Stretching the back of your arms before, during and after workouts helps reduce soreness and tightness. They’re great whenever you hit the gym, so you don’t feel those nasty DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) afterward.
In addition to loosening up your arms, stretching your triceps muscles also makes them less prone to injury. That’s because they aren’t as tight.
Improving their mobility lets, you perform better in the gym. And, it keeps your arms healthy.
To help you do that, these are some simple triceps stretches you can do anywhere.
Try them before your workouts, especially if you plan on doing any pressing movements like push-ups or bench presses.
You can likewise give them a good stretch post workout to help speed up muscle recovery and prevent any tightness.
How to Stretch Your Triceps: Best Triceps Stretches
1. Overhead Triceps Stretch
This stretch can be used before, during or after workouts. Often, you’ll see people do it in the gym between sets especially after doing pressing movements. It helps to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after an intense workout.
The overhead triceps stretch helps with flexibility. Plus it increases your upper arms range of motion. It primarily stretches your triceps. But, you also get a bit of a stretch in your lats.
How to Do the Overhead Triceps Stretch
- You can do this standing or sitting. Make sure to keep your back straight and chest up.
- Raise your right arm straight up.
- Bend your right elbow, so your hand touches your right trapezius.
- Grab your right elbow with your left and gently pull it backward.
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Do the same with your left arm.
2. Towel Stretch
This stretch is similar to the one above. But, it uses a different angle to perform the movement. Doing so changes the area of the muscles that experience the most stretch.
To perform this stretch, you’ll need a towel. If you’re flexible enough to clasp your fingers behind you naturally, you’ll be able to do this without the aid of a towel.
Unlike the pushing motion done in the overhead triceps stretch, you’ll be using a pulling action here. Doing so stretches your triceps and relaxes your shoulder. It affects your lats less.
How to Perform the Towel Stretch
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your chest up and back straight.
- Grab a towel with your right hand. Then, raise your arm straight up.
- Bend your right elbow, so the towel hangs down on your back.
- Grab hold of the towel behind you by moving your left hand to your middle back.
- Gently pull the towel down using your left hand.
- Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Repeat the procedure with the left arm.
3. Side Triceps Stretch
From overhead, we now shift positions towards the sides. This movement stretches the triceps brachii.
If you have shoulder issues preventing you from comfortably doing any of the stretches above, this one may help. It is more shoulder-friendly as you don’t need to bring your arm overhead.
Use this to increase your upper arm flexibility and to avoid injury.
How to Perform the Side Triceps Stretch
As shown in the video, you’ll be stretching your arm to the side in 3 different angles. This allows you to reduce soreness and the risk of injury after your workouts.
- Standing straight, bring your right arm across your chest. Keep your arm extended to expose your elbow.
- Grab your right elbow using your left hand.
- Gently pull it towards your left shoulder.
- Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Repeat on the process with the left arm.
4. Forward Triceps Stretch
This movement is unique in that it stretches your upper back as well as your triceps. Thus, in addition to relieving any tightness in your triceps, it helps stretch your upper back (thoracic spine) as well.
It is similar to the overhead stretch above. But, this time, you’ll be stretching both arms at the same time. And, you’ll be needing a solid object as leverage.
How to Perform the Forward Triceps Stretch
If you’re in the gym, you can use an unloaded barbell or bench. At home, table, cabinet or the edge of your bed will work.
- Stand in front of the racked bar.
- Bend both elbows and lift them up in front of your chest. Bring your palms together.
- Bend towards the bar resting your elbow on it.
- Gently lean forward. This will stretch your triceps as well as your shoulders, lats and upper back.
- The more you lean forward, the deeper the stretch will feel.
- Hold this stretched position for 10 to 20 seconds.