Where is the first place that you think of when looking for a tattoo? It has to be the arms, right? If you are a man, then it is probably narrowed down even more to having a bicep tattoo. This is more than likely down to a combination of two reasons. One, they look cool. You know it, and I know it. When was the last time that you saw a film with someone who had tattoos, and they weren’t on their biceps? Not very often, I presume. If they weren’t on their biceps, then they were probably on their backs.
The second reason for this particular placement is much more conservative. You can cover it up with ease. When you have your first tattoo, it may no, will feel strange. Of course, the feeling of the actual tattoo will feel strange, but only until it is healed. After that, it is a psychological “weird” that you will feel. Certainly NOT in a wrong way. However, that feeling will make you want to cover it up sometimes. Having a tattoo at the top of your arm can give you both of these advantages: They look cool when you want to, and cover it when you need to.
Let’s have a look at some of the places that you can have a tattoo on your bicep. There are three main places that you would find them. On the outer area (facing away from your body), the inner region (facing towards your body) and on the back (facing behind you).
Reasons for Outer Bicep Tattoos
As I have stated above, the two main reasons for this placement is for looks and hide-ability. You can ensure that your design not only will look cool but if you wear your shortest sleeved T-shirt when going to the tattoo shop, you will be able to make sure that they are covered every single time you want them to be.
They are super easy to see when you want them to be, too. There is often nothing worse than telling your friends that you have had your first ever tattoo, then having to get into the most awkward positions to let them see it.
Bicep Tattoo Considerations
When considering your ink on any part of the body, you must think about the shape of that body part. The biceps are one of the more prominent muscles of the body. Being so pronounced can easily make them one of the more shaped muscles too. This will be especially true if you do any weight training. The shape and size of the muscle are big determining factors into what will look good. One of the last things that you want to get inked here is something that will not adjust well with movement.
One method of checking if an image would be suitable for this area and all other areas of movement are to print the idea. Once you have the design, you can then manipulate the paper to the shape of your desired body part. You can also mimic the movement of it too. Moving the image in this way can give you an almost instant decision on if it will look good in the area.
Outer Bicep Tattoo Ideas for Men
Having the information pointed out above, it is now time to have a look through some images. Outer bicep tattoo ideas for men is a vast subject. There are an infinite amount of ideas that you can take. Sometimes, this extensive choice can be quite overwhelming. Instead of being overwhelmed, you should start by picking a theme. A theme will allow you to add to the first tattoo with easy, should you want to. I have found that the majority of people will “want any tattoo.” This mentality can often lead to unforeseen issues when it comes to adding to your tattoos.
Character Tattoos for Mens’ Biceps
Characters may be one of the first things that you think about when you are a man deciding your bicep tattoo. I will admit they look cool. But only if they are well designed. It is too easy for you to think; “bigger is better!” While size is an essential consideration, bigger is not always better with characters in this area. One idea that you could do is to take a photo of your bicep. Then look at the shape of it. You are likely to have either two distinct areas (the top and bottom of the bicep) or just one. The different areas are mainly due to body composition, and this can have a dramatic effect on which characters will look best.
It may not be quite what you want to hear, but I still believe it to be true: A more muscular arm will look better with one or two smaller characters, one on each section, while a less toned arm can get away with one, more substantial, image. If you have a toned arm and still want to have a single, broad character, then I urge you to take extra care in shape and positioning choices.
Animal Bicep Tattoos
Animal tattoos are certainly one of the top choices for a bicep tattoo. Being an image of a living thing, it makes the movement much more natural too. You can choose from a vast variety of animals for tattoos. Here is a list of some of the most common:
All of the above animals are excellent choices for a bicep tattoo if you are looking for an animal. Do not feel like you have to opt for a full figure of the animal though. Some of the animals may look better as tattoos just with part of it. The majority of animal tattoos that are on biceps concentrate on the heads. Depending on the theme that you choose, each of the tattoos that you have will have different meanings, so I suggest you take a look through our Tattoo Meanings Archive to see if you can find some definitions of your ideas.
