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Biceps 101

Biceps 101: Anatomy, Functions, & More

Biceps 101

Most bodybuilders want to achieve toned and visible biceps. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is going to the gym without working on your biceps.

If fashion bloggers have “dress to impress”, bodybuilders have “build to impress”. “Ripped biceps” is your winning crown as a professional bodybuilder. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, was one of the famous bodybuilders. His beautiful and well-maintained biceps bulges are among those that made him one of the top bodybuilders. He then later became a legend in the world of bodybuilding.

It is best to know the part that you are going to develop when you’re trying to build muscle. Having knowledge will protect you from unnecessary injury. It can give you an idea of what exercises you need to build your target area. In addition, it also helps you choose the proper equipment to use. It could also help you make your workout timetable easier. You will get the best results without spending too much time in the gym.

You have come to the right place if your goal is to have Scharzenegger’s to-die-for biceps. This article will tell you everything you need to know about biceps.

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Biceps 101: Understanding the Anatomy of Biceps

There are three muscle groups in the front part of the upper arm. One of these is the biceps, along with the brachialis muscle and coracobrachialis. They share the same nerve supply which is from the musculocutaneous nerve. They also bridge two joints of the arm – the shoulder joint and elbow joint.

Bicep muscle is connected to the shoulder joint by two tendons and to the elbow joint by one tendon. These tendons are called the proximal biceps tendons and distal biceps tendon, respectively.  Tendons, by the way, are connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bones.

Collectively, these three muscle groups are responsible for moving your arms. This includes actions like bending and rotating or curling of your arms among others.

Biceps 101: Biceps Muscle Groups

Let’s get to know even more of the individual muscles that make up the biceps’ muscle groups.

Biceps Brachii


Biceps brachii lies in the upper part of the front of your arms.

The term came from a Latin word ‘bi’ or ‘bis’ which means two and ‘ceps’ (a form of caput) which means head. Thus, biceps in English term means ‘having two parts’ or ‘two-headed’. Brachii, on the other hand, means ‘of the arm’. The definition of biceps when combined means two-headed muscle of the arm.

The two-headed muscles are the ‘long head’ and the ‘short head’:

Long head – runs from the supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula. It connects to the short head through the humerus. This muscle helps you pull your arm away from your body and when turning it in an inward motion.

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Short head – runs from the tip of the coracoid process and merges to the tendon of coracobrachialis. This muscle does the opposite of the job of the long head.

Both muscles originate and attach to the coracoid process and the upper glenoid cavity of the scapula region. These two muscles vary in length but act and functions as one. Together, these muscles enable you to bend and unbend your arms. Biceps brachis is also involved in the supination of the forearm.



This is a thick muscle that lies under biceps brachii. This muscle bridges the humerus (upper arm bone) and the ulna (one of the forearm bones). Brachialis plays as the main flexor of the forearm and elbow flexion. Though biceps brachii is the large lump of the arm, it is the brachialis that provides power for flexion. This muscle doesn’t work as pronator or supinator. Instead, it works as flexor regardless of the position of the arm.



This muscle is the smallest muscle amongst the three. It is also attached to the coracoid process. This is located at the mid-upper part of the arm. It helps stabilize the shoulder joints. Its main function is flexion and abduction of the arm.

Biceps 101: Functions and Actions of Biceps

The biceps muscle groups are very essential in every upper arm movement. These muscle groups generally are flexors. Each has specific functions and purpose, but are designed to work together.

Your arms cannot fully function when one of the muscle groups stop doing its job. Every bodybuilder should ensure not to strain these muscles. Overusing your muscles could lead to numbness and pain. When in pain, your movements are limited and weightlifting might be prohibited.

Let us see how these muscle groups collectively work and function.

The main functions of biceps according to each muscle group are as follows:

  • Flexor of the elbow – bending and flexing of the arm at the elbow joint. This enables you to move your forearm to your shoulder. You won’t be able to do barbell curls without the flexors.
  • Supination of forearm – rotating movement of your forearm. Are you able to rotate your palm faces up and down? Are you able to rotate dumbbells inwards or outwards? Your biceps are responsible for these movements.
  • Flexor of the shoulder – moving of the arm forward. You can feel the biceps’ involvement when you raise or pull your arms. Another function of the biceps is to help you reach up and pull yourself up on those bars.

Your life is easier thanks to your biceps. It is involved in most of the actions that require upper arm movement. Even a simple act of carrying your gym bag requires the help of your biceps.

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Having strong and toned biceps are important. It does not just help you look good. Beyond the physical aspect, the role of biceps in your everyday life is critical. Your everyday tasks become easier because of this group of muscles.

Just like with any other part of your body, biceps play a critical role. You would be able to appreciate its importance more now that you understand its anatomy. You can use this newly-acquired knowledge to focus on exercises that work on this muscle group.

It’s not impossible to achieve toned and well-formed biceps. With the use of proper equipment and a workout routine, you can come out of the gym soon with your body goal obtained.


Alex. (2015). Biceps Anatomy: All About the Biceps Muscles. Retrieved from

Biceps. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Biceps brachii muscle. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Muscles of the Upper Arm. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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