Triceps stretches are arm stretches that work the large muscles at the back of your upper arms. These muscles are used for elbow extension and to stabilize the shoulder.
The triceps work with the biceps to perform most strong forearm movements. They’re one of the most important muscles for developing upper body strength, which is especially important as you age.
Triceps stretches increase flexibility and can help prevent injuries.
Always stretch to the degree that is comfortable without going beyond your limits. This will help you gain the most benefits and prevent injury. It’s also important to warm up and loosen your muscles before stretching them.
Try a simple, gentle warmup for 5 to 10 minutes before you begin stretching. This can consist of a brisk walk, light jog, or jumping jacks to get your muscles warm and your heart pumping.
Stretching can be done on its own or before or after athletic activity. Keep your breath smooth and natural throughout your routine and avoid bouncing.
Here are four triceps stretches you can try at home.
1. Overhead triceps stretch
You can do the overhead triceps stretch while standing or sitting.
To do this:
- Lift your shoulders up toward your ears and then draw them down and back.
- Extend your right arm to the ceiling, then bend at the elbow to bring the right palm toward the center of your back, resting your middle finger along your spine.
- Use your left hand to gently push your elbow in toward the center and down.
- Hold this stretch 30 seconds for three to four repetitions on each side.
2. Triceps towel stretch
This stretch is a bit deeper than the overhead triceps stretch. You can use a bar or strap in place of a towel. During the stretch, open your chest and engage your core muscles.
To do this:
- Start in the same position as the overhead triceps stretch, holding a towel or strap in your right hand.
- Bring your left elbow down along your side body and reach your hand up to hold the bottom of the towel, keeping the back of your hand against your back.
- Pull your hands in opposite directions.
3. Horizontal stretch
This stretch helps to increase flexibility. You can do it while standing or sitting.
To do this:
- Bring your right arm across your body.
- Bend your elbow slightly.
- Use your left hand to guide the movement as you press your arm into your chest and over to the left.
- Hold this stretch 30 seconds and do three to four repetitions on each side.
4. Dynamic triceps warmup
While these movements aren’t technically a stretch, they’re a useful warmup that will help loosen your triceps.
To do this:
- Extend your arms straight out to the sides so they’re parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
- Rotate your arms in backward circles.
- Rotate your arms in forward circles.
- Turn your palms to face forward and pulse your arms back and forth.
- Do the same movement with your palms facing backward, up, and down.
- Do each movement for 30 seconds for two to three repetitions.
These stretches can be used to help relieve muscle tension and aid in injury recovery. Triceps stretches improve flexibility, lengthen muscles, and increase range of motion.
Plus, they can help to prevent tight muscles, loosen connective tissue, and boost circulation, all while using no or minimal equipment.
If you wish to focus on building strength, incorporate some triceps exercises. Triceps strength is useful in pushing and throwing movements, and athletic activities.
Triceps stretches can help to relieve pain and discomfort. However, you shouldn’t do these stretches if you have serious pain or concerns about your bones or joints.
If you’ve had a recent injury, wait until you’re nearly recovered to start the stretches. Stop immediately if you feel any pain during or after these stretches. Build up slowly, especially if you aren’t usually physically active or have any concerns with your neck, shoulders, or arms.
Talk to your doctor if you have any injuries or health concerns that are affected by triceps stretches or if you’re using the stretches for specific healing purposes.
Likewise, you may want to enlist the support of a fitness expert if you would like to tailor your exercise routine to your individual needs.
A fitness expert will be able to help you put together a program and make sure you’re doing all of the components correctly, which can be immensely beneficial. Consider booking a few one-on-one sessions, at least in the initial stages.
Take the time to do triceps stretches to increase your strength, flexibility, and range of motion. These simple stretches can be done at any time and can be worked into your day in short periods of time.
Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have any physical concerns that may be affected. Build up slowly and always work within your limits. Over time, you will see benefits in your daily life and athletic performance.