Biceps vs Triceps: What’s the Difference?

Biceps vs Triceps: What's the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what makes your arm look toned and muscular? Chances are, you’re probably thinking of the biceps and triceps! But what’s the difference between the two? If you’re looking to sculpt those guns, it’s essential to understand the unique roles of the biceps and triceps in your upper body.

In this article, we’ll explore these muscles’ anatomy and function and provide valuable insights on how to train them effectively. So, get ready to flex, and let’s dive into the world of biceps and triceps!


Before we dive into the various exercises that can help you build muscular biceps and triceps, it’s important to understand the physiology behind these two muscle groups. The biceps and triceps are located in the upper arm but have different functions and structures.

In this section, we’ll explore the anatomy of the biceps and triceps and how they work together to facilitate movement in the arm.


Let’s talk about those guns we all love to flex – the biceps! Did you know that the biceps are a two-headed muscle located on the front of your upper arm? That’s right, your biceps have two separate muscle bellies, the long head and the short head, which attach at different points on your shoulder blade and your upper arm bone.

When you flex your biceps, the tendons of these two muscle bellies join together to form the biceps tendon, which then attaches to the radius bone in your forearm. When you bend your elbow, your biceps muscle contracts, causing your forearm to move toward your shoulder.

In addition to flexing your elbow, your biceps also rotate your forearm, such as when you turn a doorknob or twist a jar lid. So it’s no wonder why having muscular biceps is aesthetically pleasing and functional in our day-to-day activities.

Now that we know more about the biceps let’s dive into the physiology of their larger counterpart, the triceps.


Triceps are the unsung heroes of your arms. They might not get as much attention as your biceps, but they are crucial in many upper-body movements.

Your triceps are a group of three muscles located on the back of your upper arm. They originate from the shoulder blade and upper arm bone and insert into the elbow joint. The three muscles that make up your triceps are the long head, lateral head, and medial head.

The long head of the triceps muscle runs down the back of your arm and attaches to the shoulder blade. The lateral head starts at the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade, while the medial head attaches to the upper arm bone. All three heads work together to extend your arm at the elbow joint, allowing you to perform pushing movements like bench presses and dips.

In addition to these functions, the triceps also play an important role in stabilizing your shoulder joint, which is necessary for many upper-body movements. So, while they might not get the spotlight like the biceps, your triceps are just as crucial for building strength and mobility in your upper body.

Do Triceps Make Arms Bigger Than Biceps?

Yes! The triceps make up a more significant portion of the arm than the biceps.

In fact, the triceps make up about two-thirds of the upper arm, while the biceps only make up about one-third. This means you can’t ignore your triceps if you want to maximize your arm size! Strong triceps also contribute to better performance in exercises like push-ups and bench presses, which can help you build overall upper-body strength.

So, while the biceps may get more attention in terms of aesthetics, it’s important to remember the importance of training both muscle groups for optimal arm development.

Training Principles For Biceps vs Triceps

When building strong and well-defined arms, the biceps and triceps play a crucial role. While the biceps are responsible for flexion and pulling movements, the triceps are involved in extension and pushing exercises.

Understanding the training principles of these two muscle groups is vital to creating a balanced and effective workout routine. In this section, we’ll explore the differences in training approaches for the biceps and triceps and how to optimize your workouts for maximum gains.

Did you know that biceps and triceps are some of the hardest muscles to grow?

Biceps Training Principles

When it comes to biceps training, most people focus on one thing: size. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want bigger biceps? But, to get the most out of your biceps training, you must focus on more than just size.

First, understand that the biceps muscle is relatively small compared to other muscle groups. So, train them with that in mind. You don’t need to spend hours doing biceps curls to see results. Instead, focus on using proper form and challenging your muscles with progressive overload.

One of the best ways to do this is by using compound movements targeting multiple muscle groups, such as chin-ups or pull-ups. These exercises work your biceps and engage your back and other upper body muscles.

If you want to focus specifically on your biceps, you can do plenty of isolation exercises. Dumbbell curls or preacher curls, for example. When doing these exercises, focus on using a full range of motion and contracting your biceps at the top of the movement.

