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Biceps vs. Triceps: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 4, 2024
Biceps are the two-part muscles at the front of the upper arm, responsible for flexing the elbow; triceps are the three-part muscles at the back, responsible for extending the elbow.
Biceps vs. Triceps

Key Differences

The biceps, a two-headed muscle, is located at the front of the upper arm and is primarily involved in the flexion and supination of the forearm. In contrast, the triceps, a three-headed muscle, is situated at the back of the upper arm and plays a crucial role in the extension of the elbow joint.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 04, 2024
Functionally, the biceps are key in lifting and pulling movements due to their role in bending the elbow and rotating the forearm. Conversely, the triceps are essential in pushing movements, as they straighten the arm at the elbow.
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Feb 04, 2024
In terms of structure, the biceps consist of a long head and a short head, each contributing to the muscle's overall shape and function. The triceps, on the other hand, comprise a lateral, medial, and long head, each with specific roles in arm and shoulder movements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 04, 2024
Regarding physical training, exercises targeting the biceps often include curls and pull-ups, focusing on arm flexion. Triceps exercises, such as dips and extensions, emphasize arm extension.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 04, 2024
Aesthetically, well-developed biceps contribute significantly to the appearance of the upper arm's front, often associated with strength and fitness. The triceps, equally important, define the upper arm's back and are vital for a balanced arm musculature.
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Comparison Chart

Number of Heads

Two (Long and Short head)
Three (Lateral, Medial, and Long head)
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Feb 04, 2024

Location

Front of the upper arm
Back of the upper arm
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Feb 04, 2024

Primary Function

Elbow flexion and forearm supination
Elbow extension
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Common Exercises

Curls, Hammer Curls, Pull-ups
Pushdowns, Dips, Overhead Tricep Extensions
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Role in Movements

Used in lifting and pulling actions
Used in pushing actions
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Biceps and Triceps Definitions

Biceps

Can refer to any similar structure in other animals.
The veterinarian explained the biceps structure in the cat's forelimb.
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Jan 19, 2024

Triceps

A muscle having three points of attachment at one end.
Her triceps were toned from her regular workouts.
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Jan 19, 2024

Biceps

Informally used to refer to arm muscles generally.
He's been working on his biceps at the gym regularly.
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Jan 19, 2024

Triceps

Any muscle with three origins.
The triceps is an essential muscle for arm extension.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 19, 2024

Biceps

Any muscle having two origins.
The biceps in her arm were well-defined.
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Triceps

Known for its role in arm extension and pushing movements.
Strengthening the triceps improves your ability to push heavy objects.
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Jan 19, 2024

Biceps

Often used to represent strength or physical power.
His strong biceps were a symbol of his dedication to fitness.
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Jan 19, 2024

Triceps

Refers to similar structures in various animals.
The lion's triceps are powerful, aiding in its hunting prowess.
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Biceps

A muscle with two heads or points of origin.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

A large three-headed muscle running along the back of the upper arm and serving to extend the forearm.
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

The large muscle at the front of the upper arm that flexes the forearm.Also called biceps brachii.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

(anatomy) Any muscle having three heads.
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

The large muscle at the back of the thigh that flexes the knee joint.Also called biceps femoris.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

(anatomy) Specifically, the triceps brachii.
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

(anatomy) Any muscle having two heads.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

A muscle having three heads; specif., the great extensor of the forearm, arising by three heads and inserted into the olecranon at the elbow.
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

Specifically, the biceps brachii, the flexor of the elbow.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

Any skeletal muscle having three origins (but especially the triceps brachii)
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

(informal) The upper arm, especially the collective muscles of the upper arm.
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Jan 18, 2024

Triceps

Sometimes used informally to denote the back part of the upper arm.
He has been focusing on his triceps to balance his arm strength.
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Biceps

(prosody) A point in a metrical pattern that can be filled either with one long syllable (a longum) or two short syllables (two brevia)
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

A muscle having two heads or origins; - applied particularly to a flexor in the arm, and to another in the thigh.
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Jan 18, 2024

Biceps

Any skeletal muscle having two origins (but especially the muscle that flexes the forearm)
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Biceps

A muscle having two points of attachment at one end.
He flexed his biceps to show his strength.
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Jan 19, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

How many heads do the biceps have?

The biceps have two heads, known as the long and short head.
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Feb 04, 2024

What is the main function of the biceps?

The main function of the biceps is to flex the elbow and supinate the forearm.
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Feb 04, 2024

What are the triceps?

The triceps are muscles on the back of the upper arm, responsible for straightening the elbow.
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Feb 04, 2024

How many heads do the triceps have?

The triceps have three heads, known as the lateral, medial, and long head.
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Feb 04, 2024

Can you build biceps with bodyweight exercises?

Yes, exercises like pull-ups and chin-ups can effectively build biceps with bodyweight.
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Feb 04, 2024

Do biceps assist in any other movements?

Besides flexing the elbow, the biceps also assist in lifting and pulling movements.
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Feb 04, 2024

What role do triceps play in shoulder movements?

The triceps assist in stabilizing the shoulder joint during various movements.
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Is it important to train both biceps and triceps?

Yes, for balanced arm development and functionality, it's important to train both muscle groups.
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Feb 04, 2024

What is the primary role of the triceps?

The primary role of the triceps is to extend the elbow.
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What are the biceps?

The biceps are muscles on the front part of the upper arm, involved in bending the elbow and rotating the forearm.
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What exercises target the triceps effectively?

Effective triceps exercises include tricep pushdowns, overhead extensions, and close-grip bench press.
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Do the biceps and triceps work together?

Yes, they often work in tandem for various arm movements, providing stability and strength.
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Are dips good for triceps development?

Yes, dips are an excellent exercise for strengthening and developing the triceps.
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Feb 04, 2024

How can I prevent injuries when training biceps and triceps?

Proper form, gradual progression in weight, and adequate rest are key to preventing injuries.
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Are the biceps and triceps important for athletes?

Absolutely, they are crucial for athletes, particularly in sports requiring arm strength and endurance.
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Feb 04, 2024

Can overtraining biceps lead to injury?

Overtraining any muscle, including the biceps, can lead to strains or more serious injuries.
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Can focusing on triceps improve arm appearance?

Yes, well-developed triceps contribute significantly to the overall appearance of the arms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 04, 2024

What role does nutrition play in building biceps and triceps?

Proper nutrition is essential for muscle growth and recovery, including the development of biceps and triceps.
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Is it possible to train biceps and triceps on the same day?

Yes, many people effectively train both muscle groups in the same workout session.
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What are common biceps exercises?

Common biceps exercises include barbell curls, dumbbell curls, and hammer curls.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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