Leroy Colbert, Sergio Olivia, Larry Scott and Robby Robinson are a few of the all-time great bodybuilders known for their tremendous arms. While the particular details of their arms varied, all of these bodybuilding greats shared one common feature – symmetry! Not only did they have comparative balance between their biceps and triceps, these bodybuilders also exhibited symmetrical development within these muscle areas.
Unfortunately, many beginning bodybuilders think that bulging biceps alone are the secret to impressive arms. But experienced bodybuilders know too well the drawbacks of an unbalanced physique. When a competitive bodybuilder steps on stage he or she knows that a lagging body part can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Even if you're not a competitive bodybuilder, unbalanced muscular development will detract from your appearance and overall strength.
Add Size And Symmetry To Your Biceps
Although the biceps appear as a single muscle mass on your upper arm, your biceps consist of long and short "heads" anatomically referenced as the biceps brachii. The long head of the biceps is on the outer portion of the front of your upper arm. The short head of the biceps runs from your shoulder to your elbow on the inner portion of your upper arm closest to your chest. In order to ensure balanced or symmetrical development of both the long and short heads of the biceps, you must train them with equal care and frequency. Fortunately, this balanced training is easy to accomplish as it only requires you to alter your grip or hand position during certain curling exercises.
If you follow my biceps training program, you'll find that it includes EZ Bar curls, barbell curls and various cable curling movements performed with a either a cambered or straight bar attachment. When you use a narrow grip in performing these various types of curls, you'll place primary stress on the outer portion or long head of your biceps. Alternatively, if you curl the weight with your hands in the wide grip position, you'll be primarily working the inner portion or short head of your biceps. The simple trick to making sure that you train both areas of your biceps is to use the narrow and wide grip positions as you complete your various bar curls. With careful attention to balanced workouts that develop the long and short heads of your biceps, you're certain to add size and symmetry to this entire muscle area.
Add Size And Symmetry To Your Triceps
Since the triceps consist of three visually distinguishable muscles (the long, medial and lateral heads), balanced or symmetrical development of these muscles requires you to train them with exercises that work this entire muscle group. The long head of your triceps is a relatively large muscle that nearly covers the entire length of the posterior surface of your upper arm. Developing this muscle gives your triceps a full, curved and sweeping appearance during a front or rear biceps pose. Whenever I see a guy flex in response to a "make a muscle" request, the first thing I notice is not the size of his biceps. I focus instead on the bottom half of his arm which features the long head of the triceps. If this muscle is not full and rounded from elbow to shoulder it does not matter what his biceps look like and his pose is a total flop.
To avoid the embarrassment of having flat or floppy triceps, make sure that you use a full range of motion in completing all of your triceps exercises. That means full contraction and extension of your arms on all of your triceps building movements. Remember, successful arm training results from using proper training technique, and training with a full range or motion is absolutely critical for building dense, curved and sweeping muscle in the long head of your triceps.
The medial triceps head is located on the lower inside portion of the back of your upper arm just above the elbow. Since the medial head adjoins the long head of the triceps near the elbow joint, developing this muscle gives also adds a full, curved and sweeping appearance to your upper arms during a front double or single biceps pose.
The medial head is a strong forearm extensor and, when fully developed, gives the triceps a thick, dense appearance when flexed or at rest. Rounding out your triceps is the lateral head which lies on the outside portion of your upper arm and joins the long head to form a thick horseshoe-shaped curve that should be visible when you fully extend or flex your triceps. Like the medial head, the lateral triceps head is also a strong forearm extensor, and proper training of both of these muscles requires that you use a full range of motion in completing all of your triceps exercises.
A balanced triceps training program must work the long, medial and lateral heads of your triceps with equal intensity. To accomplish this, your triceps workouts must include a mix of various extensor movements including Skull Crushers, dumbbell extensions, and double and single armed cable press-downs and triceps pushups. These are beginner level exercises that will ensure balanced and symmetrical development of your entire triceps muscle group. With careful attention to performing these exercises with proper training technique, you're certain to gain mass, power and symmetry in building big, muscular triceps.
Remember, unbalanced development will detract from your overall strength and appearance. To get truly powerful arms that have head-turning visual impact, you must train your biceps and triceps with equal intensity. Do this and you'll soon be on your way to building Truly Awesome Arms (TM).
How To Add Big And Balanced Muscular Development To Your Biceps and Triceps by Mark G. Winston