T Nation

Biceps Involvement in Pushing Exercises

Hey CT!

My question is: I’m a beginner, and I’m confused: Why do I feel my biceps work during pushing exercises instead of the triceps? Especially during overhead pressing and incline bench pressing? My form is perfect, I’ve checked that multiple times.

Could it be that my biceps are very weak and they are ‘overloaded’ because they stabelize the weight?

Thank you for your answer!

I wouldn’t say that they are very weak. The biceps are involved to some extent during pressing movements; to stabilize the joint as you mentioned and for other smaller function. For example during the lowering portion of a press, the biceps may act as a “brake” to help you turnaround from the lowering to the lifting phase more smoothly. Since the biceps is also involved in shoulder flexion (raising the arm up) so it could be activated a bit during overhead pressing.

Yes sir, I understand, but it annoys me that I don’t feel the triceps working. I don’t mind feeling the biceps working, but why do I not get a pump in the triceps also, since they are supposed to extend the arm, no? Thank you CT!

[quote]GetBigs wrote:
Yes sir, I understand, but it annoys me that I don’t feel the triceps working. I don’t mind feeling the biceps working, but why do I not get a pump in the triceps also, since they are supposed to extend the arm, no? Thank you CT![/quote]

You wont necessarily feel pumped in every muscle involved in compound movements. It could be that you are not good at recruiting the triceps and that the delts take over completely (or chest if it’s a bench press). Are your triceps progressing correctly? Do you feel them when doing isolation work?

I do feel the triceps work hard when I do isolation work, such as press downs. However, I do very little isolation work, mainly for the delts (side and rear delts). I think my triceps should be hit hard by doing bench press and incline bench press alone, no?

CT, my delts don’t get recruited when I bench press, it’s my chest that’s mainly working. Honestly I am really happy that I feel my chest working like crazy when I do bench presses, flat or incline, and get a phenomenal pump in those areas (the chest).

Sorry for the bump, but could you elaborate, please, CT?