Well-defined biceps muscles symbolize a strong, toned and fit body. While strength training can make the biceps larger, stretches increase flexibility and reduce the chance of injury. Located in your upper arm, the biceps brachii is the muscle that pops during arm wrestling or dumbbell lifts. Other biceps muscles include the brachialis, located at the outside of the elbow, and the pronator teres that extends from the inside of the elbow, across and halfway down the inside of your forearm. The best stretches isolate these muscles.
Seated Biceps Stretch
The seated bent-knee biceps stretch isolates the biceps muscles for an effective stretch. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands palms down on the floor behind you with your fingers pointed away from you. With your head in a straight plane with your body, stretch your biceps muscles by slowly moving your buttocks closer to your feet. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Do two to four repetitions. To vary this exercise, make slow movements back and forth instead of holding the stretch. Do one or two sets of five to 10 repetitions.
Standing Biceps Stretch
Stand up straight and bring your hands together behind your back and interlace your fingers. Keep your fingers intertwined as you open your clasped hands, palms facing outward. Lift your hands upward to stretch your biceps muscles. For variation, place your hands on a countertop or other high surface. Slowly bend your knees to lower your body and stretch your biceps. Hold each of these stretches for 15 seconds. Repeat two to four times.
Wall Biceps Stretch
Stand approximately 1 foot from a wall, with your back toward the wall. Lean forward and extend your arms behind you. Place the palms of your hands on the wall with your fingers pointing upward. Slowly bend your knees into a squat. Feel the stretch in your biceps, and stop before you feel pain. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Do two to four repetitions.
If you have an injury or unusual condition, consult a medical doctor or physiologist before you begin a new exercise. Do not bounce your body as you perform stretches, and do not stretch until you feel pain. Do biceps massage at the end of a stretching routine whenever possible. Lie on the floor with one upper arm lying across a foam roller. Balance yourself with your other arm in front of your body. Roll your arm on the foam back and forth. Repeat on the other side.