6 Bicep Stretches to Add to Your Workout:
1) Standing Shoulder Stretch
2) Sitting Shoulder Stretch
3) Dumbbell Curl (Front Raise)
4) Seated Calf Raises with Knees Up or Down
5) Side Plank with Hands at Chest Level
6) Arm Circles and Hand Cradles
1) Standing Shoulder Stretch:
The first step towards getting rid of tight shoulders is to get them out of your head. You need to start focusing on getting your arms free from all kinds of unnecessary tension. This will allow you to concentrate on other muscles which are responsible for supporting your body.
One way is by strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint itself, such as the upper back and neck. Another way is by targeting the muscles around the shoulder blade itself, such as the trapezius muscle. These two types of exercises are called “stretching” and “strengthening”.
Stretching involves moving parts of your body while strengthening involves using those same parts when possible. For example, if you want to strengthen your abs then you have to do some sort of abdominal work like crunches and sit ups. If you want to stretch your abs then you could do the same exercises or you can reach for something above your head or behind you.
In the case of your shoulders, stretching involves reaching over your head as far as you can, as many times a day as you can. Strengthening involves lifting light weights straight out from your body with your elbows pointing downward and then back past your body until your arms are almost by your side. The moves are as follows:
Over head stretch: Stand with your arms extended straight over your head. Your palms can either face forward or backward depending on the tension you want to put on your muscles. If you bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and move your hands in a circle, you will stretch the muscles on the back of your arms and improve your grip.
This is also a good exercise for warming up your shoulders before lifting weights.
Upright Row: This exercise stretches and strengthens the muscles on the front of your shoulders. The upright row is also good for improving your grip strength. Bring your arms up in front of your body with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.
Try to keep your upper arms parallel to the floor as you lift the dumbbells towards your chin. As you lift the dumbbells, twist your wrists so that your palms face each other at the top of the move. This movement will stretch the front of your shoulders and chest.
Elbow Bend: If you want to concentrate on the muscles that bend your elbows, then do this exercise. Sit on a bench or stand in front of a chair with your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Grasp a couple of light weights and lift them from between your legs, up just past your knees, and then bend your elbows until your forearm is almost parallel to the floor.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of a standard exercise protocol on shoulder pain in long-term wheelchair users by KA Curtis, TM Tyner, L Zachary, G Lentell, D Brink… – Spinal cord, 1999 – nature.com
Acute effect of different stretching methods on Illinois agility test in soccer players by M Amiri-Khorasani, M Sahebozamani… – The Journal of …, 2010 – journals.lww.com
Early events in stretch-induced muscle damage by DL Morgan, DG Allen – Journal of Applied physiology, 1999 – journals.physiology.org
Acute effect of static and dynamic stretching on hip dynamic range of motion during instep kicking in professional soccer players by M Amiri-Khorasani, NAA Osman… – The Journal of Strength …, 2011 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Acute effects of dynamic stretching, static stretching, and light aerobic activity on muscular performance in women by BS Curry, D Chengkalath, GJ Crouch… – The Journal of …, 2009 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Acute effects of different stretching exercises on muscular endurance by BL Franco, GR Signorelli, GS Trajano… – The Journal of …, 2008 – journals.lww.com