A tricep stretch is the loosening up of the triceps muscle. This muscle is located on the back of the upper arm and allows the elbow joint to extend. The tricep stretch is key before any activity that includes use of the muscle, such as throwing a ball or weightlifting, especially the triceps, shoulder and chest muscles are being exercised.
One of the most common ways to do a tricep stretch is the behind-the-head stretch. To do this stretch, one should grab the right elbow with the left hand and pull it gently behind the head. A slight pull will be felt on the triceps. Ideally, this stretch should be held for 20 to 30 seconds. The stretch then can be repeated with the left triceps.
A second tricep stretch is an across-the-chest stretch. This one might be easier for some people than the behind-the-head stretch because they don’t have to reach as far. Either arm is placed across the chest, and the other hand is used to pull the flexed arm at the elbow to complete the stretch. Again, this stretch should be held for 20 to 30 seconds for it to be the most effective. The arms can then be switched so that both triceps are stretched equally.
For someone who is flexible and wants a triceps stretch that’s a little more advanced, there is one in which both arms end up behind the back. To do this, one should bend the right arm at the elbow and place it behind the head with the hand reaching toward the shoulder blade, similarly to how it would be done during the behind-the-head stretch. Then, the left arm is bent at the elbow and reached behind the back with the palm facing out. When both hands are behind the back, they are linked together, and the stretch is held for 20 to 30 seconds before the arms are switched. A lack of flexibility with this tricep stretch could lead to injury.
No matter which tricep stretch is used, it should be done before and after exercise or physical activity. Stretching helps keep muscles loose and can help prevent injury. It also allows athletes to perform their best.