Triceps stretch is an important stretching exercise to maintain the elbow range of motion as well as the flexibility of the triceps muscles. There are a few different ways to stretch this muscle.
Triceps is a muscle that makes up the back of your arm. This muscle straightens the elbow. When you are doing push-ups, planks, or just standing from a sitting position with pushing your arms, you are using this important muscle of your arm. Many times, people are so concentrating on biceps and that “v” look of arms, while building their muscles, they totally forgot this key muscle on the back of the arm. This causes muscle imbalances and invites a lot of pain as well as injury. Along with the strengthening of the muscle, stretching is also crucial.
Anatomy of Triceps:
As the name suggests, triceps have three different heads of origin. It originates from the scapula, and two parts originate from the shaft of the humerus. This muscle inserts on the olecranon process of Ulna. It gets its nerve supply from the Radial nerve.
The action of Triceps:
As mentioned earlier, triceps are the main elbow extensor. It also retracts the scapula. The triceps muscle is the main antagonist of the biceps muscle. And so, it acts as a shoulder and elbow stabilizer.
How to Stretch the Triceps muscle:
Below are a few different ways to stretch this muscle.
- Horizontal triceps stretch:
Let’s say you want to stretch your right side triceps, as shown in the picture below. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your right arm across your body with the elbow extended (straight). Hold the right elbow with a left hand, and gently press it inwards till you feel stretch on the back of your right arm.
You should hold to the position where you feel bearable, gentle stretch for 45 to 60 seconds and repeat it three times.
Repeat on the other side.
2. Overhead triceps stretch:
As shown in the figure, bring your right hand over the head as if you are trying to touch the left shoulder blade. Keep the right elbow bend. Gently with left-hand press the right elbow towards the left side till you feel a bearable stretch on the back of your right arm.
Hold on to this gentle stretch for 45 to 60 seconds and repeat it 3 times on the same side.
Repeat the same on the left side.
3. Towel triceps stretch:
This is a slightly modified stretch of overhead stretch discussed above. This can also act as a range of motion, flexibility exercises.
If you are stretching right side triceps, hold on to a towel on the right side. You want to bring the right shoulder up as shown in the picture below with the towel in your head. Bring your left arm behind the back and catch the towel. Try to pull the towel in a downward direction with your left hand in order to feel the stretch on the right side.
This method is helpful in people who have less range of motion on the shoulder, or unable to bring the shoulder on the opposite side. the key part is to be able to bring the opposite shoulder on the back (rotation of the shoulder).
Here is a print-out version of the triceps stretch.