Whether you're experiencing tightness in the upper arm or just want some added flexibility in the area, employing a few biceps stretches may help you reach your toning and strengthening goals. The biceps muscle, located in the front of the upper arm, helps stabilize the humerus bone at the shoulder socket. Properly stretching your biceps can help with muscle tightness and improve range of motion, which, in turn, could reduce the risk of injury.
Biceps Stretching Safety Tips
To get the most from your stretches while reducing the risk of injury, do some light aerobic activity, such as walking or biking at low intensity, for five to 10 minutes before stretching. The aerobic warmup increases blood flow to your muscles, which aids in the flexibility gains you get from stretching and contributes to injury prevention. Be safe and listen to your body. Stretch only until you feel a gentle pulling sensation in the muscle, never stretch to the point of pain, and never bounce your stretches, which can injure the muscle.
Standing Biceps Stretch
The standing biceps stretch is a simple stretch you can perform anywhere. Begin by standing with your hands clasped behind your back. Turn your clasped palms downward, then lift your hands up until you feel tension in your biceps. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch then repeat two more times. The standing biceps stretch also stretches your deltoids and pectoralis muscles.
Biceps Wall Stretch
The biceps wall stretch uses a wall to lengthen your biceps muscles. Begin by placing your palm, inner elbow and shoulder of one arm against the wall. While maintaining contact between the wall and your arm, slowly turn your body away from the wall until you feel a pull in your biceps and chest. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax, then repeat two more times. To stretch different areas of your biceps, adjust your hand's position, moving it higher or lower on the wall and repeat the steps of the stretch.
Wrist-Rotation Biceps Stretch
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and raise your arms out to the sides, palms facing forward. Slowly rotate your wrists backward, as if trying to point your thumbs toward the ground. Stop when you feel a gentle tension in your biceps. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, taking care to keep your back straight throughout. Relax, then repeat two more times. You can perform this stretch in reverse as well: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms out to the sides, palms facing forward. Slowly rotate your wrists forward to face your palms behind you until you feel a gentle pull in your biceps. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Relax, then repeat two more times.
Doorway Biceps Stretch
Stand in a doorway. Place the palm and wrist of the arm you intend to stretch on the doorway at waist height and grasp gently. Take one large step forward with the leg on the same side of your body as the arm you're stretching. Now bend your knee and shift your body weight forward until you feel a stretch in your biceps muscle and shoulder. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch, then repeat two more times. Make sure you step far enough forward to achieve a good stretch and that you keep your shoulder and arm completely relaxed during the stretch.
Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Place your palms on the floor behind you. Your fingers should be pointed away from your body. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet, seat and arms. Without moving your hands, slowly slide your bottom forward toward your feet until you feel a nice stretch in your biceps. Don't arch or round your back and maintain a neutral neck and spine throughout. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds then return to starting position. Repeat two more times.