How to Stretch Tricep Muscles

Your triceps muscles are on the back of your upper arms. They contract when you straighten your arm and lock your elbows. The triceps fire up when you perform pushing or pressing movements, including pushups and the bench press. They also play a key role in throwing sports. Your triceps can tighten and shorten as a result of exercise or daily activities. Keep them loose, flexible and injury-free with a basic stretching program that requires minimal space and no special equipment.

Tricep Stretch Credit: DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

Overhead

Step 1

Sit on a chair or stand in a relaxed position with your back straight.

Step 2

Raise your left arm straight overhead, then bend it so your left hand is on the middle of your upper back. Your biceps and forearm should be touching.

Step 3

Reach over with your right hand and grasp your left elbow on the top, so your right palm faces down.

Step 4

Pull your left elbow gently toward your right side until you feel a stretch in your left triceps. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Cross Body

Step 1

Sit comfortably in a chair or stand with your back straight.

Step 2

Reach your left arm across your body, just under your chin at about shoulder level.

Step 3

Place your right hand on the outside of your left elbow and pull your left arm gently toward your right shoulder.

Step 4

Stop when you feel a stretch in your left triceps and hold it for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat the stretch with your right arm.

Tips

Precede stretches with a suitable warm-up. Do five to seven minutes of light cardio activity -- such as brisk walking while pumping your arms -- to raise your core body temperature and increase circulation to limbs. Continue with a dynamic arm stretch, such as light arm circles to the front and back.

If your triceps and back muscles are particularly tight, use a hand towel to assist with the overhead stretch. Grasp one end of the towel in your upper hand and let the towel dangle along your back. Reach behind you with your other hand and take hold of the lower end of the towel. Gently pull downward with your bottom hand to increase the stretch.

Warning

Keep the shoulders relaxed during both variations. Press the shoulders down during the overhead stretch and avoid moving the arm beyond its normal range of motion in the cross-body stretch.

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