But remember, the key to biceps training isn’t just about your exercises. It’s also about how you do them. So here are some tips to keep in mind for the best results:

  • Use proper form: Avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight. Instead, focus on slow and controlled movements.
  • Focus on mind-muscle connection: Visualize your biceps working as you perform each rep. This will help you to engage and activate the muscle more effectively.
  • Use progressive overload: Gradually increase your weight or reps over time. This will challenge your muscles and help you to see better results.
  • Don’t overdo it: Remember, the biceps are a small muscle group, so avoid training them daily. Aim for 1-2 focused biceps workouts per week, with at least a day of rest in between.

By following these principles and tips, you can effectively train your biceps and see the results you’re after. So, grab those dumbbells and get to work!

Triceps Training Principles

To effectively train the triceps, incorporate exercises targeting all three heads. For example, close-grip bench presses, dips, overhead extensions, and pushdowns are all great exercises for building triceps strength and size.

Just like with biceps training, focusing on progressive overload and challenging yourself with heavier weights and/or more reps over time is essential. It’s also important to vary your training volume and intensity to prevent a plateau and keep progressing.

In addition to traditional resistance training, incorporating bodyweight exercises like push-ups and triceps dips can also be effective for building triceps strength and size.

Which is Easier To Train?

The answer to this question can vary depending on a few factors. Generally speaking, the triceps are easier to train than the biceps because they are larger and can handle more weight. However, this doesn’t mean that training the triceps is easy or training the biceps is difficult.

Both muscle groups require consistent and targeted training to see results. However, it’s also important to note that individual differences in genetics and body composition can affect which muscle group is easier or more challenging to train for each person.

Ultimately, the key to success with either muscle group is to find a training routine that works for your body and to stay committed to it over time.

Are Triceps Harder to Grow Than Biceps?

The short answer is no. Triceps are not necessarily more challenging to grow than biceps. It’s a common misconception that the triceps are harder to develop than the biceps. Still, the truth is that both muscle groups require proper training and attention to grow.

Common Injuries: Biceps vs Triceps

Injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of their experience or fitness level. Injuries to the biceps and triceps muscles are among the most common. They can be debilitating if not treated properly. The following section will discuss some of the most common injuries associated with biceps and triceps training.


The most common bicep injuries are tendonitis, bicep strains, and tears. Bicep tendonitis occurs when the tendons that connect the bicep muscle to the shoulder become inflamed, typically due to overuse or repetitive strain. Bicep strains happen when the muscle fibers in the biceps are stretched or torn, usually from sudden movements or lifting heavy weights. Bicep tears can also occur from heavy lifting or sudden movements, causing a partial or complete tear in the bicep muscle.


The triceps are a relatively resilient muscle group but can still be susceptible to injury. The most common tricep injuries are typically caused by overuse or sudden trauma, such as:

  • Tricep Tendinitis occurs when the tendons that attach the tricep muscles to the elbow become inflamed due to overuse or repetitive strain.
  • Tricep Strain occurs when the tricep muscle or tendon is overstretched or torn due to sudden trauma or overuse.
  • Tricep Muscle Tear: This occurs when the muscle fibers of the tricep are partially or entirely torn due to sudden trauma or overuse.
  • Tricep Brachii Muscle Rupture: This rare injury occurs when the tricep muscle completely tears away from the bone at the elbow joint.
  • Olecranon Bursitis: This is a condition where the bursa sac, which provides cushioning between the bone and the tricep tendon, becomes inflamed and swollen due to repetitive stress or trauma.

Seek medical attention if you experience any of these injuries, as they can cause pain, weakness, and limited range of motion in the affected arm. Proper treatment and rehabilitation can help prevent long-term damage and facilitate a faster recovery.

Biceps vs Triceps: Conclusion

Understanding the differences between the biceps and triceps can help you optimize your workouts and achieve your fitness goals. While both muscles are important for arm strength and aesthetics, they have distinct physiological features and training principles.

Whether you’re looking to build bigger biceps or stronger triceps, plenty of exercises and training programs are available to help you achieve your desired results. Remember to check out our free training programs on the website for more guidance and support.

In 2013 I attended TVCC with my studies focusing on nutrition and biology. After leaving TVCC I pursued a career in inbound marketing and have worked in many different industries including health and fitness, firearms, coaching, and many more. I spent 6 years training for powerlifting and 6 years after training for a bodybuilding show in Idaho, which sadly did not come to fruition.

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