Muscle Anatomy – Biceps Part One

Muscle Anatomy – Biceps Part One

– Hey guys, I’m Rob Riches and welcome to my new training series filmed for here at Global Fitness gym
in Southern California. Throughout this video series, I’ll be stripping back to
the very anatomy of our body so that we can understand
better how our muscles work, how they function, and ultimately which exercises are best to achieve the physique you want. (intense music) One of my favourite quotes of all time is: knowledge itself is power. Which was said by the English
philosopher Sir Francis Drake some 400 years go. It’s never been more relevant than when it comes to training. For, without knowledge, the understanding of how the muscles work, you could spend years
of your life training with sub-optimal results, increased risk of injury and a huge amount of frustration. Now, if you can relate to that, I know I can, in my early years, then this video series is
gonna be right up your street. Each month I’m gonna be looking at the anatomy of the muscles, including their insertion, origins and which exercises
best respond and relate to certain muscle groups. If you enjoy this video, at
the end, do leave a comment, leave a suggestion as to what other things you would like to see, and also hit that subscribe button for Supplements World as there’s gonna be new
videos uploaded every week relating to fitness,
training and supplementation. Right. On that note, let’s kick things off and get started on our arm, the biceps. So looking at this anatomical diagram of the front of the arm, we can see that there are in fact three main muscles of the arm. These are highlighted in the green, by the coracobrachialis, the red, the large biceps brachii here, showing the long head, the
outer section of the muscle and the short head, which is
the inner section of the bicep. And then highlighted in blue, which sits just under the biceps brachii, is the brachialis. Now it’s important that we’re aware of these three main muscles because they all interact
and engage differently with different exercises. This isn’t just about
hitting your basic bar curls and maybe some seated dumbbell curls, and being done with your bicep workout. This is really about understanding how each of these muscles work
within different exercises, which arms you with the knowledge in knowing which exercises
you need to be doing within your workouts in order to fill out and work
on sections of your physique that are important to you. Let’s start with the biceps brachii, which is actually Latin for small mouse. The reason that comes about
is, with the bicep flexed, it’s often considered, it looks
like the shape of a mouse, and also gave the name to
all other muscle groups with it being the first muscle group name. We can see looking at this diagram here, that the bicep itself, actually
splits off with two heads, both the insertion and the origin. The origin you can see up here. This muscle splits off
with two different tendons attaching to different parts of the body, ultimately, attaching to a
top section of the scapula, but it’s important to know
as well, that the long head actually comes up and attaches
through the coracoid process. Along the humerus which is the
main bone of the upper arm. The smaller short head doesn’t do that and comes up straight towards
the top of the scapula. This is important later
on when we have a look at specific exercises
targeted to the short head or the long head. Okay, coming down both of
these have their insertions on part of the forearm, the radius. Now this is also important
to know because the bicep, there’s two main features: it flexes the elbow, with the
assistance of the brachialis, so there’s that curl function there. But it also acts as one
of the major supinators. So when we think of a curl, we’re actually combining two movements, kind of like a cork-screw
pulling out from the bottle. Alright, let’s move down and focus on some of the areas when
it comes to training. Often when we train arms,
we want to gain mass. We want size in the biceps. So we’re looking at
exercises that will allow us to get the biggest
mass, the biggest gains, from that exercise. Without a doubt, the king
of all bicep exercises, is the barbell curl. (intense music) Yeah, I can see why they
call the barbell curl the king of arm exercises. You really do feel that across
the full width of the biceps both the long and the short head. So, with the barbell, a lot of versatility within this exercise. The main one is keeping the
palms supinated upwards, the elbows, shoulders, wrists, all in line so you’re at your strongest, as you lift. Couple of other variations include: changing the width of your
hands to a wider grip, outside of that shoulder width, and also, my elbows point in slightly, I can certainly feel this more towards the inner section of the biceps being worked Adversely by bringing your grip in, even if you want to use an easy bar curl for a better, more comfortable grip, that shifts the emphasis
more to the outer section of the arm. And also don’t forget about a pronated
overhand grip as well. This involves a lot more of the forearm muscle groups being worked. But also as well the
long head of that bicep. Keeping your elbows at the
side, the shoulders back, and aiming for a full range of motion. Finally, with this
exercise, you will see that toward the end of my standard bar curls, I started to incorporate some cheat curls. This is a great training principle, if you really wanna shock the biceps. Go heavy, especially
if you have a spotter, or training partner that can assist you by moving that weight up, allowing you to fail even
more on that eccentric. Eight to 10 reps here. Go as heavy as you can,
but maintaining great form. (explosive music) What are some of the key bicep exercises that will enable us to
focus on filling out the arm adding not only mass and size, but also shape and height as well? Now when I say shape and height,
I’m not just about the full width of the bicep looking at it square on or from the side. I’m talking about things like shape and conditioning the split. You take a look at the bicep In a front double bicep pose like this, what you’re really looking at here, is the bigger short head of of the bicep which actually has a
larger footprint overall than the long head. So, in this position we can
clearly see the short head highlighted here, and the long head more from the outside. It actually gives us that peak. So the bicep comes down if you flex. It’s the height of the
