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 these stretches offer as part of a complete fitness routine.
And a biceps stretch is a generally easy stretch to perform. You can generally do them anywhere and anytime, so there’s no reason to miss them.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Table of Contents
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.
The wall bicep stretch is always an effective stretch where you can control the resistance. Just make sure to err on the side of caution. Do not push to hard and risk injury.
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 in the wall stretch for up to 30 seconds.
e) Repeat 2-3 times.
You can also use a doorway to perform this stretch, and a doorway stretch can provide a deeper stretch in the rear position. Just always make sure that your biceps are warmed up well before performing these stretches.
Arms Behind Back 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 Biceps Stretches
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 (facing down), place your thumb and forefinger against the object.
c) From there, rotate your body until you feel the stretch in your bicep.
d) Hold the position for up to 30 seconds and repeat with your other arm.
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. (1)
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. And biceps stretches are no exception. They are a must-have in your workout regimen to maintain healthy, strong, and supple biceps. (2)
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, and increase your upper body strength.
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. (3)
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 stretches to perform before your workout are always dynamic stretches, as your muscles are cold and not loosened up. So whether it’s an upper body workout, or lower body workout, dynamic stretches should be part of your warm-up process.
And biceps muscles are prone to injury just like your back or your knees, so take the time to keep them healthy.
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. Arm swings are one of the best motions that you can perform to stretch your biceps, and also help with muscle tightness.
These motions are always controlled and steady, and dynamic stretching is one of the very best ways to avoid injury. So many fitness enthusiasts rush to the gym and immediately hit the weights. But taking the extra time and doing some dynamic stretching is worth its weight in gold!
Return to other stretching routines.
- Biceps brachii. Physiopedia. (n.d.).
- MasterClass. (2021). How to stretch Your biceps: 4 benefits OF bicep stretches – 2021. MasterClass. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/bicep-stretches#4-benefits-of-bicep-stretches.
- Olson, G. (2019, June 25). Delayed onset muscle soreness (doms): Symptoms, causes, treatment. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/doms#.