Tricep stretches are a great way to loosen up your arms and improve your range of motion. But before we get into the specifics of how to do tricep stretches, let’s take a look at some statistics about why they are so important.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2 in 5 adults have reported some arm pain in their lifetimes. And while there can be many causes of arm pain, one of the most common is tight triceps muscles.
So, if you’re looking for a way to relieve some of that arm pain or want to improve your range of motion, tricep stretches are a great option. This article will teach you how to do different tricep stretches to help loosen up your arms.
Table of Contents
The Anatomy of The Tricep Muscle
To start, let’s look at the triceps muscle’s anatomy. The triceps is a three-headed muscle that runs along the back of the upper arm. It is responsible for extending the elbow joint and is one of the key muscles used in pushing movements.
The triceps muscle comprises three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. Each of these heads originates from a different location, but all come together to insert into the elbow joint.
When the triceps muscle contracts, it produces a force that extends the elbow joint. This muscle is used in activities such as push-ups, overhead presses, and tricep dips.
The Long Head
The long head of the triceps is the largest of the three heads. It originates from the infraglenoid tubercle, which is a bony spike on the inside of the shoulder blade. From there, it runs down the back of the upper arm and inserts into the elbow joint.
The Lateral Head
The lateral head of the triceps originates from the upper half of the back of the humerus bone. It runs down the back of the upper arm and inserts into the elbow joint.
The Medial Head
The medial head of the triceps is the smallest of the three heads. It originates from the lower half of the back of the humerus bone. Like the other two heads, it inserts into the elbow joint.
Benefits of Stretching Your Tricep Muscle
Now that we’ve looked at the anatomy of the triceps muscle let’s talk about the benefits of stretching it.
Relieve Arm Pain
If you’re experiencing arm pain, it may be time to try some tricep stretches. The triceps brachii, or triceps for short, is a large muscle that extends from the shoulder to the elbow. This muscle is responsible for extending the elbow, which means it’s often used when we push or pull something. Overuse of the triceps can lead to inflammation and pain in the arm, but fortunately, some simple stretches can help relieve this discomfort.
Improve Range of Motion
For many of us, tricep stretches are essential to our workout routine. By improving our range of motion, they help to prevent injuries and ensure that our muscles are properly warmed up before we start lifting weights. However, tricep stretches can also have a number of other benefits. For example, they can help to improve circulation and increase the flexibility of our muscles. Additionally, tricep stretches can help to reduce tension headaches and relieve neck pain. Whether you’re looking to improve your workout performance or simply reduce stress, including a few triceps stretches in your daily routine is a great way to achieve your goal.
Increase Blood Flow to the Muscles
Have you ever wondered why stretching is so important before a workout? One reason is that stretching can increase blood flow to your muscles. When you stretch, your muscles contract and then relax. This action helps to pump blood through your muscles, providing them with the oxygen and nutrients they need to work effectively. In addition, stretching can also help to reduce muscle soreness and improve range of motion. So next time you’re getting ready to hit the gym, take a few minutes to do some tricep stretches first. You’ll be giving your muscles the boost they need to perform at their best.
Decrease Risk of Injury
Triceps stretches are important for athletes and people who perform manual labor or other activities requiring overhead arm movement. The triceps brachii, commonly called the triceps, is a large muscle located at the back of the upper arm. This muscle helps to extend the elbow and is used when performing activities such as pushing, pressing, and pulling. Because the triceps are involved in many movements, they are susceptible to overuse injuries. Stretching the triceps can help to prevent these injuries by maintaining flexibility in the muscle and reducing tension. In addition, triceps stretches can also improve range of motion and increase blood flow to the area, which can help to reduce soreness and speed up recovery time. For these reasons, it is important to incorporate tricep stretches into your warm-up routine.
Enhance Recovery from Workouts
Anyone who has ever worked out knows that the next day can often be a little bit sore. Even if you’re in great shape, working out can cause muscles to tighten up and become inflamed. That’s why it’s important to do some stretching after your workout, especially if you’re targeting the triceps. Tricep stretches can help to reduce soreness and speed up the recovery process by helping to improve blood flow and range of motion.
8 Best Tricep Stretches
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of stretching the triceps, let’s take a look at some specific stretches that can help. These stretches can be performed before or after a workout or any time you need to give your arms a little break.
Elbow Extensor Stretch
The anconeus muscle, which attaches to the humerus and ulna at the elbow, is a little muscular that is engaged during triceps extension. It’s there to provide support and stability, and it stretches the triceps and anconeus from a different angle. So, the elbow extensor stretch is a great way to target all the muscles in the back of your arm.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and reach your right arm overhead.
- Bend your elbow and place your hand behind your head.