long head of the bicep that gives you that peak. Now these exercises are
really gonna be important when you’re considering peak, because they’re exercises that will stress the long head of the bicep. Typically this is with
the shoulders pulled back, elbows at the side, and exercises such as: your bar curl, dumbbell curls
and even incline prone curls. (intense music) Now if you want to focus more on length and thickness in the arm, two exercises are best for this. Either a seated incline
or prone dumbbell curl, where you allow a full
stretch in the bicep focusing most on that
first third of the movement as you curl that weight up, and a preacher curl either
with single arm dumbbell or a bar, easy bar or straight bar. Again, focuses on
stretching out the bicep, allowing for a full range of motion, and in particular, that
first third of the movement is where you’re gonna
see most of the work done for thickness and length. Again, keep the weight heavy but not as heavy as you might
go with the barbell curls. This one is a little bit
more of a specified exercise, so take care with the execution, and make sure that you
really are contracting and squeezing the bicep at
the top of each and every rep. What about the short head? These are gonna be exercises where you typically bring your
elbows around in front, and often support. So the preacher bench is
going to be a king for that. It’s a great way to work
and target the short head. Now also the long and the short head, because of their anatomy, we start to learn that by supporting the backs of the
arm on a preacher bench, really does stress the
lower third of the bicep. This means that you can
actually work on thickening out part of the bicep rather than doing it with
bar curls or prone curls. Talking about the anatomy of the body. Biceps, funnily enough, is one of the most diverse
muscle groups in everyone’s body. And by that I mean, there
are so many different shapes, lengths, from insertion to
origin and even different heads coming out from their insertion. Now there are two heads here and, typically all biceps are about the same. But one thing that you may see throughout everyone
working out in your gym is their bicep length and size. Again if I go back to a
front double bicep pose, I’ve got quite a high peak, but I’ve got short insertion points. I’ve got a bit of a gap here, which is great for doing things like front double bicep poses, but from the front, it doesn’t quite give my arm
the thickness that somebody who had longer insertion points, meaning if they do this, they’ve got more of a flatter arm. Less of a peak and a
thicker bulbous bicep there. That’s largely genetic. You’re not gonna be able to change that too much through training. But what you can do is
enhance your own physique. And that is what this entire
video series is about. Arming you with the
knowledge, so that you know, where on your physique
you need to fine tune and work on those weak points and which exercises are
gonna be key at doing that. (intense music) If your goal is peak
or height in the bicep, you can’t do much better
than the concentration curl. Either with the dumbbell like so, or with the cable providing that clean, constant, consistency throughout the entire range of the rep. With this one you really wanna focus on that peak contraction in the top third of the movement. So again, focus on your technique and form as you curl that dumbbell up, or your arm with the cable. Really think about squeezing
and contracting the bicep as hard as you can. Full range of motion, control the tempo and focus on that squeeze. Okay, a few more things. We mentioned about preacher curls, elbows around in the front, and then also elbows at the side with the shoulders back
for typical bar curls, but also consider things
like your width grip and your hand positioning. Simply by changing your
hand width on a barbell can change the emphasis from the long head more towards the short head. So this is by bringing our elbows in, hands a little bit wider apart. We’ve now shifted that emphasis
from the main long head over to more involvement
with the short head. The same can be said
for dumbbells as well. By rotating around as we curl, we’re bringing a lot of
the brachialis muscle into play as well. And other long supinators of the forearm. But we’re changing the
way that the muscle works. By using the forearm, we’re actually working
much more on the brachialis than we are the main heads. So if you need to thicken
out a section of your forearm then hammer curls are definitely gonna be a key player for you within
your arm training routine. Looking at the kinesiology
of the arm structure, we know that the bicep takes
a role in flexing the elbow. And in doing so, it’s
actually at it’s strongest, when the elbow is flexed
at a 90° angle like this. So free weights are gonna be king for helping you to build
size and muscle density with the bicep. Not only that, but
they’re also predominantly a muscle type two fibre. Which means they respond incredibly well to faster speeds and higher resistance. So if your goal is to pack
on some size on your arms you shouldn’t be looking much further away than the big basics. The free weight bar
curls, the dumbbell curls, and a few others to help
us specifically work the long head and the
short head of the bicep. Because now that we’ve
learned a little bit more about the anatomical layer of the bicep, we can start to look at
which specific exercises focus on the long head and the short head and even a few other muscles of the arm. (explosive music) Okay that wraps up the
end of today’s video for bicep training for filmed here at Global Fitness gym. If you do want to find out
more about any of the exercises you’ve seen in today’s video, or just understand more about
the anatomy of the arms, you can head over to or click on the link below, to see the full article
relating to this video. If you have any questions, or suggestions, please do leave a comment
in the sections below and like the video if you find it useful. And as always, subscribe
if you haven’t already, to Supplements World Youtube. And stay up to date on all
of our weekly new content relating to training, fitness, nutrition and supplementation. I’m Rob Riches. Keep training hard. Stay motivated. I’ll see you guys soon. Take care. (explosive music)

3 Replies to “Muscle Anatomy – Biceps Part One”

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