Arm stretches are an important part of exercise. They not only prevent cramping and injury during exercise, but they also help to improve a person’s range of motion and flexibility. There are specific arm stretches for the biceps, which are muscles in the front part of the upper arm, and the triceps, which are the muscles in the back of the upper arm. An exerciser can even stretch the muscles of his shoulders. Some people also stretch their forearms regularly, which may be helpful for preventing repetitive stress injuries.
To stretch his biceps, an exerciser may begin in a standing position with his posture straight, his knees bent slightly, and his legs positioned hip-distance apart. He should then raise his arms until they reach shoulder height, making his arm form a letter T with his body. Next, he turns his arms, while keeping them at shoulder height, until his palms are facing behind him. The exerciser should hold the position for about 30 seconds and keep his shoulders level with each other throughout the stretch.
An individual may begin a tricep stretch in a standing position as well, with his legs spread hip-distance apart. Keeping his shoulders even and his posture straight, the exerciser then bends one arm at the elbow, lifting his arm so that it’s next to his head. He then places his fingers on the back of his shoulder blade. Finally, he moves his other arm over his head and puts its hand on top of the bent elbow, providing gentle support and pressure. He should remain in the tricep stretch position for about 30 seconds and repeat with the other arm.
To stretch his shoulder muscle, a person may stand, keeping his back straight while relaxing his shoulders. In this position, he should move his arms, so that he can clasp his hands together behind his back. He should then lift his hands, which are clasped together, until he feels a comfortable stretch in his shoulders and chest. Once in the stretching position, he should remain there for about 30 seconds.
Some people neglect to stretch their forearms, but doing so is particularly important for those who perform repetitive motions with their hands, such as computer workers. To perform this type of stretch, a person may sit up straight with his shoulders level but relaxed. He can then press his palms together in front of his upper chest, with the fingers pointing upward. In proper position, it will look as if he is praying. Stretching his fingers out, he should then move the bottom of his palms down, making them level with his wrists, keeping his fingertips pressed together, and holding the position for 30 seconds.
Arm stretches can be a challenge, especially for those who do not perform them regularly. They should not prove painful, however. If arm stretches hurt, the exerciser is stretching too far and should ease back to a more comfortable position.