The bicep – one of the most desired muscles in the entire body. It is considered a “trophy” muscle by many, and totally necessary by all. So knowing an effective bicep stretch is important to any well-rounded stretching routine.
When most beginners start training, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is, “How can I grow my biceps?” Just as important to people of all ages, is also how to stretch biceps.
We’ll cover everything there is to know about the bicep – its anatomy, functions, location, and what benefits bicep stretches offer as part of a complete fitness routine.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Bicep Location, Anatomy, and Functions
The biceps brachii is a muscle located on the front side of the upper arm. It has two heads – the long outer and short inner. Both heads of the bicep originate on the scapula and insert into the radius (forearm) bone.
Thanks to the origin and insertion points, the bicep crosses two joints – the shoulder and elbows.
Its primary functions are elbow flexion and supination of the forearms. Also, because the bicep crosses the shoulder joint, extending your arms behind your body imposes a great stretch on the muscle.
Benefits of Stretching The Biceps
A debate has been going on for a long time. Is stretching our muscles beneficial or not?
Well, given that yoga is an ancient practice, known for the numerous benefits it delivers, this shouldn’t be a debate.
Let’s see what benefits we can expect from stretching our biceps.
Regularly stretching our biceps helps improve our flexibility, which is vital for good health and pain-free movement. Flexible biceps are also less susceptible to strains and tears.
Stretching our biceps, particularly before training, has been shown to help improve our performance. More specifically, it can help us exert more force, do more work, and achieve better results in the long run.
Speeds Up Recovery
Stretching our muscles, particularly after a workout, has been shown to help speed up recovery and decrease muscle soreness (known as DOMS). The reason is, stretching increases blood flow to the muscle, which allows for more oxygen and nutrients to travel to the tissue and kickstart the process of repair and growth.
Types Of Bicep Stretches You Can Perform
The perfect bicep stretch doesn’t exist. But, there are several great ones you can do every day:
Standing Bicep Stretch
a) Stand next to a wall, and face the wall.
b) Place your hand on the wall as shown, with your arm extended straight at shoulder height.
c) Slowly turn your body away from the wall until you feel a bicep and shoulder stretch. Your body should be perpendicular to the wall as shown above.
d) Continue to extend the stretch until you feel a moderate tightness in your bicep.
e) Hold for up to 30 seconds.
f) Repeat for your other bicep.
g) Repeat 2-3 times for each arm.
Wall Corner Stretch
a) Stand facing the corner between two walls as shown.
b) Straighten both arms at shoulder height, and place one palm on each wall to your left and right side.
c) From there, slowly move toward the corner until you feel the stretch in your biceps.
d) Hold the position for up to 30 seconds.
e) Repeat 2-3 times.
Arms Behind Back Bicep Stretch
a) From a standing position, extend your arms straight to the rear.
b) With your palms facing out or in, interlock your fingers. It is a slightly better stretch when your palms are facing out.
c) Extend your arms as straight as you comfortably can, and slowly bend at the waist as you raise your hands and arms upward.
d) At the point you feel a strong bicep stretch, hold the position for up to 30 seconds.
e) Repeat this movement 2-3 times.
Straight Arm Bicep Stretch
a) Stand next to a sturdy object (for example, a pole or wall corner).
b) Straighten your arm and, with the palm facing the floor, place your thumb and forefinger against the object.
c) From there, rotate your body until you feel your left bicep, shoulder, and pec stretch nicely.
d) Hold the position for up to 30 seconds and repeat for your right side.
Never Stretch Cold Muscles
The stretches outlined above are static stretches, and are designed to improve flexibility and range of motion. These stretches will also make your bicep muscles more supple.
These stretches are best performed post-workout when your muscles are fully warmed up.
Pre-Workout Bicep Stretches
The best bicep stretch to perform before your workout is always dynamic stretches, as your muscles are cold and not loosened up.
Simple Dynamic Bicep Stretches
1) Arm rotations: Move your arms in a vertical and circular motion, one at a time, like a ferris wheel.
2) Arm swings: With your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms facing down, swing your arms to the rear and then back to the front.
These motions are always controlled and steady.
Return to other stretching routines.