There are 11 major muscle groups that you'll be focusing on when using the WLC System and one of those is the biceps.
For most people, the biceps probably don't need an introduction but I'm going to give you one just in case.
I guarantee you will learn something new about your biceps that you didn't know after reading this page.
The biceps are one of the most popular muscle groups within the body, especially for men. Men who want bigger arms usually focus on the biceps, but the biceps really only make up around 1/3 of the upper arm. The triceps actually make up the larger majority of your upper arm.
The biceps are actually one of the smaller major muscle groups of the 11 we will discuss, and they get worked very well during many other exercises like pull ups, chin ups, rows, and even during the bench press.
Many back exercises stress the biceps very well so some of the weight lifting workouts I design don't include isolation exercises for the biceps like alternate dumbbell curls. I do include biceps exercises in many of the programs I design, though, as they are 1 of the major muscles in your body and a very important one.
Where are the Biceps Located?
This major muscle is located on the frontal part of your upper arm and is actually called the biceps brachii. The biceps lie between the shoulder and the elbow joints.
The biceps, as the name implies, is a 2 headed muscle group. There's a short head and a long head that comprises the biceps. You can see where the split is between the long head and short head as shown in the images below:
Just remember that the short head is more towards the center line of your body or close to your chest and the long head is on the outer side of your body as shown below:
Next you'll learn about the function of the biceps and what they were intended to do for you.
Where Does the Biceps Muscle Begin and End?
Your biceps attach to the bones of your arm through strong connective tissue called tendons.
The upper biceps (each head) attaches to the shoulder in 2 different places. These tendons that connect to the shoulder are called proximal biceps tendons.
The lower biceps attaches to the forearm bones called the ulna and radius. The tendon that connects the lower biceps muscle to the forearm is called the distal biceps tendon.
What's the Function of the Biceps Muscle?
The biceps serve 3 main functions:
- Supination of the forearm which means the biceps help to turn your palm upwards when held out in front of you.
- Flexor for the forearms which means the biceps helps the forearms to lift objects
- Forward flexion of the shoulder joint which means bringing the arm forward and upwards
The biceps actually plays smaller roles in other movements too such as when you lift your arm out to your side or when your arm is rotated. The biceps even helps stabilize the shoulder joint when you carry heavy weights.
So when I tell you the entire body is worked when doing heavy deadlifts, now you know this is true for the biceps.
Working the Biceps Muscles
There are a huge number of weight lifting exercises that work the biceps. Many heavy compound weight lifting exercises work the biceps very well. As you just learned, even heavy deadlifts work the biceps. When you have to lift heavy dumbbells for any exercise, your biceps are getting work.
Here's a list of weight lifting exercises that work the biceps:
- Chin Ups
Placing your palms towards you when doing chin ups or pull ups works the biceps very well. I actually think close grip chin ups work the biceps better than any other exercise.
There are a HUGE number of curling exercises made to work the biceps.
Many of these weight lifting exercises are there to isolate the biceps. I recommend the exercises that allow you to lift heavier weights as you'll know you're getting more out of each exercise since more muscles are working to lift the weight.
For example, I highly recommend alternate dumbbell curls and pinwheel curls because you can lift heavy weight with these exercises. Compare those 2 exercises to concentration curls. Your max out on concentration curls might by 50 pounds while 80 pounds might be your maximum on alternate dumbbell curls. See the difference?
Many bodybuilders will tell you certain isolation exercises will help you meet goals such as building the peak of your biceps. Concentration curls are supposed to do that.
Barbell Exercises or Dumbbell Exercises
I actually prefer dumbbell exercises over barbell exercises for your biceps.
For example, barbell curls stress your wrists and don't allow you to naturally flex your biceps (supinate) while lifting weights.
With dumbbell exercises, you can rotate your forearm to get even more work with your biceps. So I highly recommend dumbbell exercises over barbell exercises for working your biceps.