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 how to stretch biceps.
Today, we’ll go over 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, seeing as 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.
1) It Improves Flexibility
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.
2) It Improves Performance
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.
3) It Speeds Up Recovery
Stretching our muscles, particularly after a workout has been shown to help speed up recovery and decrease muscle soreness. 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 Stretches You Can Perform
The perfect bicep stretch doesn’t exist. But, there are several great ones you can do every day:
Seated Bicep Stretch
a) Sit on the floor, bend your knees, and put your feet flat on the floor.
b) Extend your arms behind your body and place your palms flat on the floor with fingers facing away.
c) Gently scoot your butt toward your feet without moving your feet or hands.
d) Once you feel a strong bicep stretch, hold the position for up to 30 seconds.
e) Repeat this movement 1-2 times.
Standing Bicep Stretch
a) Stand next to a wall with one side of your body facing it.
b) Bend your arm at the elbow and place the forearm and hand flat against the wall.
c) Slowly turn your body away from the wall until you feel an intense bicep and shoulder stretch.
d) Hold for up to 30 seconds.
e) Repeat for your other bicep.
Straight Arm Bicep Stretch
a) Stand next to a sturdy object (for example, next to a wardrobe) with the left side of your body facing it.
b) Straighten your arm and, with the palm facing the floor, place your thumb and forefinger against the object.
c) From there, rotate the left side of your body to the right as much as you can, 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. These stretches will also make your bicep muscles more supple.
These stretches are best performed post-workout when your muscles are full warmed up.
Pre-Workout Bicep Stretches
The best bicep stretch to perform before your workout is always dynamic stretches, as your muscles are cold.
Simple Dynamic Bicep Stretches
1) Arm rotations
2) Arm swings
These motions are always controlled and steady.
Return to other stretching routines.