If you think stretching is a waste of time, maybe you should ask yourself why your arms are sore after doing biceps curls and triceps extensions. If you stretch after your workout, your muscles will likely recover faster, you'll help prevent injuries and improve your flexibility. Don't hit yourself in the head -- it's never too late to start. A doorway stretch, for instance, can lengthen your biceps and brachialis at the front and outer part of your upper arms, while an overhead stretch can target your triceps at the back of your upper arms.
Open a door, stand about 1.5 feet in front of the opening and turn around, positioning your back toward the doorframe. Alternatively, use the corner of a wall or a vertical pole.
Extend your right arm behind you, raise it to no more than shoulder-height and turn your hand clockwise to place it on the corner of the door frame so your pinkie finger points down and the inside of your forearm points out.
Rotate your upper arm away from your body and toward the floor as much as you comfortably can while keeping your hand firmly in place with your elbow straight. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before repeating it with your other arm. Repeat the stretch three times on each arm. For a deeper stretch, turn your torso slightly away from your arm.
Overhead Triceps Stretch
Stand upright, push your chest slightly out and pull your shoulders back and down.
Extend your arms overhead next to your ears, place your palms on top of each other and interlock your fingers.
Bend your elbows and lower your forearms, bringing your hands behind your head and as close as you can toward the base of your neck. Point your elbows up the entire time and look straight ahead. Hold the stretch in your triceps for no more than 30 seconds and repeat it two more times.
- Warm-up for five to 10 minutes before stretching your muscles, or stretch after working out.
- Avoid bouncing, and breathe normally while you stretch.
- Consult a doctor before starting a new stretching regimen, especially if you have injuries or health conditions.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.