The biceps brachii, simply known as the biceps, is a two-headed muscle group comprised of an inner and an outer part. The inner part is called the short head, the outer part is called the long head. Both heads function to flex the elbow, internally rotate, or supinate, the forearm, and flex the shoulder. The most effective stretches for the biceps are those in which you supinate your forearm, extend your elbow, and extend your shoulder to a certain degree. It is best you perform the stretches for your biceps following your biceps workouts. Do three to five sets per stretch and hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds per set.
Standing Wall Biceps Stretch
Stand facing away from the wall with your knees slightly bent.
Supinate your forearms and put your hands up against the wall behind you by extending your shoulders.
Lean your torso slightly forward.
Keep your head upright and look straight during the stretch.
Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, take a 30 second rest period, then repeat the stretch.
Seated Biceps Stretch
Sit on the floor with your knees flexed and put your feet on the floor.
Supinate your forearms and place your hands behind you on the floor by extending your shoulders.
Lean your torso forward a bit.
Maintain an upright head position and look straight during the stretch.
Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, take a 30 second rest, then repeat the stretch.
- Instead of taking a 30 second rest in between each set of the biceps stretching exercise, you can do stretches for other muscle groups, such as your triceps, in between each set. For example, you can do a set of the seated biceps stretch, followed by a set of the overhead triceps stretch. You would then alternate the biceps stretch and the triceps stretch throughout the entire stretching session.
- Depending on your level of flexibility, you will need to adjust the degree of shoulder extension to avoid causing injury to the biceps. Find out how far back you can comfortably position your arms while performing the standing wall biceps stretch or the seated biceps stretch.
Richard Choueiri is a fitness and nutrition expert and the author of "The Human Statue Workout." He began writing professionally in 2007 and his work has been featured in Bodybuilding.com and "Physique Magazine." Choueiri studied exercise science and nutritional science at Rutgers University. He holds an American College of Sports Medicine CPT, and a National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association CMMACC.