Scenery Tattoos for the Bicep
So, you have found the character or animal that you want, and you know the theme you have chosen. But are you thinking that a black horse may seem a little alone on your bicep? Why not try to enhance the look by adding in some of the scenery to match? Adding a little bit of surrounding can help to improve the look of a single tattoo. The only consideration that you must take into account with this is that if you decide to get a bear face in the woods, once you have completed the design, you will not be able to add to it.
Take the wolves, for instance. It is usually a symbol of loyalty. If your reasoning for having a wolf tattoo was to symbolize your commitment to family, you need to think about if your family grows. Will you want a wolf face for each of the members of your family? If you will, then you are probably better to hold off on the scenery until you have completed your family and know that you have as many images as you want.
Tribal Bicep Tattoos
If you want to have a tattoo on your bicep, but characters and animals do not appeal to you, then a tribal bicep tattoo could be the style you desire. There are four main styles of tribal tattoo that may be of interest. In this section, we will take a look at some of the most popular tribal tattoos that people have on their biceps.
Mayan and Aztec
Some of the most exciting and possibly detailed tribal tattoos come from the Mayan and Aztec traditions. They are centered primarily around circles and deities. They are certainly one of the more striking designs that do not always revolve around “images” as such. There are some fantastic styles of Mayan and Aztec tattoos. They can be designed perfectly to fit on the bicep or any other part of the body.
The two main styles of Aztec tribal tattoos are either block and patterned with repeating shapes such as triangles and swirls, or highly detailed and intricate. The circles can accentuate the contours of the arm very well, while all of the other intricacies are quite easy to plan into the different shapes of your arm to stop them looking odd when you move.
Celtic Tribal Tattoos
Another favorite of the tribal range of tattoos is Celtic. This style is usually based around knots and crossed. However, another significant visual aspect of this style is the use of inverted patterns. An inverted design is where the outside of the lines are colored and inside is either wholly blank or shaded to give depth.
Being very detailed by default, Celtic designs are also effortless to use in areas that move and flex. The moveability of them makes them an ideal candidate for the bicep.
Your first thought may be facial tribal tattoos. And you would be right. Initially, this was a design that started as a tradition of the New Zealand tribe, the Maori. The Maori tattoo is originally called Ta Moko. Ta Moko is a traditional way of permanently marking the body or face by using uhi, or chisels to carve out the skin instead of needles to puncture it. The process is not what we are going to be concentrating on in this article, though.
The Maori design is an expression of commitment and respect as each inked and un-inked line has a separate meaning. I would suggest that you look into the historical purposes of these lines before getting a Maori tattoo, as it will make your style much more unique to you.
As with all of the more detailed and lined designed in this article, they are very well suited to almost any area of the body, as the movement and contours of the body will be utilized very easily.
Modern Tribal Tattoos
Usually worn by the more athletic people, these are custom designs that are typically individualized depending on the body shape of the customer. Constructed with thick black lines with crisp edges, modern tribal tattoos are designed to emphasize the body’s muscles and contours. You can incorporate almost anything into this style. Do you want an intricate and detailed pattern? Do you want to hide a turtle into the tattoo? You can certainly have that with this style.
There is absolutely no way that I could make a comprehensive list in this section. Symbolic tattoos can be anything at all. Providing that they have some meaning towards the wearer. Whether it is spiritual, religious, superstitious, historical, or any other type of symbols, the bicep is a great place to have the tattoo. Before you choose an image for this area, ensure that you take the advice from the beginning of this article. Remember that not all symbols and sizes will fit into this area. They certainly will not all accept the movement of the muscles as well as some of the other designs that we have spoken about.
Inner Bicep Tattoo Designs
Do you feel like you want to show your masculinity a bit more than your outer bicep tattoo shows? Do you want to do it while maintaining the stealth-like attributes of the other bicep tattoo ideas that we have already spoken about? If you have answered yes to these then there is really only one choice. When you are looking for a bit of “flex-ability” from a tattoo, this is the section for you. Take a look at our inner bicep tattoo ideas.
For the majority of people, the inner part of your bicep can offer nearly as much space as the outer. One of the other benefits of this placement is that it is less contoured. You can use the space for images much better than you can with the outer.
A couple of things that you may need to consider are that you will want it to fit in with a theme just as much as anywhere else. Are you likely to be adding to this tattoo in the future? Or are you wanting this as an addition to an existing tattoo? The other thing is the orientation of the image or quote you decide. If you were to have an image on the outside of your arm, you are probably likely to have it upright while your arm is down by your side. Although, when you are thinking of having one on the inside of your arm, especially at the top of your arm, does this orientation still suit? If it does then great, but it is definitely something that you will need to consider.
Bicep Tattoos for Women
There is, and absolutely should not be any discrimination between what men and women can have as tattoos. The only difference is going to be personal taste. However, in this article, I am going to explore some of the more “feminine” styles that are used. That is not to say that these are for women only. That said, a lot of women will opt for simple designs. They often do not have the same wish for masculinity, or to show off their biceps. (Although, some do).
Here is a list of some of the ideas that are popular with women:
- Geometric Shapes
Of course, this is by no means an extensive list. You can even combine two or more of the ideas to create a unique tattoo. Some of the nicest combinations are mandala animals, flower dreamcatchers, and feathers with gems. As with modern tribal tattoos that I have mentioned above, you can create almost any image that you like with mandala. You can do the same with geometric shapes too. If you really want to mix it up, you could have a geometric animal with a mandala surrounding.
Personally, I feel like feminine tattoos have a massive advantage over the masculine. They can be made to look extremely delicate, or amazingly robust, all while still having the feminine touch.
Females having tattoos have become more and more popular over the past few years and personally, I love it. I think that they give an air of independence to any woman that wears them.
Bicep Tattoo Pain
So, you have found the design that you want, the placement that will optimize the look. But you are concerned about the pain of your bicep tattoo. I will not sugar coat it, I do not want the comments of being called a liar. It is needles going into your skin. Of course, it hurts. But there are places on the body that hurt more than others. Luckily for you, the bicep is one of the least painful places that you can get a tattoo.
Pain tolerance is different for everyone. I have personally seen people fall to sleep while getting a tattoo on their ribs, but when I had mine, it was possibly one of the more painful places. So just bear that in mind as I go through a list of what places are considered to be the most painful.
As you can see from the list above, the majority of places that are considered to be the most painful are the areas that have very little flesh between the bone and skin. That should give you some relief when you are thinking about the pain that you are planning on putting yourself through. You do need to consider one more thing though. The duration of your sessions. Most tattooists will be able to advise you on the best amount of time for a single session, as they have seen so many people have their first tattoos. But you are the only person who knows your pain threshold. If the pain is still a concern, then I would suggest just booking in for a little amount of time to see how you get on.
Best Bicep Tattoos Conclusion
If I could sum up the whole of this article in one sentence, it would be this: Choose a theme, pick a design, but do them carefully. Tattoos are easily regretted. There are a few bad apples in the world of tattoo artists, and these people will not tell you if the placement is good or the idea is bad. I am lucky that I have found an artist that will tell me point blank, NO.
There should never be a rush to get a tattoo. You should always pick with care and consideration no matter where you have a tattoo. But in a place that can be as obvious as the bicep tattoos, I believe that this is an extra prominent point. Another point to remember when choosing a tattoo for this area is that there are two directions in which you can extend it. You can extend a bicep tattoo down onto your forearm, or you can extend it up to the shoulder. If you choose to extend it upwards, then it opens up into a possibility for chest and back pieces.
If you have any other ideas that have been missed off this list, or you feel like you have got an extraordinary bicep tattoo, use the contact page to let us know. We may even add your tattoo to the list!