All the muscles in the human body derive their names from  biceps brachii.  The name comes from Latin name musculus , meaning little mouse. The name little mouse is because the when fled biceps brachii looks like the back of  a mouse.  This is the same reason  is why it is also referred to as μῦς, mȳs in Greek.  The two names stands for mouse and muscles respectively.  Moreover, the name biceps brachii is a Latin phrase that means two-headed muscle of the arm.  This is  because the muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle with each muscle having its own origin. However, they share a common insertion point located near the elbow joint.

It is another name for the common biceps in the lay man’s language. The ‘bi’ comes about because the muscle has two points of origin, the long head and short head. It is situated in the front part of the upper arm. Both heads originate from the shoulder and end at the elbow.

The functions of biceps brachii are that it is an important flexor of the forearm especially when it is supinated. It is the reason why muscles in the upper fore arm appear more defined when the arm is curled. It is the reason that makes simple actions like lifting objects simpler. Biceps brachii generally help in turning the arm upwards. The biceps brachii is also important in assisting the shoulder joint in bringing the arm up and down.

Clinically, this part if not taken care of can be a source of a lot of pain. The proximal tendons of the bicep brachii are involved in a lot of pathological processes that involve the origination of diseases and are the source of most shoulder problems like pain and stiffness. The tendon disorders range from tendonitis, tears of the tendon, pain, enlargement and tendon abnormalities.

It is important to be very careful in daily activities involving the arm as injuring it is very easy even in simple acts like sudden lifting. Engaging in sports  and while at work can be the source of a lot of tendon injuries that may lead to the ‘Popeye sign’ which leads to decreased strength and can make simple acts like curling the arm a strenuous activity.

It can however be treated through re-attaching the biceps tendons to their former place with the help of suture buttons, bone tunnels and suture anchors. Corrective surgery can be carried out when it’s severe. When the injury is not severe. The muscles heal on their own but over a given time period. Measures such as applying pressure with ice and applying anti-inflammatory medication can help in less sever conditions to bring the swelling down.

In order to strengthen biceps, one can use weights and resistance training.  Example of good biceps exercise include  chin-up and biceps curl.  When training, it is crucial for one to differentiate between the short and long head of the biceps.  The outer part of the muscle is the long head whereas the inner part of the muscle is the short head.  There  has been no specific bicep workouts that is tailor made for each of the two heads.  For instance the one theory targets proximity of the arms in relation to the body. When muscles are pulled back behind the body it targets the long head more. When the  elbows are in front of the body, the short head is targeted more. Another theory makes use of grip and angle  as the key tools for targeting each head during workout.



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loyola university, l. (2017). Biceps Brachii. Retrieved 4 December 2017, from