The brachialis muscle lies beneath the biceps brachii -- biceps for short. The brachialis is primarily responsible for flexing your elbow and can be stretched along with your biceps. The brachialis isn't as easy to stretch as other muscle groups -- you may even feel like a contortionist at times. No matter how odd the technique seems, though, keep on stretching to increase your flexibility and hold injuries to a minimum. There's more than one stretch you can try and the best part is -- you don't need any expensive fitness aids.
Spread an exercise mat on the floor and have a seat. With your legs hip-width apart, bend your knees about 45 degrees and put your feet flat on the mat. Move your arms backward and place your palms on the mat with your fingers pointing away from you, to prop yourself up. While keeping your hands in place, breathe out and slowly scoot your butt toward your feet until you feel the stretch in the front of your upper arms. You should feel a good amount of tension, but no pain. Hold the stretch, breathe in, scoot your butt back to the starting position and repeat. Try to keep your back straight -- no humping or arching.
Stand about an arm's length away from a wall and turn around so your back is to the wall. With your feet hip-width apart, bend at your waist and lean forward slightly from your waist. Extend your arms behind you and put your palms against the wall with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Keep your hands no wider than shoulder-width apart and move them up the wall as high as possible. Without moving your hands, bend your hips and knees slightly and lower your butt toward the floor until you feel the stretch in your biceps. Hold the stretch, return to a standing position and repeat.
Stand tall, extend your arms backward, interlace your fingers and clasp your hands together behind your back with your palms facing each other. While keeping your arms as straight as possible, rotate your arms and hands so your palms face downward. Keep your head up and, without leaning forward, slowly raise your hands until you feel the stretch in the front of your upper arms. Hold the stretch, relax and repeat.
Items you will need
- Exercise mat
- Sturdy wall
- Get your blood flowing to your muscles before doing the stretches with a five-minute light aerobic warm-up -- jumping jacks, running in place or riding a stationary bike, for example.
- Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat the stretches three to five times.
- These stretches can be hard on your shoulders. If you've had any shoulder injuries, check with your doctor before doing the stretches.
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