Arm Stretches

| July 29, 2013 | Reply

Arm stretches can be implemented as a complementary exercising program for people who work out or as a main stretching routine for easing their muscles and ligaments, delivering greater range of motions and more uncomplicated execution of everyday activities.

Arm Muscles

Muscles of the arm area

The Area

Initially, extending your arms or picking up an item may seem one of the simplest moves, but things are not so plain, at least anatomically speaking! The movement of our arms is a slightly more complicated task which is performed by the combined labor of muscles and joints; biceps and triceps (as well as deltoids or wrists) do all the job, and you need to keep them strong and flexible. In this post, we are going to focus on the first two, the triceps (which are the large muscles located on the back of the upper arms and used mainly for “pushing”) and the biceps (located on the front and used mainly for “dragging”). Click the photo for more info!

Arms Stretching Exercises

A thorough arm stretching routine should incorporate at least some stretches for both the biceps and the triceps. Before applying them you should check our stretching guide!

  • Biceps stretch: A nice passive/static stretch focusing on the biceps: Assume a vertical position to a wall with your left side against it and your left hand touching the wall whereas keeping your fingers downwards; then, twist your palm so as to touch the wall while bringing your left arm up behind you until it approaches the level of your shoulder; now, turn your body to the right until you feel the stretch to your left biceps, and hold it (photo 1)
  • Triceps stretch: Stand up or sit on a chair with your back in vertical position, raise your left arm and place it above your head with its elbow flexed in a way that it goes behind your back; now, raise your right hand and grab the left one from its elbow (passive/static stretch), gently pushing it down until you feel the pull to the left triceps (photo 2).
  • Upward stretch: Another static stretch, developed mainly for the triceps, which requires you to raise your arms above your head, putting your palms together, also standing or siting with your back in vertical position; from that pose, and without separating your palms, start extending your arms pushing them upwards and backwards; when you reach the point where a mild stretch is achieved, stop and hold it (photo 3)

For the static stretches mentioned above, hold for at least 20 seconds each and carry out 3-4 repetitions; remember to breathe normally so as to boost blood flow and hinder muscle fatigue and never forget our general stretching guide!

Some of the above described static stretches can be performed dynamically, or by combining other types of stretching. For example you can apply an active version of the aforementioned passive stretches or a PNF version of the triceps stretch shown on photo 2 would be really beneficial; for more details and safety, do ask for the advice of your physiotherapist or your trainer.

Typical examples of dynamic stretches, though, are the arm circles (keeping your arms out to your sides and performing small circles forward and backwards – photo 4), the arm huggers (swinging your arms away from your body and then across it – photo 5), the arm shakers (keeping your arms down by your sides and shaking them by moving out the wrists);


Performing frequent stretches for your arms can serve you in many ways:

  • Greater flexibility and wider range of movement
  • Less muscle fatigue
  • Less chances of encountering an injury
  • Increased blood flow to the arms
  • Extra perks for people who participate in sports requiring arm strength and flexibility (basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis, swimming and all martial arts)
  • Bigger development for the arms of people who work out by lifting weights, since it enables them to train their biceps and triceps harder

What To Consider

As we all use our arms’ muscles daily for a number of activities, stretching them can be viewed as a natural task, posing minor dangers; yet, there is a list of things to contemplate before executing your stretches.

  • Warm up your muscles (in case of static/active/passive stretching) by actively moving them or by using a rope so as not to risk a potential injury
  • If you have chose dynamic arms stretches as a part of your warm-up, do them in a controlled manner
  • Realize your limits and do not overstretch your muscles
  • Stop if you sense any kind of pain that exceeds the feeling of slight discomfort
  • Do not bend your back during the performing of the stretches – you want to enhance the flexibility of your upper extremities, not to harm your back!
  • Do not forget to stretch both sides!

Photos & Videos

Once again, we present a few photos and a video in order for all of our visitors to better understand how to efficiently perform arm stretching and also have an idea on other arm stretching exercises we haven’t mentioned previously:

Biceps Stretch

Photo 1 – Biceps Stretch

triceps stretch

Photo 2- Triceps Stretch


upwards stretch

Photo 3- Upwards stretch

arm circles

Photo 4 – Arm Circles

arm huggers

Photo 5 – Arm Huggers

Our Opinion

Our arms play a vital role to our daily life, being a part of our body that differentiates us from any other living creature. Therefore, it is almost essential to keep them in a safe and operational condition, and stretching is one of the best ways to achieve that. So, either you are a person who uses your arms for many hours, in an office or outside, or your frequently perform weightlifting or strength training, that kind of exercising is an ideal way of enhancing your flexibility at these joints and loosening the muscle tissues.



Category: Stretching specific Body Areas

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