Nothing says strong and athletic like cool tattoos and muscles do. Put those ripped abs and bulky muscles in the spotlight with these cool tattoos.
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In this article:
- Coolest Tattoo Ideas for Bodybuilders
- Should a Bodybuilder Get a Tattoo?
- Famous Tattooed Bodybuilders and Athletes
- Do Tattoos Affect Strength and Power?
- Choosing the Best Place for Cool Tattoos
Tattoos and Muscles | Cool Pieces That Spotlight the Bulk and Muscles
Coolest Tattoo Ideas for Bodybuilders
The hardest part about getting a tattoo isn’t dealing with the pain or the tattoo aftercare, it’s deciding on what tattoo idea to draw inspiration from. With all the different types of tattoos available, coming up with a design isn’t as easy as it sounds.
For men and women looking for inspiration for cool tattoos, here are a few ideas to get your imagination sparking:
1. Arm Sleeves
One of the cool tattoos for men is sleeve tattoos like the arm muscle tattoo sleeve. It looks awesome either as a single or a double arm piece.
The design can be half, three-quarter, or a full sleeve. For those with well-developed forearms, then these muscle-enhancing tattoos are even better!
Tattoo sleeves are great for women, too. The right design can highlight the results of all of the hard work put in at the gym.
They can highlight the deltoids and its shape and definition.
2. Chest Pieces
Chest tattoos for men can help draw attention to a developed chest. In many cases, they can make the chest appear larger than it really is.
Some people also like to link the chest with the trapezius muscles by linking shoulder tattoos up to the neck. It’s really up to your style and preference!
3. Ab Tats
Nothing says cool tattoos like the ones on the abs. Having mid-ab or oblique tattoos is a perfect excuse to showcase the ripped pack earned through consistency and determination.
For those who like to show off their abs, it’s a good idea to pick a beautiful design or symbol with a meaning behind it.
4. Calf Tattoo
Don’t be afraid to show off the hard work put into those calves! Complement them with the coolest tattoos.
This prime area of canvas won’t ruin the quality of the ink because the skin around it doesn’t stretch with age. The tattoo artist will have an easier time working on the tat.
The top muscle of the calves has two heads, which gives the illusion of a diamond. This spot is the perfect place to have that skull or lion tattoo.
The bulky appearance of the calves also makes them a great spot for 3D tattoos. Imagine a great ship or a coiled viper on this body part.
5. Calligraphy Collarbone Tats
All the bench presses and weights make the collarbone a wide canvas for different kinds of ink. Machismo collarbone tats will help define and show off the chest muscles as well.
Calligraphy collarbone tattoos can give someone maximum sex appeal. Luxurious logos that curve around the neck’s base also increases the body’s godly stature.
6. Back Tats
The wider the back is, the larger the choices for cool tattoos. Almost any design is perfect for the back because there are no curves to distort the design.
It gets difficult to choose an intricate design. Even something as simple as a set of wings, though, can make it look wider.
The only thing to consider about back tats is how big the design should be. Most people go bold with back tats.
Dragon tattoos are pretty common back tats, while some prefer tattoos of mythical creatures. It’s really the theme you choose at the end of the day.
7. Tribal Arm Tattoo
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For those who don’t want something as big as a sleeve but want to show off the gains, they can try getting a tribal arm tattoo. They can choose the tattoos that accentuate muscles.
If tats are a no-no in the workplace, these cool tattoos are the easiest to hide. You can have one near the shoulders or around the forearm if the work sleeves are long enough.
When it’s time to hit the gym or the beach, you can show off your mass and ink!
8. Thigh Tattoos
Let’s face it, some men can work out for days but can’t deal with needle pain.
If those who want to have some cool tattoos but dislike the discomfort, they can consider ink on the thighs. More flesh can make the procedure more tolerable.
Like the tribal arm tattoo, those on the upper thighs are quick to cover.
There are also different placement options. These include the front, back, and side. The design can be as small as a flower or as huge as a skull.
9. Ink for the Glutes
Does anyone want a tattoo but can’t flaunt it yet? Get some cool tattoos on the butt!
For the tease, have it closer to the hips. Either way, it’s a secret a future (or present) partner will like to explore.
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Should a Bodybuilder Get a Tattoo?
Some bodybuilders may like cool tattoos but will never get them. They believe it isn’t a good choice for those who compete.
Specific designs, no matter how tiny, may take away some of the definition they worked so hard to achieve.
If bodybuilder tattoo designs don’t bother the person, there are awesome options that look great on any shredded physique. Most bodybuilders choose to ink that bring attention to their most ripped body parts.
Another factor to consider is the healing time, which can be as long as three weeks. Although you may still hit the gym, you may not be able to swim.
You also cannot take long hot baths or dip yourself in a tub. Sometimes scabbing happens, which can be excessive and may entail a visit to the dermatologist or the tattoo artist.
Famous Tattooed Bodybuilders and Athletes
Some of the most famous tattoed bodybuilders and athletes to draw inspiration from are:
1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
When someone mentions tattoos and muscles, perhaps the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is The Rock. Dwayne Johnson is a famous WWE wrestler and celebrity known for his roles in many popular comedy and action films.
His Samoan style tattoo is so popular that a lot of bodybuilders around the world try to copy it. In fact, every gym has at least one guy wearing a tank top and showing off a similar tattoo piece.
2. Mike Tyson
Who could forget about the iconic tribal tattoo on one of the most world-renowned boxers in the world: Mike Tyson. It’s a well-known design that has been featured in plenty of pop culture films like The Hangover.
According to Mike Tyson, the tattoo represents some sort of warrior status. Apparently, these are the same designs that Maori tribes wore when going off to battle.
So before one decides to copy this specific tattoo, they’d better think long and hard if they’ve actually earned a warrior status. Otherwise, they might just attract some unwanted attention and get into some drunken bar fights.
3. David Beckham
David Beckham wears multiple tattoos in his arms forming a full sleeve and half sleeve on his left and right arms respectively. According to the football superstar, his tattoos are inspired by real-life events of happiness, sadness, and love.
4. Chris “Birdman” Andersen
Miami Heat’s forward-center is probably among the most tattooed NBA players. He has around a dozen pieces and they’re a combination of colored and non-colored nicely drawn designs.
Note: Don’t get the NBA superstar Birdman confused with the American rapper Bryan Christopher “Birdman” Williams, although both of them do have around a dozen tattoos on their bodies.
5. Tim Howard
Athletes who want to achieve a scary combination of tattoos and muscles should definitely draw inspiration from Tim Howard. He’s the captain and goalkeeper of the Colorado Rapids, a Major League Soccer club.
What sets Tim Howard apart from the rest is how intimidating he looks. His beard, clean-shaven head, serious facial expressions, and well-defined muscles all make him into a very scary-looking man.
Do Tattoos Affect Strength and Power?
Some athletes might wonder if tattoos have a direct effect on muscle growth and strength. Generally, no, tattoos do not hamper one’s ability to grow large, strong muscles.
As discussed, some tattoos and piercings ruin the symmetry and definition of one’s muscular body. For example, if a tattoed bodybuilder has a sleeve, their arm might look bigger, but the definition and vascularity won’t be visible since it’s covered in ink.
Now, for powerlifters and weightlifters, tattoos do not affect their sporting performance in any way. The only time tattoos affect a person’s muscle movement is when it’s still fresh and new.
In this case, even light, regular movements might feel painful.
Choosing the Best Place for Cool Tattoos
It’s another matter to choose what kind of cool tattoos will go great with the muscle tone. Of course, many designs will look amazing on other parts of the body.
Since inks are permanent, though, one should think about the long-term effects.
For example, does the person plan to bulk up after having the tattoo? Bigger muscles may lead to stretch marks and distort the image later, although it may take a significant amount of muscle mass gain to alter the appearance of the tattoo.
To play it safe, it might be best to get tats after achieving one’s bodybuilding goals.
A person also needs to think about their pain tolerance. Fatty deposits or flesh can make the procedure less painful.
Tattoos on the ribs, back, shoulders, and the legs may be more challenging to manage and might hurt more. They are also the likeliest to come into contact with clothing since constant rubbing can irritate the skin.
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Cool tattoos and muscles on ripped bodies go together like peanut butter and jelly. An amazing tattoo can celebrate those long, painful hours at the gym.
Tattooed arms, chest, and abs can turn a good physique into one that is better-looking. Indeed, these designs are no longer decorative; they can showcase a person’s commitment to getting healthy and fit.
Do you think tattoos and muscles go well together? Share them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 1, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.