good in a tank top.
So, do you want to know the difference between biceps and triceps? Well, it is about time! We all know the biceps are the showy muscle of the arms. They get more work than any other upper arm muscle; they are also the easiest to work on.
It is a muscle that people have been playing with for centuries. It has become a symbol of strength and virility. Then there are the triceps.
What is so important about them when they do not even make an appearance until much later in life?
The biceps are a muscle located on the front of your upper arm. It is referred to as ‘bi’ because it has made up of two distinct heads — a longer outer head and a shorter inner head. The biceps brachii flexes your elbow, bringing your lower arm closer to your upper arm. The triceps muscle, which is on the back of your upper arm, is often confused with the biceps. However, there are three heads in the triceps muscle — all three assists in extending your elbow.
The biceps are used for bending your arm and forearm as far as possible in flexion and is responsible for supination (turning your palm up). It also helps to stabilize your elbow joint.
The functions of the biceps include:
- Flexion of the elbow joint is the main function of this muscle in the body which enables us to raise our arm to shoulder height. More precisely, forearm supination is a secondary function of this muscle for everyday living.
- Shoulder elevation- The biceps are a group of muscles in your upper arm. They are on the front of the upper arm, and they help to bend your elbow joint. The biceps can also help to hold objects if you raise them above your shoulder.
The triceps are three muscles in the upper arm. Their main function is to bend the elbow joint. However, they also help to hold objects if you raise them above your shoulder, as when reaching for something while standing. There are three parts of the triceps muscle – the medial, long, and lateral heads.
Your triceps muscle is located at the back of your upper arm and is made up of three heads. The long head originates from the rear of the shoulder blade, whereas the lateral and medial heads originate from the lateral (side) and posterior (rear) surfaces of the humerus, or upper arm bone. All three heads insert (attach) on the rear of your elbow on a small protrusion of bone called the olecranon process.
The functions of the triceps include
Extension of your elbow- The purpose of the triceps muscle is to extend your forearm away from you. The muscles are located at the back of your upper arm. When contracted after a flexing motion it extends the elbow joint.
Stabilizing your shoulder- The triceps works in coordination with the other upper arm muscles to stabilize your shoulder joint during movement. It can also help to raise a load overhead when, for example, you carry heavy grocery bags from the car into your house.
Shoulder extension- This is when your upper arm moves behind your back. Its secondary function is to assist with shoulder flexion, which is lifting your arm from a point behind your body.
The triceps serves as an antagonist or opposing, muscle of the biceps. This makes them a particularly important muscle group in arms training, where they are often targeted while exercising the biceps. As a larger arm muscle group, it is expected that the triceps will also have a much larger cross-sectional area than the biceps group.
The biceps and triceps each have a specific role in the movement of the arm. The biceps are the flexor of the arm and consist of two heads, one long and one short, connected at their distal ends by a portion of common tissue.
Train your muscles with basic principles:
Whether you are training for strength or for muscle size and definition, the biceps and triceps are a fundamental part of your workout routine. For training purposes, these are generally divided into two muscles.
Biceps training is a common objective for most people, but how do you know what rep range to target them in? These varied repetition ranges provide different stimuli and help the biceps acclimate to the stresses that are placed on them.
If you are just beginning your fitness journey, try 2 to 3 working sets of biceps curls per session, twice a week. Once you are more accustomed to the demands of exercise and able to recover quicker, you can up the number of sets. As a group that is small yet grows quickly, they need at least two sessions each week.
The biceps are one of the few body parts that respond exceptionally well to direct training. Doing curls can be a great addition to your training if you are looking to boost their size.
10 effective exercises for your biceps:
- Barbell curl
- Alternating dumbbell curl
- Cable curl
- Machine preacher curl
- Incline dumbbell curl
- EZ bar curl
- Dumbbell hammer curl
- Dumbbell spider curl
- Drag curl
- Resistance band curl
Training your triceps is an important step in complete arm development and can be achieved using a few different methods—including barbells and dumbbells. The triceps, which are made up of three heads (long, lateral and medial) that lie on the posterior side of the upper arm, should always be trained in the same workout you perform for the biceps.
One of the most impressive muscle groups in your arms is the triceps, which is responsible for the back of your upper arm. When your triceps muscles develop and grow, this not only makes your arms look more impressive and defined, but it also helps improve your overall athleticism since the triceps muscles allow you to do many daily tasks with ease. Unlike other muscle groups responsible for bigger muscles, like with biceps training, training the triceps is different since they are smaller and sensitive to overtraining; this means that lower weight with higher repetition will help you achieve optimal results faster.
10 effective exercises for your triceps:
- Barbell skull crusher
- Machine triceps extension
- Dumbbell kickbacks
- Resistance band pushdowns
- Cable pushdown
- Cable overhead extension
- Dumbbell skull crusher
- Resistance band extensions
- Seated EZ bar triceps extension
Which is easier to train bi or tri?
Though it is tough to say which muscle is easier to train, the biceps have one thing going for them – there are more curling variations available than when working out your triceps.
The biceps consists of two heads that are both generally worked by most curling variations. Since the biceps consist of two heads, it usually helps to have a partner or spotter so that each arm is worked equally.
The medial and lateral heads primarily act to extend the elbow, so targeting these areas means including triceps presses and pushdowns in your routine. The long head plays a secondary role, assisting in elbow flexion, as well as playing a role in shoulder extension. For this reason, it is sometimes put at risk of injury through over-training. Overhead extensions, done with an EZ-curl bar or dumbbells, are great for this area.
While biceps tears are less common than triceps ruptures, both injuries can sideline an athlete for a significant amount of time.
Biceps injuries are common among lifters who engage in weight training. Some of the most common biceps injuries occur as a result of overuse, particularly involving the long and short heads at the origin of the muscle, at the back of the shoulder joint.
A biceps injury, also known as a biceps tear, can be the result of an acute overload on the biceps muscle or a sudden contraction. Symptoms include pain and tenderness at its attachment sites, loss of active movement, and pain with extension of the elbow.
An overuse injury of the triceps muscle at the back of the upper arm. The triceps muscle at the back of the upper arm pulls on a piece of connective tissue called the tendon. This causes pain and tenderness during movement, and stiffness in the shoulder joint.
Triceps injuries can occur from a force that exceeds the triceps’s ability to withstand the load, often causing a partial or complete tear that requires surgical repair.
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