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Biceps Stretch - 7 exercises to stretch the biceps brachii 

Biceps stretch is performed to increase the flexibility of the biceps brachii muscle.

Relevant Anatomy

The biceps brachii muscle, familiarly known as the biceps, moves the arm forward and assists in turning the hand outward, a movement called supination. The biceps is a long muscle extending the length of the humerus. It arises in two places. It arises in two places; medially, the short head arises from the coracoid process of the scapula and laterally, the long head arises as a slender tendon from the supra glenoid tubercle inside the capsule of the shoulder joint. The tendon passes over the head of the humerus into a groove called the inter-tubercular sulcus. At this point the muscle has two bellies which fuse and then form a single tendon at the bottom. The tendon inserts on the tuberosity of the radius.

The biceps brachii is active during unresisted elbow flexion with the forearm supinated and when the forearm is midway between supination and pronation in both concentric and eccentric contractions, but it tends not to be active when the forearm is pronated. However, when the magnitude of the resistance increases much beyond limb weight, the biceps is active in all positions of the forearm.

Biceps brachii anatomy
Biceps brachii anatomy

These flexor muscles easily become tight from large amounts of bent elbow work such as carrying heavy boxes or curling either dumbbells or barbells. When these muscles are tight, the arm cannot be completely straightened, and the person has what is often called a muscle-bound look. This tightness causes pain on the medial elbow, often referred to as golfer’s elbow. However, the pain is not limited to golfers and can affect other people such as carpenters, rock climbers, massage therapists, and weightlifters.

Also, stretching these flexor muscles can bring relief to those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.


 
Biceps Stretch – Shoulder Extension with cane
Biceps Stretch – Shoulder Extension with cane
 

Biceps Stretch
Shoulder Extension with cane
  • Hold one end of cane in hand of involved arm, other end with other hand.
  • Keep elbow of involved arm straight and use other arm to push involved arm backward as shown.
  • Hold and repeat.
  • Hold end position for 10-15 seconds
  • Repeat for 5-6 times

 
Biceps stretch sitting on a chair
Biceps stretch sitting on a chair
 

Biceps stretch sitting on a chair

  • Begin with sitting on a chair with palms flat and fingers pointing backwards.
  • Slowly lean backwards until a stretch is felt in the front of your arm.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 times.

 
Bilateral biceps stretch
Bilateral biceps stretch
 

Bilateral biceps stretch

  • Begin with  standing position arms straight and fingers interlaced.
  • Raise your arms overhead.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 times.

 
Biceps stretch with tubing
Biceps stretch with tubing
 

Biceps stretch with tubing

  • Begin with  standing position arms forward, palms down. Hold a tubing in your hands as shown.
  • Sweep up and overhead then behind back with elbow straight.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 times.

 
Biceps stretch in lying
Biceps stretch in lying
 

Biceps stretch in lying (Useful in elbow rehab)

  • Lie down on your back. Keep a folded towel slightly above the elbow as shown with the arms slightly away from the body, palm facing up.
  • Let your hands fall down with the pull of gravity a stretch is felt in the front of your arm
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 times.

Assisted biceps stretches with partner

 
Assisted biceps stretch lying
Assisted biceps stretch lying
 

Assisted biceps stretch lying

  • Lie down on your stomach with both the hands behind the back with fingers interlaced. 
  • Ask your partner to raise hands as shown until a stretch is felt in the front of your arm.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 times.