You may not be concerned about working or stretching your biceps muscles for the typical athletic “trophy” of fitness and virility, but a consistent stretching routine is important. Without regular stretching or fitness, most people have tight and shortened biceps – meaning that the bicep muscles are too tight and bunched up.
Regular muscle stretching is excellent for mobility, releasing tightness and tension, and for preventing injury. More specifically, bicep stretches are a great way to complement your upper-body workout. Bicep stretches are great for:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased range of motion
- Allows deeper movements with greater ease
- Relieves tightness and tension
- Reduces bicep pain
- Helps prevent injury
- Helps improve performance
The Importance of Mobility
Stretching your muscle is important for mobility. As we age, we become stiffer in the muscles and joints, and muscle fibers reduce in number and shrink in size. Muscle tissue is replaced more slowly, and lost muscle tissue is replaced with tough, fibrous tissue. The muscles, tendons, and connective tissue in your body become less responsive and slower. If mobility training is not incorporated into your daily routine, whether it’s part of a workout or not, you will likely become stiffer and more prone to injury.
Rather than give in to the inevitable symptoms again, it’s essential to continue to stretch to increase mobility. Strength alone isn’t enough to have good mobility; that’s why stretching and flexibility are so important.
The Importance of Training and Stretching Your Biceps
Having a pair of well-functioning biceps is important because they are dynamic stabilizers of the shoulders. This also includes the biceps relationship to the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff conditions are very common, affecting two to four million people in the United States every year. Strong and flexible biceps will help prevent strain and the risk of injury in key parts of your arms, which are crucial to your upper body mobility.
1. The Best Bicep Stretch – The Wall Bicep Stretch with Wrist Dorsiflexion
The most effective way to stretch the bicep should involve a full elbow extension and dorsiflexion of the wrist. Dorsiflexion of the wrist happens when you flex your wrist joint back toward your lower arm. This is accomplished by extending your arm and hand in front of you on a flat surface. The Wall Bicep Stretch with Wrist Dorsiflexion has been called the MOST effective bicep stretch.
How to do a Wall Bicep Stretch (with wrist dorsiflexion)
- Extend your arm all the way out to the side of your body, keeping your body sideways to the wall
- Turn your arm so that the palm is facing up
- Connect your arm by the tip of the fingers on your upward facing hand to the wall
- Start with just the tip of your fingers on the wall, but the goal is to flatten your palm against the wall.
- Do not drop your arm below 90 degrees.
- Hold this position as a static stretch for 10-12 seconds
- Repeat on the other side
2. Rear Bicep Stretch
The standing biceps stretch with your arms behind your back is a natural “go-to” stretch that many people have done. You may have even made this move without thinking about exactly what you’re stretching. You might be surprised at the importance of this stretch, which is indeed focused on the biceps. This is one of the best ways to stretch prior to daily activities or before a workout. The rear bicep stretch works the biceps, shoulder, and chest muscles making this a good warm-up stretch for any upper body activity or workout.
How to do a Rear Bicep Standing Stretch:
- Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands clasped behind your back, palms together
- Extend your arms backward by raising them as high as you can
- Raise your arms higher to feel the stretch in your biceps
- Relax back to the starting position and repeat for a complete set
3. Arm Circles and Arm Swings
These are two dynamic bicep stretches that I’m combining into one category because of the ease of moving between these two stretches. Dynamic stretches are a great start to the day or before a workout. Not only will these stretch your arms and biceps, but they will also get your heart rate up a bit and get your blood flowing for improved circulation. This is a great exercise that will help you warm up for the day by using your body weight to perform stretching exercises. Incorporating these into your workout routine will also help you warm up your shoulder joint and the front of the upper arm.
How to do Arm Circles:
- Begin in a standing position with arms out to your sides
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- With your arms straight out to your sides, make small circles
- Gradually increase the circle radius
- Do approximately 20-30 forward circles, then 20-30 backward circles
How to do Arm Swings:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Begin by swinging arms forward and up, then back and down behind you
- Swing arms using momentum up and back, up and back, then back behind you
- Opening up the chest and shoulders, and continue swinging through the front, crossing arms in front of the chest
- Repeat 10 to 20 forward and back swings followed by 10 to 20 open-close swings
Daily Stretching Is A Key To Long-Term Health And Independence
While there are several other wonderful stretches that you can do for your biceps, these are 3 of the best! Adding these bicep stretches to your daily routine, whether you’re doing a workout or not, will help increase flexibility, reduce pain and muscle tightness, and will be a continuous investment in your mobility. Mobility is a critical component of long-term health and independence, and stretching is an integral part of that equation.
Not warming up, working out, or stretching this muscle group are common mistakes that people make. By incorporating the standing bicep stretch, wall biceps stretch, and other movements into your exercise program, you’ll be able to develop your shoulder muscles and assist with injury prevention.
To Help You Stretch: