How to Stretch the Biceps

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You seldom need biceps stretches unless you’re an athlete whose performance depends on your arm’s flexibility and explosive, athletic movement. For example, major league baseball pitchers include dynamic biceps stretches as part of their warm-up routine to prime their muscles, increase their range of motion and prevent injury. And if you’re rehabbing an injury or you’re a serious bodybuilder whose training regimen does not emphasize a full range of motion, static biceps stretches can help maintain and improve muscle flexibility. Warm up with activities such as arm circles or jumping jacks to avoid pulls.

Step 1

Stand in an open doorway to do the twisting kickback with abduction, a dynamic stretch. Press your right shoulder against the jamb, palm facing forward. Extend your right arm behind you and rotate your wrist so your thumb points to the left. Lift your arm slightly up and to the right, into the opening, until you feel the stretch in your biceps. Reverse your movements to the starting position and repeat five times. Reposition yourself to the other side of the opening and repeat with your left arm.

Step 2

Ask a training partner to help with an assisted, dynamic stretch. Extend your right arm backward with your palm down and have your partner grab your wrist and raise your arm slightly until your feel some tension in your biceps. While stabilizing your arm with his left hand on your upper arm, have him slowly turn your wrist to the right until your thumb points downward. Have him reverse the rotation and repeat five times. Switch arms and repeat.

Step 3

Move your arms behind your back to begin a standing static stretch. Clasp your hands together with your palms facing each other and interlace your fingers. Without unclasping your hands, rotate your arms so your hands open slightly and your palms face down. This is the starting position. Slowly lift your arms until you feel the stretch in your biceps. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, return to the starting position and repeat four to five times.

Step 4

Get into position for a seated, static stretch. Sit on the floor, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Extend your arms behind your body and put your palms flat on the floor with your fingers pointing backward, away from your body. This is the starting position. While keeping your back straight, your head and spine aligned and your hands in place, slowly slide your butt forward until you feel the stretch at the front of your upper arms. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat four times.

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Tips & Warnings

  • For maximum benefit, stretch only to the point where you start to feel the tension in your muscles and avoid quick, jerky movements.
  • If you've had recent arm or shoulder injuries or you haven't exercised in a long time, get the OK from your health care provider before you begin a fitness program involving biceps stretches.

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