This stretch targets the biceps muscles of the upper arm that bend the elbow and flex the arm forward at the shoulder joint. These strong muscles run alongside nerves that stem from the neck and run into the arm, and when tight or swollen, they can restrict the nerves and cause pain, weakness, or pins and needles. The biceps also play a strong role in posture; short biceps roll the shoulders forward and down, increasing strain on the triceps and upper back muscles.
Stand with one arm against a wall, extending it back behind you at shoulder height, fingers spread wide. Maintaining contact with the your hand and the wall, turn your body away until a gentle stretch is felt along the upper arm or inside surface of the elbow. Slowly side-bend your neck away from the side you’re stretching to increase the stretch further. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly relax your neck back to neutral and release your arm. Repeat on the opposite side.
This is an advanced mobility technique that uses an exercise band to increase the intensity of the triceps stretch, and helps release restrictions in the shoulder capsule – a collection of fibrous ligaments, tendons and connective tissues that form the shoulder joint. This stretch is excellent to increase or regain range of motion following a shoulder injury, and can help combat the internal (forward) rotation of the shoulders that often accompanies a rounded upper back (hyperkyphotic) posture.
To stretch the right side: attach one end of a heavyweight exercise band to the door knob of a closed door. Take the other end in your right hand, wrapping the band around your hand/wrist as need to avoid slipping and increase the resistance. Turn your body 180′ COUNTER-clockwise, fully bending your elbow so that it points toward the ceiling. Your wrist should be behind your right ear and your back facing the door, as if you were dragging it behind you. To increase the stretch, take a lunge step forward, allowing the band to pull your arm back a little bit. Keep your elbow pointed straight to the ceiling and tucked as close to your head as possible. To increase the stretch in the shoulder capsule, gently turn your palm up toward the ceiling. Hold for 1 minute before releasing.
To stretch the left side: Wrap the free end of the band around your left hand/wrist, turn your body 180′ CLOCKWISE and repeat as above.