Each time you extend or bend your elbows, you engage your triceps and biceps. Not regularly stretching these muscles can result in tightness at the front and back of your upper arms, which can impair your range of motion and flexibility. If you enjoy activities such as strength training and a game of golf, tight biceps and triceps can affect your physical performance and increase your risk of injuries. To avoid this, learn how to safely stretch these muscles.
Standing Biceps Stretch
To do a standing stretch for your biceps, stand upright with your knees slightly bent and your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms behind your body and intertwine your fingers so your palms are flat against each other. Slightly push your chest forward, straighten your elbows, separate your palms and rotate your hands toward your body so your palms face the floor and your elbows point up. Lift your arms up behind your body until you feel a stretch in your biceps. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing the tension. Do this stretch three times.
Seated Biceps Stretch
Much like other biceps stretches, the seated biceps stretch can be done almost anywhere. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs bent at your knees and your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands flat on the floor behind you with your elbows straight and your fingers pointing away from your body. Walk your hands out behind you until you feel a stretch in your biceps. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat this stretch three times.
Overhead Triceps Stretch
To stretch your triceps, raise your right arm straight up, bend it at your elbow and allow your hand to rest behind your neck. Your right elbow should point straight up. Reach with your left hand over your head and place it on your right elbow. Gently pull your right elbow backward with your left hand so you feel a stretch in your right triceps. Pause for 30 seconds and switch sides. Repeat this stretch three times.
Crossover Triceps Stretch
A crossover stretch can lengthen and loosen your triceps. Sit or stand in a comfortable position and extend your right arm straight out in front of your body at shoulder height. Bend your right elbow, cross your right arm over to the left side of your body and rest your right hand on your left shoulder. Grasp your right elbow with your left hand and gently push it closer toward your body so your right hand moves backward past your left shoulder. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides. Complete three sets.
Before starting a stretching routine, see your doctor, especially if you have a health condition or injury. When doing biceps and triceps stretches, avoid stretching too far -- you should never feel pain. Hold still as you stretch -- avoid bouncing, because this can cause your muscle to tear and can trigger pain. Stretch a minimum of two to three times per week so you don't risk losing your flexibility.
- AthleticQuickness.com: Sports Anatomy Lesson #8: Forearm Extensors
- AthleticQuickness.com: Sports Anatomy Lesson #13: Elbow Flexors
- MayoClinic.com: Stretching: Focus on Flexibility
- ExRx.net: Standing Biceps Stretch
- ExRx.net: Seated Biceps Stretch
- BodyBuilding.com: Triceps Stretch
- BodyBuilding.com: Triceps Side Stretch
- Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images