Tricep Stretch for Supple, Strong, & Healthy Triceps

Stretching Your Triceps

The tricep stretch should be a part of any workout regimen, especially if you do resistance training. And what many trainees don’t realize is that the tricep accounts for nearly two-thirds of the entire upper arm. 

In other words, if you want to build impressive arms, you need to put your attention on tricep training.

But for you to be able to train your triceps productively, you also need to take care of their flexibility. This is an important part of muscle health.

Below, we’ll go over why stretching your muscles is essential, and we’ll also share five great tricep stretches you can do at home or in the gym.

Tricep Location, Anatomy, and Functions

Tricep StretchesThe triceps brachii is a muscle located at the backside of the upper arm. It serves as an antagonist to the bicep, and its primary function is elbow extension.

As its name suggests, the tricep is a three-headed muscle – it has a lateral, medial, and long head.

The lateral and medial heads originate at the humerus and insert into the forearms. Thus both of them cross a single joint – the elbow. 

The long head, however, originates at the scapula and also crosses the shoulder joint. Raising your arms over your head helps create an intense tricep stretch in the long head.

5 Best Tricep Stretches You Can Perform

Here are five great tricep stretches you can do at home, in the gym, or even your office. And they are quick, yet very effective.

Horizontal Tricep Stretch

Tricep Stretch Across Chest

  1. Stand tall, straighten your arms and bring your right one across your body.
  2. Use your left arm to press the right one firmly against your chest.
  3. Once you feel a nice tricep stretch, hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat for your left arm.

Overhead Tricep Stretch

Standing Tricep Stretch

  1. Stand tall with your shoulders back and chest out.
  2. Straighten your left arm and bring it over your head.
  3. Bend the left arm at the elbow so your left hand is at the base of your neck.
  4. Put your right hand on the right elbow as shown above, and pull it in a slow and controlled motion until you feel the stretch in your left tricep.
  5. Hold the stretch position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat for your right arm.

Overhead Tricep Stretch With a Towel

Tricep Stretch With Towel

  1. Begin the stretch in the same way as the overhead tricep stretch with a rolled-up towel hanging from your right hand.
  2. Bring your left hand down and behind your body. Grab the lower end of the towel with your left hand.
  3. While keeping your right elbow stable, gently pull on the towel with your left arm until you feel a nice stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat for your left arm.

Tricep Stretch Using Wall

Tricep Stretch Using Wall

  1. Begin the stretch in the same way as the overhead tricep stretch.
  2. Straighten your right arm and raise it over your head.
  3. Bend your right elbow as shown above, so your right touches your right shoulder.
  4. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Repeat for your left arm.

Double Arm Tricep Stretch

Double Arm Tricep Stretch

  1. Begin the stretch with both arms extended straight above your head.
  2. Bend both arms at your elbows as shown above, until you feel the stretch in your triceps. You can also lock your fingers for more leverage in the stretch.
  3. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.

Stretching The Triceps – What Benefits Does That Offer?

Tricep StretchThese five tricep stretches will keep your triceps supple, healthy, and ready for resistance training. Having active and engaged muscles, both stretching and resistance training, is the best way to stay in top shape as you get into middle-age and beyond.

Most folks only care to stretch the big muscles – their lats, quads, and chest. But, stretching the triceps also offers some great benefits:

Quicker Recovery

Stretching your triceps improves the blood flow to them, which allows for more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to travel there. (1)

All of this results in faster recovery from training and helps prevent (or, at least, decrease) muscle soreness.

Increased Range of Motion

When your triceps are tight, particularly the long head, you may experience difficulties with many exercises. So, stretching them is vital for keeping them flexible and useful.

Better Performance

Better flexibility means that we get to perform the various exercises with a full range of motion, which allows us to train more effectively and reap better results.

Quicker muscle recovery allows us to train this relatively-small muscle group more often throughout the week and hopefully make it grow and strengthen faster.

Summing It Up

Stretching all of your muscles, including your triceps, on a routine basis is important for your overall muscle health.

Resistance training, or lifting weights, is also very important, especially as you reach middle-age and beyond�. A vast majority of adults never do any resistance training, and this can be devastating to your bone density and your muscular health.

Here are some tricep dumbbell workouts at home, and also tricep workouts at home without equipment.

Triceps Workout at Home With Dumbbells

So make sure to include a solid stretching regimen, along with resistance training, to optimize your physical health. This is just as important as a healthy diet and staying away from bad habits (like smoking and excessive alcohol use). 

Looking to build lean muscle? Check out some great tricep workouts with dumbbells.

Here are more stretching routines to improve muscle health and flexibility:

Click to return to more stretching routines, as well as our video library of tricep exercises.

David Williams

David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

See All Posts


  1. Joyner, M. J., & Casey, D. P. (2015, April). Regulation of increased blood flow (hyperemia) to muscles during exercise: A hierarchy of competing physiological needs. Physiological reviews.

Click to see our medical disclosure.