Why Are My Biceps Soft When I Flex? (5 Things You Should Know) (2023)

Last updated on October 27th, 2022 at 12:12 pm

Do you want to know, “Why Are My Biceps Soft When I Flex?”

Let’s face facts, we all love to train biceps.

There’s nothing more satisfying than a huge set of guns.

It screams muscular, athletic, and “I definitely work out”.

With that being said, you may have noticed that your biceps are soft when you flex them.

And this may be the case regardless of how big and well-developed they are.

Allow me to explain what’s going on here.

Table of Contents

The main reason your biceps are soft when you flex them is because they’re carrying a layer of fat. It’s impossible to spot reduce fat from the body or to control where fat may form. You should ensure that you properly contract the muscles when training biceps. Additionally, don’t go too heavy when working biceps, but concentrate more on maintaining tension. You may also find that your biceps are soft if you’re taking creatine, as this draws water into the muscles.

1. Your Biceps Have a Layer of Fat

Why Are My Biceps Soft When I Flex? (5 Things You Should Know) (1)

Unfortunately, there’s no way around it, pure and simple, your biceps are carrying a layer of fat.

You could even have a set of rock-solid triceps, and yet your biceps are as squishy as hell.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose what areas of our body hold onto fat.

And everyone is different.

So, what works for one person in terms of fat loss may not work for another.

Plus, it’s impossible to spot reduce fat from the body.

(Video) why are my biceps soft when I flex

Basically, we are all individuals, so our body will decide where fat will settle and where we will lose it first.

The first place to look is of course your diet.

I know we all expect to typically see our stomach hold onto fat if we’re not eating right, but as I’ve said, we don’t really have much control over where fat decides to settle.

Additionally, if you’re going through a bulking phase then you can expect the body to store some of the additional calories as fat.

And this will typically mean that your muscles will feel softer.

However, this will only be a temporary thing until your bulking phase is over.

Taking diet and bulking out of the equation, the way you train your biceps could have an impact.

So, I want to cover these in more detail now.

2. You’re Not Properly Contracting When Your Train Biceps

One of the main mistakes I see when it comes to training the biceps is people not contracting the muscles.

With every exercise you perform, irrespective of body part, you should look to contract the target muscle.

Basically, this lets you know that you’re really working the muscles.

I will also say that when it comes to bicep training the most important aspect is to ensure that your elbows stay fixed in the same position throughout.

Let’s take barbell bicep curls as an example.

For me, the exercise ends once the barbell is in line with your nipples.

However, most people will continue the trajectory of the bar until it’s at around throat height.

Firstly, take a look at where your elbows are.

They are definitely no longer in the same position as when you started the curl and have moved forward.

Secondly, once you travel past the nipple line you are no longer working the biceps, but have now brought the shoulders into play.

So, keep your elbows tucked into your sides and ensure they never move, not even an inch.

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Curl the bar up to your nipple line and then squeeze the biceps as hard as you can.

You can even hold the squeeze for a count of three.

Then slowly lower the bar under full control to the starting position.

That is how you perform a barbell bicep curl.

You may find that you can’t get as many reps, and that’s fine.

This is all about performing the movement correctly and getting the best out of the exercise.

3 Tips For Better Bicep Contractions

3. You’re Lifting Too Heavy

Something else to consider is how much load you’re using when you train biceps.

The biceps are an extremely small muscle and therefore to work them correctly you don’t really need a huge amount of weight.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that if you’re working your biceps with more weight than they can handle, you’re not actually working the biceps at all.

It’s likely that you’re using body momentum to get the weight up and you’re probably using your forearms more than your biceps.

RELATED====>Why Do I Feel Bicep Curls in My Forearms?

Plus, I can guarantee that your elbows aren’t in a fixed position either.

Look, I’m all for progressive overload and lifting heavier weights.

However, this should never be done at the expense of proper form.

Plus, I also feel that the biceps respond better to higher reps and higher volume.

So, it’s probably time to leave your ego at the gym door and reduce the weight for your bicep training.

Trust me, this could make a huge difference to strength, size, and the hardness of your biceps.

4. Tension is Important When Training Biceps

Tension plays a huge role in how well-developed your biceps are, as well whether they’re hard or not.

I’ve mentioned contracting the biceps hard at the top of the movement, but the stretch at the bottom is just as important.

(Video) why are my biceps soft after workout

This is often referred to as resting tension.

Basically, you want to keep the biceps tight throughout the entire movement.

However, this is typically done in the wrong way.

Going back to the example of barbell bicep curls, the muscles aren’t usually stretched enough at the bottom.

In fact, most of us maintain a slight bend in the elbow, although this is more down to the fact that our quads get in the way.

This is also why I much prefer to train biceps with dumbbells and cables.

RELATED===>Are Cables Better Than Dumbbells For Biceps?

This allows me to create a full stretch at the bottom of the movement, which will work the long head of the bicep.