- Using your left hand, gently pull your right elbow towards your head. You should feel a stretch in the back of your upper arm.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
Overhead Triceps Stretch
A classic but effective triceps stretch is the overhead stretch. But you should stop if your shoulders aren’t flexible enough or if the stretch hurts. Here, the depth to which you can place your hand behind your head determines the difficulty of the stretch. Plus the force with which you exert on the elbow. The two together will modify the difficulty of this particular stretch. Overhead tricep stretches benefit the entire muscle group, particularly the long head.
- Start by raising one arm overhead and placing your hand on the raised surface.
- Next, bend your elbow and lower your body towards the raised surface. You should feel a stretch in the back of your upper arm.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Remember to breathe deeply as you stretch and keep your shoulders down and relaxed. With regular practice, you’ll soon notice an improvement in range of motion and flexibility in your triceps muscle group.
Triceps Dip Stretch
Similar to the dip workout, the triceps dip stretch involves holding the bottom position while stretching your triceps against the resistance of your torso. This exercise stretches out your lats, chest, and shoulder muscles in addition to stretching your triceps. The degree of this tricep stretch can be changed by adjusting the lean and bend of the elbows.
To do this stretch:
- Start by sitting on the edge of a chair or bench.
- Place your hands on the seat next to you, fingers pointing towards your body.
- Slowly lower yourself down until your elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
You should feel a stretch in your triceps as you perform this exercise. For an added challenge, try doing the triceps dip stretch with one arm at a time. This will help to really target those triceps muscles!
Tricep Stretch Against Wall
The wall tricep stretch is excellent for stretching the triceps muscles deeply. As with the other stretches, you can control the intensity by positioning yourself closer or further from the wall and by applying more or less pressure to it.
To do this stretch:
- Stand with your back against a wall and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Next, raise your arms up, so they are parallel to the ground and your hands flat against the wall.
- Slowly slide your arms up the wall until you feel a stretch in your triceps muscles.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, and then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
This stretch can be performed several times per day to help keep your triceps muscles loose and pain-free.
Reaching Down Tricep Stretch
Similar to the triceps overhead stretch is the triceps reach down stretch, but you are stretching both triceps instead of just one. You may regulate how intense the stretch is by actively extending your hands. Avoid this form if you have difficulty putting your arms behind your head.
To do this stretch:
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Reach one arm overhead and bend at the elbow so that your hand comes down behind your head.
- Use your other hand to grab onto your bent elbow and gently pull it closer to your head.
- You should feel a stretch in the back of your upper arm.
- Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
Horizontal Tricep Stretch
For this tricep stretch, reach across your body instead of behind your head. If you have any issues with elbows or shoulders, don’t worry, this basic stretch is perfect for you and will help target those Triceps. Depending on how much pressure you apply to the movement and back of the elbow, you can customize the intensity to what works best for you. As an added bonus, stretching the hard-to-reach posterior deltoid also becomes easier with this exercise.
To do this stretch:
- Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Reach one arm up overhead, keeping the shoulder down and the palm facing inward.
- Bend at the elbow and reach down toward the middle of your back, keeping the arm close to the head.
- Use the other hand to gently pull on the elbow, stretching the triceps muscle.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Triceps Foam Roll Side-Lying on Floor
When you foam roll your triceps, it will help improve the range of motion for that muscle if done before working out. If performed after training, this exercise will also bring healing blood flow to aid in recovery. As you do this, focus on any sore spots while being careful not to go into too much pain, as it’ll negate all the benefits of the exercise.
- Lie on your right side with a foam roller under your armpit.
- Gently roll the foam roller up and down the length of your triceps, stopping at any particularly tender spots.
- Breathe deeply and continue for 5-7 repetitions before repeating on the other side.
This simple stretch can help to relieve tension in the triceps and improve the range of motion in the arms.
Tiger Tail Triceps
The triceps of the upper arm is stretched and rotated with a tiger tail foam roller, but if you don’t have one, you can use a PVC pipe or anything similar. To the sore areas on your triceps, apply as much force as you can bear. In addition to this, your quadriceps benefit as well.
To do the stretch:
- Start by holding the tiger tail in both hands.
- Then, extend your arms out in front of you and slowly raise them above your head. Next, bend your elbows and allow the weight of the tiger tail to pull your arms back.
- Perform 12-15 repetitions or rolls.
- You should feel a nice stretch in your triceps muscles.
- Repeat the stretch 2-3 times.
When Should You Perform Triceps Stretches?
You can perform triceps stretches any time you feel the need. For example, stretch them out for a few minutes if your arms feel tight after a workout. Or, if you wake up with sore triceps muscles, do a few stretches before getting out of bed.
Stretching is an important part of any fitness routine, and there are many benefits to including it in your workout routine. Triceps stretches help improve flexibility and range of motion in the arms and can also help prevent injuries. If you are new to stretching, start slowly and gradually increasing your stretches’ intensity and duration over time. And always listen to your body – never push yourself beyond your limits. Stop and consult a doctor if you experience any pain during a stretch.