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bicep stretch

9 Best Bicep Stretches

Performing an effective bicep stretch after your workout can help to increase range of motion and the overall flexibility of the muscle, helping you to prevent severe DOMS.

The best stretch for a bicep muscle relieves any tightness and tension, preparing you for your next workout and increasing injury prevention. That's why we have covered the 9 best bicep stretches and some frequently asked questions so you can feel informed and ready to start your stretches.

But just before we begin, if you’re a fitness fanatic who wants a profession in the health and fitness sector, why not check out our sports massage course that we offer here at OriGym? Or, you can download our course prospectus here for FREE. 

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#1 Seated Bicep Stretch

This is the perfect cool down bicep stretch. It doesn't require you to have your arms raised over your head - which only worsens the achy feeling you get after working your biceps to the max. Instead, you can sit down and relax in to the stretch.

Starting Position: Find some space and be sure to grab a mat as you’ll want to be comfortable as you perform this bicep stretch. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet planted firmly on the ground.

Execution:

  • Start by lowering yourself onto the ground safely, sitting with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly on the ground in front of you.
  • Place your arms backwards away from your body, facing your fingertips away from your back.
  • Your body should create a V shape, with your arms out behind you until you feel a stretch in the bicep.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Biceps

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Pushing too far back: During this bicep stretch, you should avoid having your arms too far back as this can put strain on your shoulders and causes tension in your back. Instead, have your arms behind you as far as you can feel a stretch, but not a strain. This will also help you to avoid losing your balance and having your palms slip behind you - something you will definitely want to prevent it.

Lifting the heels: You should avoid pushing from the toes and lifting the heels during this stretch for your bicep. Avoiding this common mistake, this ensures that your stretch is focusing on your biceps, not your legs, the last thing you want is an injured leg on an upper body day!

If you’re on a journey to muscle growth, head over to our article on the 23 best bicep exercises for mass & strength here.

#2 Doorway Bicep Stretch

This is the best bicep stretch to practice at home. So long as you have a wall or an arch, you can practice this effective stretch before or after a workout.

Starting Position: Start by finding a doorway or an arch and stand outside the frame, and don't forget to make sure that it is strong enough to hold your body weight.

Execution:

  • Place both bands on either side of the door frame or arch.
  • With both palms pressed onto either side of the frame, slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch.
  • Come back to the starting position and repeat.

Duration: 15 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Biceps, Pectorals. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Don't go too far: leaning too far forward can put you at risk, more specifically, this affects the shoulders through hyperextension which could turn the stretch into a strain. Instead, you should perform this bicep stretch just far enough to feel a stretch without any pain.

Don’t have a wide stance: To feel the real impact, avoid having a wide stance when performing this dynamic bicep stretch. Your feet should be close together, around 2 or 3 inches apart, so the power is coming from your upper body, not your legs.

#3 Wall Bicep Stretch

A bicep wall stretch is an easy to conduct stretch that can be performed just about anywhere. You can do it in your home or in the gym, permitting there is a wall edge for you to hold. 

Starting Position: Stand parallel to the edge of a wall with your feet shoulder width apart.

Execution:

  • With one arm, hold the edge of the wall so your body is side-on with the wall-edge and you have a grip of the wall-end.
  • Turn your feet so your body moves away from the wall.
  • Your back should be facing the wall and your arm should be stretched out straight.
  • Hold your arm behind you so that you feel the bicep stretch.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Biceps and Deltoids.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Turning away too far: A bicep wall stretch requires your judgement on how far is too far - only you can distinguish this for yourself as it depends on how flexible you are. Only turn away from the wall enough that you feel a stretch, ensure that your shoulder doesn't feel compromised and resist twisting around too far that you induce hyperextension.

To learn more about a key bicep exercise, head over to our article on the reverse grip barbell curl: variations & videos.

#4 Horizontal Arm Extension

If you’re looking for a bicep stretch that is easy to do and can be done with no equipment, add this stretch into your routine. It is a simple, yet highly effective stretch to do before or after a workout.

Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms raised to shoulder height either side of you.