I would also say that time-under-tension has a part in bicep growth and hardness.

I like to work a muscle for around 40 seconds for optimum hypertrophy performance.

However, this means that I can’t completely relax at the bottom of the movement.

So, even though my biceps are being stretched, and therefore “relaxed”, I still maintain tension in my arms throughout.

The best way to achieve this is to contract the triceps at the bottom of the movement.

One of my favourite bicep exercises that allows you to adhere to all of these factors is the seated incline dumbbell bicep curl.

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5. Are You Taking Creatine?

I’ve already spoken about the importance of your diet.

Definitely the number one reason for soft biceps when flexed is fat.

Obviously, this can also occur when you’re bulking.

However, another consideration is whether you’re taking creatine.

If you are then this could provide an explanation for your “soft biceps”.

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Creatine draws water into the cells of the muscles.

This is actually why many people feel sick when they first start taking creatine, simply because they’re not taking on enough water to compensate.

RELATED====>Why Does Creatine Make Me Feel Sick?

With that being said, due to the excess of water being drawn to the muscles, they will typically feel softer.

This may also mean that you find many of your other muscles feel softer to the touch too.

However, once you stop taking creatine you should notice that the muscles feel noticeably harder (obviously, as long as you’ve training them effectively).

Final Thoughts

So, you should now have a better understanding of why your biceps are soft when you flex.

In the main, this is down to the biceps having a layer of fat.

With that being said, you can also ensure that you train the biceps more effectively.

Don’t go too heavy, always contract the bicep at the top and aim for full stretch at the bottom.

You should also try to maintain tension on your biceps throughout any exercise.

Finally, your diet, whether you’re bulking, or if you’re consuming creatine can all have an impact on bicep softness.

The Bicep Workout Program That Can Add Up to 2 Inches to Your Arms in Just 8 Weeks

Why Are My Biceps Soft When I Flex? (5 Things You Should Know) (2)


Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.

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Why are my biceps soft? ›

This is nothing but fat layer on muscles, which is soft. When you exercise muscles are activated and they get harder and bigger. On rest they go back to normal size.

Should biceps be soft or hard? ›

Myth #1: A Muscle Should Be Hard.

Muscles should always be soft, uniform and consistent. The only time a muscle should be hard is when it is in a contracted state (i.e. when it is actively flexed). If you feel the muscle fibers of a highly developed body builder, you'll notice that the muscle will actually feel soft.

Why is my bicep not hard when I flex? ›

If you physically cannot contract your bicep you may have ruptured the tendon. You should see your physician immediately as tendon scarring can greatly impact surgery repair and healing. If it is ruptured, you need to have an immediate surgical repair.

Why is my biceps not hard? ›

Take care of your body: If you aren't sleeping enough, not giving yourself the proper nutrition, or damaging your body with alcohol and stress, there's no chance of growing those impressive bicep muscles. Lifting weights alone is not enough; a better overall health level will always lead to improved gains.

How do I get rock solid biceps? ›

4 Moves That Will Give You Rock-Solid Biceps And Triceps
  1. 1) Close Grip Chin Ups.
  2. 2) Roman Ring Dips.
  3. 3) Close Grip Ring Push-Ups.
  4. 4) One Arm Partial Hammer Curls.
Feb 2, 2016

Why my muscles are so soft? ›

Muscle weakness is commonly due to lack of exercise, ageing, muscle injury or pregnancy. It can also occur with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. There are many other possible causes, which include stroke, multiple sclerosis, depression, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME).

Are muscles squishy when relaxed? ›

At rest, a muscle should feel squishy, soft and relaxed – similar to raw steak. This is what your back and shoulders should feel like when you are sitting or standing. When exercising, a muscle will begin to work, so it will build some tone.

How long does it take to get rock hard biceps? ›

Typically, it takes around 6-8 weeks for you to start noticing changes in the appearance of your arms. At around the 12 week mark, this is typically when you can expect to see more significant changes, especially if you didn't already have a large amount of muscle mass in the area!

Which muscle grows the fastest? ›

What muscles develop the fastest? Phasic muscles like the pectorals, rhomboid muscles, glutes, and the trapezius muscles.

Do bigger biceps mean stronger? ›

Yes, a bigger muscle will be a stronger muscle, to an extent. But strength is largely neuromuscular; it's about your brain being able to connect to your muscles.

How do I get insane arm strength? ›

Arm Strengthening Exercises
  1. Strict (Military) Push-Up. What it does: Primarily targets the chest and triceps and also strengthens the shoulders, biceps, and core muscles. ...
  2. Dumbbell Curl. ...
  3. Triceps Extension. ...
  4. Bench (Triceps) Dips. ...
  5. Dumbbell Shoulder Fly (Lateral Raise) ...
  6. Dumbbell Shoulder Fly (Posterior Raise)
Sep 24, 2019

What should I eat to grow biceps? ›

Boost your protein intake.

