Bicep vs Tricep: Your Guide to Building Bigger Arms

Man in Tank Top Holding Dumbbell

Are you looking to build bigger, stronger arms? If so, the bicep vs tricep debate is one that you must understand.

We’re here to provide everything that you need to know about building your arm muscles and show just how important each muscle group is when it comes time to construct a sculpted set of arms.

Understanding the difference between these two muscles will ensure that your training regimen includes exercises meant for the right areas as well as having an idea of what type of results can be expected from developing each group.


The biceps, also known as the biceps brachii, are a set of muscles located in the front of the upper arm. They are responsible for flexing the elbow joint and rotating the forearm. In addition to their functional role in everyday movements like lifting objects or performing pulling motions, well-developed biceps are also often associated with a strong and aesthetic physique.

Biceps Anatomy

bicep anatomy

The biceps consist of two heads: the long head and the short head.

The long head originates from the scapula (shoulder blade) while the short head originates from the coracoid process, a small protrusion on the shoulder blade.

Both heads merge together to form a single tendon that attaches to the radius bone in the forearm.

How to train your biceps

In terms of training, it is important to target both heads of the biceps for overall development and strength. This can be achieved through a variety of exercises such as:

  • Bicep curls

  • Hammer curls

  • Chin-ups

It is also important to note that the biceps are often worked in conjunction with other muscles, such as the forearms and back muscles.

Proper form is crucial when training biceps to prevent injury and maximize results. It is important to keep the elbows close to the body and avoid swinging the weights or using momentum to lift them.

Slow and controlled movements with a full range of motion are key for targeting the biceps effectively. Additionally, incorporating progressive overload (gradually increasing weights or reps) is essential for muscle growth.


The triceps, as the name suggests, are a group of three muscles located on the back of the upper arm. They are responsible for extending the elbow joint and are crucial for movements such as pushing, throwing, and pressing.

Tricep Anatomy

tricep anatomy

The three heads of the triceps include the long head, lateral head, and medial head. The three heads of the triceps all play important roles in muscle function and performance.

The long head is the largest and most visible, located on the back of the arm and responsible for elbow extension.

The lateral head sits next to the long head and works together with it to extend the elbow joint.

Finally, the medial head is located underneath both of these muscles and provides stability and support during movements.

Together, these three heads make up the triceps muscle and work in harmony to assist in a variety of daily activities and sports performances. It is important to target all three heads in training for balanced development and functional strength.


When it comes to working out the triceps, there are a variety of exercises that can be incorporated into a training routine. Some popular options include:

  • Tricep pushdowns

  • Overhead tricep extensions

  • Close-grip bench presses

  • Bodyweight Dips

It is important to choose exercises that target all three heads of the triceps for balanced development.

Additionally, incorporating progressive overload by increasing weight or reps over time will help stimulate muscle growth.

Proper form and technique are also crucial to prevent injury and maximize results.

Be sure to warm up the triceps with light weights before diving into heavier sets, and always end with a cool-down stretch.

Bicep vs Tricep Muscles

bicep vs tricep

While both the biceps and triceps are important muscles in the arm, they have distinct differences in terms of function and structure. The biceps are typically more visible and well-defined due to their position on the front of the arm, while the triceps may require targeted training for optimal development.

Therefore, it is important to incorporate exercises that target both muscles for balanced arm strength and aesthetics. So, it is crucial to have a well-rounded training plan in order to effectively target and develop both the biceps and triceps muscles.

Additionally, the triceps are often overlooked compared to the biceps, but they play a significant role in many daily activities such as pushing and lifting. Neglecting to train the triceps can lead to imbalances and potential injury, as well as hindering overall arm strength.

How they work together

The biceps and triceps work together as antagonist muscles, meaning that they have opposite functions. The biceps are responsible for flexing the elbow joint, while the triceps extend the elbow joint.

This dynamic relationship allows for smooth movement and control in everyday activities such as lifting and pushing. In addition, strong biceps help support and stabilize the shoulder joint, while strong triceps aid in pushing movements and maintaining proper posture.

Therefore, it is important to train both the biceps and triceps in order to have balanced and functional arm strength.

Overall, incorporating exercises that target both muscles can lead to greater overall arm strength and stability. So, while they may have different roles within the body, the biceps and triceps work together harmoniously for optimal arm function and aesthetics.


Should I train the biceps or triceps for bigger arms?

When it comes to building bigger arms, many people often focus solely on training their biceps since they’re typically a flashier muscle. Although the triceps are technically the largest muscle of the two, one should not be prioritized over the other.

Both the biceps and triceps play crucial roles in arm function and aesthetics, so it is important to train both muscle groups for optimal results. Incorporating exercises that target both the biceps and triceps in a well-rounded training plan can lead to not only bigger arms but also stronger and more functional ones. So rather than choosing between biceps or triceps, it is best to train both for optimal arm development.

How often should I train arm muscles?

Arm muscles are typically exercised through compound movements already, but doing isolation exercises is perfectly fine as long as there is some balance. Since the chest and triceps tend to work together and the back and biceps work together, you can add 1-2 exercises per session on top of your compound movements to increase arm size and muscle growth.

Some bodybuilders will even have a set day for just arms. As mentioned already, moderation is okay, as long as you’re not neglecting one over the other. Training one more than the other can cause muscle imbalances and potentially injury.

How do I build muscle?

Building muscle can be a simple task, but a long process that takes discipline. Whether it’s growing bigger arms, chest, back, or legs, there are a few principles to build muscle.

  • Progressive Overload
  • Sufficient Protein
  • Sufficient Calories
  • Good Quality Rest
  • Hydration

The first principle is progressive overload, which means gradually increasing the weight or resistance used in exercises to continuously challenge the muscles and promote growth.

Additionally, consuming sufficient protein is essential for repairing and building muscle tissue. It is also important to ensure a caloric surplus, meaning consuming more calories than are burned, to provide the energy and nutrients necessary for muscle growth.

Good quality rest is crucial in allowing the muscles to recover and repair themselves after training. Adequate hydration is also important in maintaining optimal muscle function and preventing dehydration, which can negatively impact performance.

By incorporating these principles into your training plan, you can effectively promote muscle growth and achieve your desired arm size.

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