Execution:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and open your chest by having your arms extended out either side of your body.
  • Bring your arms in, still without bending your elbows. Your palms should be facing each other, yet not touching one another.
  • Open your arms back out and squeeze your shoulder blades slightly to stretch the chest and arms.
  • Repeat the process for 30 seconds.

Duration: 1 rep = 2/3 seconds, repeat for 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Pectorals, Biceps, Deltoids.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overstretching the chest: This is a standing bicep stretch that requires judgement on how far is too far for your body. You should feel a stretch through your arms and chest, however, due to the fast paced nature of the stretch compared to other stretches, you should approach it with caution and not create a jolting motion that could potentially strain your muscle. 

Arms lowering: Avoid lowering the arms during this bicep stretch, a common mistake that typically happens if you feel tired or your arms are fatigued. If this is the case, lower the duration time and don’t sacrifice technique for longer duration.

Another great exercise for your upper body is a concentration curl, be sure to read our article - concentration curl: variations & exercise videos.

#5 Horizontal Hand Rotations

This is the perfect stretch to add to a busy routine, for example, if you’re fitting in a quick workout and need some stretches that require no equipment. If you want to know how to stretch your bicep with ease and no external assistance, this is a great choice. However, if you do need help with stretching, resistance bands are a great choice for easy to carry equipment.

Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your arms raised to shoulder height.

Execution:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and raise your arms laterally to shoulder height.
  • From this starting position, make a thumbs up gesture with each hand. 
  • Next, rotate your arms from the shoulder so that they twist downwards, creating a thumbs down gesture.
  • From this point, rotate backward and twist back until your thumbs are pointing behind you.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Deltoids, Briceps, Triceps.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Wide leg stance: Your legs should be just shoulder width apart to prevent any unnecessary pressure being put on the knees. Bending the knees during this standing bicep stretch is going to exert more energy by working your legs, which is simply not needed. Instead, keep your legs straight and avoid a wide stance.

For some great guides on key exercises for the upper body, read our articles below:

#6 Arm Swings

Arm swings are a dynamic bicep stretch that are the perfect way to start a workout. They’re also brilliant for raising your heart rate, preparing you for a motivated ab workout.

Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent for stability. Position your arms with a slight bend at the elbow and keep your hands rigid with your fingers closed together.

Execution:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Bend your knees, keeping them soft but sturdy enough to provide you with stability.
  • With your arms by your side, create a slight bend in your elbow and keep your hands ridgid.
  • In this position, move your arms in a fast running motion back and forth.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Deltoids, Biceps, Triceps, Pectorals.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Twisting the trunk: Performing this dynamic bicep stretch requires a high amount of exertion. Therefore, the sheer movement of your arms can induce an unwarranted movement of the body. Try to keep the core stabilised to focus the stretch on the arms.

Moving slowly: This is a bicep stretch that is intended to be performed at a fast pace, so it's important to perform it in this way. Moving at a fast pace allows you to reap the benefits of a pre-workout stretch, such as raising your heart rate and warming up your muscles.

#7 Arm Circles 

If you want to know how to stretch bicep muscles after curling, arm circles are a great choice due to the minimal energy exertion that they require. After working your biceps, we all get the aches and soreness, particularly if it was a demanding workout. However, this is a great stretch to do with minimal time and effort without compromising effectiveness.

Starting Position: Find yourself some space, then raise your arms to shoulder height laterally with flat palms.

Execution:

  • Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, raise your arms laterally so they are shoulder height. 
  • Position your hands so your fingertips are facing outwards.
  • Then, move your arms forwards in a small circular motion.
  • Imagine your fingertips are drawing a small circle and continue this motion.

Duration: 15 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, Triceps and Biceps.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overdoing it: By performing this bicep stretch for too long of  a duration, you will actually start to work the muscle rather than stretch it out. This could increase your DOMS the following day - the exact thing that this stretch aims to prevent!

Bending the knees: Avoid bending your knees to prevent any unnecessary pressure on your legs. This would waste energy and take the focus of the movement away from the upper body. Eemember that ultimately, this is a bicep stretch, so be sure that this is where you focus your energy.

Interested in growing your upper body? Read our article on how to do the dumbbell clean and press: videos & benefits here.

