Did you know that there are more than 600 muscles in the human body, making up 40% of the total body weight? Each muscle provides body mobility and functionality. Without muscles, we couldn’t do even the simplest things like walking.
Most of us dream of an ideal body type, which can only be achieved through learning and experience. Understanding each muscle is crucial if you are on the path to fitness. And what better way to start this journey than by exploring the most common muscle groups: biceps and triceps?
If you ever flexed your arms in front of the mirror, you don’t need an explanation. But did you know that both muscles are quite different? And that’s what we’re here for. The following blog will delve into bicep vs. triceps and explain their differences. In addition, we’ll also go over bicep and tricep workouts to help you get that aesthetic look you’re aiming for.
Bicep vs. Triceps – How Are They Different
The biceps and triceps are what make your arm pop. As these muscle groups activate, they make your arm appear more muscular. That’s why fitness lovers always have specialized workouts just to engage these muscle groups. Let’s discuss the biceps and triceps in detail to learn how to build them:
If you don’t know what biceps are, here’s what we need you to do.
- Stand in front of a mirror.
- Extend your arm to the side.
- Pull your forearm upward so that your hand is facing you.
- That bulge in the upper portion of your arm is what you call the biceps.
Biceps are short for Biceps Brachii. The large muscles are located at the front and upper arms. The muscle consists of two heads: a long and short head. The biceps are attached to three joints inside the body: the elbow, radioulnar (forearm), and glenohumeral (shoulder blade).
Biceps do more than just help you flex in front of the mirror. They are a muscle group that helps with three primary functions.
- Shoulder Extension: Help with rotating arms and moving them backward.
- Elbow Joint Flexion: Support elbow joint movement.
- Forearm Supination: Enable forearm rotation to make the palm face upward and vice versa.
These muscles are associated with pulling, so whenever you are performing an activity that requires pulling, you are unintentionally using this muscle group.
Triceps are also located in the arms but differ from their neighboring muscles. The triceps, or Tricep Brachii, are the larger, thicker muscles at the back of your upper arm. You might not know it, but they make up half of the muscle mass in your arm.
Triceps muscles have a horseshoe shape. They get their name because they comprise three heads- the lateral head, the long head, and the medial head. The long head is connected to the scapula (shoulder blade), while the medial and lateral head are attached to the humerus (forearm).
Think of the triceps as the antagonist of the biceps. Anything the biceps do, they do the opposite. Their primary function is to help with the extension of the elbow joint. They are associated with pushing. So, in any activity that requires pushing, the triceps come into play.
Best Bicep and Triceps Workouts:
Now that we have completed our discussion of bicep vs triceps, it’s time to get them gains and build your arms to make them a beast. Here are some bicep and tricep exercises to engage the different areas of these muscle groups:
As these muscles primarily function in pulling activities, here are some exercise regimens you can benefit from:
- Dumbbells (Weight depending on how much you can lift)
How to Do It:
Let a set of dumbbells hang at arm’s length, with your palms facing your thighs. While keeping your hands still, flex your elbows to curl the dumbbells upward as close as possible to your shoulder. Next, lower them low to the original position. Pause when you reach the top and squeeze your muscles.
To build your muscles, do around two to three sets daily. If you cannot complete the set, lower the reps from each set to make it doable. Add more weight as you progress.
- Pull-up Bars (Taller than Your Height)
How to Do It:
Grip the pull-up bar with your palms. Ensure they are facing inward. The hands must be at a narrower distance than your shoulder width. Now, using the force of your upper arms, try to lift your head above the bars. Take a short pause and slowly return to the starting position to complete a single rep.
To build your muscle, ensure you do two to three sets, each having 12 reps. If you cannot complete the set, lower the reps from each set to make it doable. Add more reps if you need help finding the exercise challenging enough.
Some Do’s and Don’ts to Keep in Mind:
In the battle of bicep vs triceps, the latter ranks superior, which is why triceps are so hard to grow. Here’s how to gain bigger triceps:
Close-Grip Bench Press:
- Barbells (Weight depends on how much you can press)
- Lying Bench
How to Do It:
First, on the bench, lie down in a resting position so the barbells are above your shoulders. Take your hands and grip the bar so your arm’s distance is shoulder width apart. Keep your upper arms still. Slowly lower the arm until the bar is just a few centimeters above your chest.
Using the upper arm again, slowly raise the bar to the starting position to put maximum strain on your triceps.
To build your muscle, do two to three sets with 8-12 controlled reps. If you cannot complete the set, lower the reps from each set to make it doable. Add more reps if you need help finding the exercise challenging enough.
- Weighted Dumbbells (Weight depends on how much you can press)
- Chair or bench for sitting straight
How to Do It:
First, use a chair or a bench to sit straight and take a dumbbell. Now, carefully take the dumbbell above your head by raising your arms such that it is in the air at the back of your body. Bend your arms to slowly lower the weight. Next, slowly raise the dumbbells to the starting position by only bending your arm.
To build your muscle, do two to three sets with 8-12 reps each. If you cannot complete the set, lower the reps from each set to make it doable. Add more reps if you need help finding the exercise challenging enough.
Let’s quickly recap what we learned from the bicep vs. triceps debate. The biceps are flexor muscles that help with any pulling activity, while the triceps do the opposite. The biceps form the lateral part of the upper arm, while the triceps are attached to the lower upper arm. If you want to build these muscle groups, then make sure you follow the bicep and triceps workouts highlighted. With them, you will surely get that aesthetic physique you wish for.
Why Is One Tricep Bigger Than the Other?
Although rare, muscle imbalances can happen due to multiple factors, including hand usage, exercise, and favoring one side for daily activities.
Are Triceps Bigger Than Biceps?
Bigger triceps and shorter biceps can vary. It depends on the day-to-day activity and the intensity of training. Generally, the triceps can be bigger than the biceps, as they have a larger muscle group than the latter.
Should You Train Biceps and Triceps Together?
It’s up to you how you plan out your training regimen. If you believe you are up to training your biceps and triceps together, go for it. Combining exercises can provide a more balanced movement to the elbow joint.
Are Triceps Stronger Than Biceps?
Triceps work against the motion of the biceps. When the biceps are extended, the triceps are flexed, and vice versa. Triceps are not bigger than biceps but have equal strength to ensure optimum mobility.
How Do the Triceps and Biceps Work Together?
The triceps and biceps work against each other. They act as antagonist pairs; they help with arm mobility in pushing and pulling.
Should I Train My Biceps or Triceps First?
It depends on your fitness goals. If you believe your biceps need development, go for a bicep workout first, and vice versa. You can also consult a fitness coach to help plan out your regimen.
Can You Train Your Biceps Every Day?
You should dedicate a day to work on your biceps rather than train them daily. Prolonged strain could lead to adverse effects.