Muscle antagonists and synergists - programs for biceps and triceps

The accuracy and accuracy of the movements of the human body is carried out using a special system of muscle balance. In our body, there are muscle antagonists and synergists.

How is balance achieved

Have you ever thought that there is opposition to every action? This is how equilibrium is maintained in nature. The human body is no exception. There is anabolism and catabolism, synergism and antagonism.

You can clearly demonstrate all this on the muscles.

Muscles that create joint efforts when performing movement are called synergists. Synergist muscles are, for example, triceps and pectoralis. They work together in an exercise like bench press. But individually, they perform different functions.

Synergist muscles are also biceps and brachial muscle, gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.

Muscle antagonists and synergists - programs for biceps and triceps

The most interesting thing is that along with this, the muscles work a little in different planes, providing a greater variety movements. For example, we can not only bend the arm at the expense of the biceps, but also turn in one or the other direction thanks to the smaller synergist muscles. The same movement can be provided by muscles belonging to different groups: for example, to pull up, the effort of the biceps of the shoulder and latissimus is required. That is, they are also synergists.

Muscles that move in opposite directions are called antagonist muscles. For example, this is the biceps mentioned above, bending the arm and triceps, the extensor arm.

In the human body, synergist muscles and antagonists work together to create balance, providing accuracy and variety of movements.

And now the main question: how is this balance achieved? Why is it that the hand moves exactly as far as we need?

The balance of power is controlled by the unconscious part of our brain. We only indicate the final goal, for example, to take a ballpoint pen from the table.

The brain performs thousands of operations and calculations to make this movement the most smooth and accurate. Please note that the hand goes specifically to the handle, not for it. And just a pen is enough, although there may be many other objects nearby. The brain limits the effort of each muscle so that the arm does not make unnecessary movements. In nature, there is a certain system of energy saving.

In the same way in the gym: if you work with a 1 kg dumbbell, it can fly off to the ceiling (you have enough strength for this). But this does not happen. Biceps force in time is inhibited by triceps.

Thus, antagonists and synergists are switched on alternately, compensating each other. This is their main function.

And here are examples of muscle antagonists: the biceps and triceps muscle of the shoulder, quadriceps and biceps of the thigh, tibia and calf muscles.

An example of training antagonists

In training the muscles of antagonists and synergists, the strategies will be slightly different.Synergists - muscles are more finicky, but with antagonists everything is easier.

While one muscle group is working, its antagonist rests and does not tire. Accordingly, you can train him at least immediately on the same day, if you have enough strength for this.

Antagonist muscle training can be carried out in the following versions:

  • On different days with classic sets.
  • One day with a classic set or super set.

Let's take a closer look at each option.

Training on different days

You can do shock training for biceps and triceps on different days. If you exercise almost every day, you can devote 1 day purely for triceps, 1 for biceps, 1 for the chest and 1 for the back.

If you practice for yourself, to pump up, gain weight, you will visit the gym a maximum of three times a week. Therefore, choose a program depending on how convenient it will be for you to put it into practice.


So, the biceps training program on the same day:

  1. Lifting the bar for biceps, performed in 3-4 approaches for 6-8 reps.
  2. Hammer in the same quantity.
  3. A barbell lift on Scott's bench.

Note that when training for mass, 6-8 repetitions are performed. For drying - up to 12-15.

The second version of the program for the flexors of the hands will look like this:

  1. Lifting the bar for biceps.
  2. Bending the arms with dumbbells on an incline bench.
  3. Concentrated biceps lift.

Each exercise should be performed in 3-4 approaches for 6-12 times, depending on the purpose of your training.


On the other day, training the triceps, do the following exercises:

  1. Bench press in 3 approaches of 6 reps;
  2. French bench press: 3-4 sets of 8 times;
  3. Seated dumbbell bench press: 2 sets of 10 reps;
  4. Extension of arms on the block: 2 light weight approach as you can.

There is also such an option:

  1. Narrow-grip bar press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps;
  2. Dips: 3 sets, 5 -10 repetitions in each;
  3. Extension of arms in the block: 3 sets of 15 times;
  4. Dumbbell bench press from behind: 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

One-day training

From the point of view of efficiency, it is better to single out each day for working out of biceps and triceps than to combine everything in one day. But, if a person is engaged three times a week, then he will distribute the load like this:

  1. Legs and shoulders, let's go the classic way.

  2. Biceps and chest.
  3. Triceps and back.

Please note that biceps are involved in the back training, and it is difficult to train the chest without triceps.

Muscle antagonists and synergists - programs for biceps and triceps

This scheme allows you to train each muscle group, except the legs, twice a week! It is very good for muscles. That is, on the second day, the biceps receive a good load, and the triceps are small (since he is a chest synergist).

And in the third, triceps works according to the full program, and biceps according to the additional principle. It turns out one hard and one light workout per week.

With this training mode, you can use the same program as for the previous case. And you can conduct training in the superset mode.

For example, alternate biceps approach with chest / triceps exercise.

This technique is used during drying. Breaks between sets are cut, and the exercises themselves are intensified.

You can use the principle of circular training, doing 4 exercises in 1 approach, 2 of which will be for biceps, and 2 for triceps.

Why are the antagonists on the same day, and the synergists on the different

Imagine the classic training program for biceps and back on the same day.

It all starts with the pull of the upper block or pull-ups.

Then comes pulling up with a narrow reverse grip, the pull of the lower block. It ends with the cultivation of dumbbells in an inclination to the back of the shoulder. Apart from the last exercise, all three of the first tires biceps. It becomes wooden. And the second part of the training will be given to him! It will be necessary to make the lifting of the barbell to the biceps and some other hammer in addition.

Practice has shown that muscles get tired, and the effectiveness of training is lost, since the athlete can not do the job with the necessary weights.

Muscle antagonists and synergists - programs for biceps and triceps

Of course, with such training, muscle endurance increases if the athlete shows a lot of perseverance.

Or we will analyze the work for triceps and chest. So you shook the bar in several ways, made a lot of dilutions. What French triceps press can you talk about after all this? Strength is gone, weights will be small, endurance is running out.

You won’t be able to do without pharmacology or power engineers.

This is the complexity of the simultaneous training of synergists. But biceps and triceps in one day, as already mentioned, to work out is quite convenient. It’s just that one group does the bulk of the work, while the other works half-heartedly.



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