#8 Standing Arms-Behind-The-Back Bicep Stretch 

For anybody looking to seriously stretch their muscles and push themselves with a new kind of stretch, this is a great place to start. This bicep stretch really challenges your flexibility and you can be sure to feel limber after this one. 

Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly for stability purposes but keep them soft. Then, reach around your back and interlock your hands together.

Execution:

  • Start by standing on a mat as your balance may be compromised if you’re new to this bicep stretch. 
  • Then, perform the aforementioned starting position.
  • From this position, slowly lean forward so you are facing the ground and your legs and body are creating a 90 degree angle.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Biceps

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Leaning too far over: Leaning too far over induces hyperextension and increases the likelihood that you will suffer an injury in your upper body. You should avoid this and only bend over as far as you can until you feel a stretch. You should never feel pain during this stretch, so even if this means only bending over slightly, do so! A 90 degree angle is the goal if you can, however this much of a bend is not a necessity to feel the stretch. 

Keeping your knees straight: During this stretch for the bicep, bending over and keeping your knees straight could make your knees lock. They should not over extend and to prevent this, you should keep a slight bend in your knees. This will also improve stability, making the strech safer and easier to do!

Complete your workout with a powerful movement, find out how to do the kettlebell clean and press here!

#9 Wall Corner Stretch 

Finally, we have the most effective bicep stretch that you can perform anywhere with no equipment, so long as you have a wall. This stretch is a perfect pre or post workout movement that opens up the chest and stretches the majority of your upper body.

Starting Position: Start by finding and facing the corner of a wall. Stand with your feet around 3 inches apart from one another and spread your arms out wide by your side with your palms flat on the wall.

Execution:

  • Standing with your feet 2 or 3 inches apart, find a corner of the wall and spread your arms out to either side with no bend in the elbow, your palms should be pressed against the wall.
  • Ensure that you are around 5 inches away from the wall, you should have room to lean forward without your head touching the corner of the wall. 
  • Then, lean forward so your shoulder blades squeeze inward and your chest opens up.
  • Lean until you feel a stretch and hold.

Duration: 30 seconds.

Muscles targeted: Pectorals, Anterior deltoids. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Being too close to the wall: Being too close to the wall means there is less extension and therefore you are not able to stretch sufficiently. Instead, you should be sure that there is a slight distance between you and the wall so you feel the stretch without hyperextension.

Bending the arms: This is among the best bicep stretches simply due to the fact that it can be performed anywhere, outdoors or indoors. So to make the most of it, make sure that you do it properly! This means having straight arms out to the side, this will help to provide an optimal stretch and ensure it's not putting any stress on other bones or muscles of the upper body.

FAQs

What Are The Best Exercises For The Biceps? 

bicep stretch

You can work the biceps with various exercises and then follow with your pick from the best stretch for a tight bicep! But to get your pump on and work the biceps, start with some of these key exercises:

Should I Stretch My Biceps Before Or After A Workout?

bicep stretches

Stretching is the best way to keep your muscles as flexible as possible and helps you reach full range of motion in your movements and exercises. However, it's believed that static stretching before a workout actually doesn't have much effect on injury prevention, whereas dynamic stretching or a light warm up would be typically more effective as these work to warm the muscles, something which static stretching lacks in providing.

However, static stretching is a great way to complete a workout. If you want to know how to stretch a bicep after a workout, choose from our list as many of the static stretches as these will be most beneficial to do once you've finished your gym session. 

Overall, it's more so a case of what kinds of stretches you should be performing rather than if you should stretch at all before or after a workout. Remember, before a workout, dynamic are typically best, and after, static stretches are the ones to go for!

Before You Go…

By now, you should know exactly what to do before and after a strenuous upper body session. It is a great idea to choose from this list if you want to reduce the severity of your DOMS the day or two after working out.

Minimising DOMS will ensure that you feel ready to hit the gym again sooner rather than later, so get your best bicep stretches into your next workout routine! Don't forget that if you’re looking to be a fitness professional, you can get industry ready in as little as 4 weeks with our personal training diploma! 

Or, download our course prospectus to learn about all of the health and fitness courses that we offer here at OriGym.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell

Editor

Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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