The upper arm is often generically referred to as the вЂњbicepsвЂќ area. In medical terms, the biceps brachii are the largest muscles on the inside of the upper arm, while the triceps brachii are the major muscles on the outside of the upper arm. As with any muscles, stretching the biceps brachii increases their flexibility and improves your range of motion. Stretch your muscles before and after an intense strength workout to improve your performance and avoid injury. Do about 10 minutes of light jogging or bike riding to warm up your body before you begin stretching.
Chances are that when you were young someone encouraged you to вЂњmake a muscle.вЂќ You clenched your fist, bent your elbow and tightened your upper arm. The muscles that puffed out were the biceps brachii, which run from your elbow through your shoulder, to your shoulder blade. The biceps brachii help move both your shoulder and elbow and are also involved in rotating your forearm. Bodybuilders, of course, love to build their biceps brachii. They enjoy showing off their upper arm muscles at least as much as kids do.
The other main muscles in the inner portion of your upper arms are the brachialis muscles. These muscles are much smaller than the biceps brachii and are chiefly involved in flexing your elbow. Standard biceps stretches will also stretch the brachialis.
Sit on a floor or exercise mat with your feet flat on the surface and your knees bent sharply. Extend your hands straight behind you and place them palms-down on the surface with your fingers pointed away. Spread your weight about evenly between your feet, rear end and hands. Exhale as you slide your hips toward your heels, while keeping your hands and feet in their original positions. Continue moving until your thighs meet your calves, or until you feel a stretch in your biceps. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Stand erect with your feet close together and your back facing a wall. Bend a bit from the waist, then reach straight back and place your palms against the wall with your fingers pointed up and your elbows locked. Squat, lean your upper body forward and move your hips toward the wall while keeping your hands in place. Stop when you feel your biceps stretch. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
Extend your arms behind your back, then clasp your hands so your palms face each other. Straighten your arms while turning your palms toward the floor. Raise your arms as far as you can, comfortably, while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.