Some high-protein foods you may want to include in your diet include eggs, salmon, chicken breast, tuna, lean beef, turkey breast, Greek yogurt, beans, and chickpeas. The recommended daily protein intake for building muscle is between 1.4 and 1.8 grams per pound of body weight.

Why my muscles are not getting hard? ›

You've been using the same workout too long

Once your body adapts to your workout routine, it will not see the need to build more muscle or get stronger. You have to change. As a general rule you should change your workout when you stop getting stronger or heavier, or after about 8-10 weeks.

How do I make my soft muscles harder? ›

The lower amounts of fat you have or the lower your body-fat percentage is, the more defined and hard your muscles will look and feel. Include at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio each week. This could include: jogging/running, rowing, dancing, using the elliptical, or doing an aerobics class.

What are the soft muscles? ›

Smooth muscle is found throughout the body where it serves a variety of functions. It is in the stomach and intestines where it helps with digestion and nutrient collection. It is found throughout the urinary system where it functions to help rid the body of toxins and works in electrolyte balance.

Why does my muscle feel soft when I flex? ›

Why do my muscles feel soft even if I flex them really hard? They are more watery and less dense. You must be a “water” type. You can make them harder with light weights and high repetitions!

Do muscles get softer with age? ›

As we grow older, our skeletal muscles tend to wither and weaken, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia, which begins to appear at around age 40 and accelerates after 75, is a major cause of disability in the elderly.

Is a harder muscle stronger? ›

Yes, smaller, more dense skeletal muscles can be stronger than bigger muscles. The best course of action is to train for both strength and hypertrophy.

Do biceps make you punch harder? ›

The answer is, yes. A lot of fighters who strength train tend to steer clear of training the arms because they believe these muscles are “show muscles”. There is some truth to that. But when you train your biceps and triceps with purpose, intention, and intelligence, that training can help increase punching power.

How biceps grow fast? ›

Best Exercises for Building Your Biceps Fast
  1. Barbell Curls: The barbell allows you to overload the muscle more than a dumbbell. ...
  2. Preacher Curls: Help target the brachialis muscle in the lower part of the biceps.
  3. Concentration Curls: Provide support for the upper arm to prevent swinging and use of other muscles.
Jun 26, 2020

What is the hardest bicep workout? ›

The 4 Moves That'll Give You Huge Biceps
  1. Single-arm incline bench preacher curl. 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps; rest 15-20 seconds between sets. ...
  2. Standing resistance band curls. 3-4 sets of 25-30 reps; rest 15-20 seconds between sets. ...
  3. Incline dumbbell curls. 4 sets of 10 reps; rest 15-20 seconds between sets. ...
  4. Standing hammer curls.
Mar 21, 2018

Why is my muscle big but soft? ›


As a result, you can often see big muscular man who can't lift greater loads. ​Although this type of training makes your muscles look big, they also look soft, especially when you have higher levels of body fat.

Why do I feel my muscles soft? ›

Muscle weakness is commonly due to lack of exercise, ageing, muscle injury or pregnancy. It can also occur with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. There are many other possible causes, which include stroke, multiple sclerosis, depression, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME).

How do you get rid of soft arms? ›

Exercise. In addition to exercising to burn calories, resistance exercises can tighten up the muscles under the fat and skin in your arms. Body-weight exercises that work the tricep area are particularly effective for this: pushups, dips, reverse dips, etc.

Should muscles feel squishy? ›

At rest, a muscle should feel squishy, soft and relaxed – similar to raw steak. This is what your back and shoulders should feel like when you are sitting or standing. When exercising, a muscle will begin to work, so it will build some tone.

What do weak muscles feel like? ›

Symptoms of muscle weakness include difficulty rising from a chair, brushing your hair, lifting an object off a high shelf, or dropping things. It might cause drooping of an eyelid or difficulty smiling, depending on which muscles are weak.

Why are my arms jiggly? ›

Flabby arms are due to a combination of factors associated with aging and genetics, including an increase in overall body fat mass (a greater portion of which localizes to the arms in some women due to genetics), loss of muscle mass in the arms associated with aging and reduced activity (causing the skin to hang more ...

How can I improve my arm texture? ›

“To address bumpy skin we need to hydrate and gently exfoliate,” says Dr Ifeoma, who adds that ingredients such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid and ceramides, while gentle acids such as salicylic acid, urea and lipohydroxy acid (LHA) to exfoliate, are winners.


1. 5 Reasons Your Arms Are NOT Growing
2. Muscle Soreness Explained (IS IT GOOD?)
3. Bicep “Non-Responder” Solution (BICEPS WON’T GROW!)
4. Do You Have "Good" or "Bad" Muscle-Building Genetics? (5 SIGNS)
5. Why YOUR Muscles Aren't Growing (And How to FIX IT)
(Jeremy Ethier)
6. Don't Do Biceps Curls Like This ❌
(Sean Nalewanyj Shorts)
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