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For many, the bicep is one of the most desired muscles on the body. Everyone wants big biceps. This means it’s also one of the hardest worked muscles on the body. If you’re going to work them hard then it’s important to stretch them afterward. This is where knowing some good bicep stretches comes in useful.

Read on to find out more about this muscle, and the bicep stretches you can do to keep it supple, and performing at its best.

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About the Bicep

As most probably know, the bicep muscle is located on the front portion of the upper arm. The opposing muscle group is the triceps, located at the rear portion of the upper arm.

The bicep extends for the full length of the humerus (upper arm) bone. It has join points at either end of the muscle.

Roughly speaking, and for sake of simplicity, the top join points connect in around the front of the shoulder. And the bottom join points connect in around the top, and front, of the forearm.

Your bicep is responsible for elbow flexion, i.e. pulling your arm inwards towards the shoulder. It also handles the supination movement of the forearm, i.e. turning your hand outwards.

The bicep tends not to be active during any supination movement of the forearm whilst unloaded. However, when any load past limb weight is placed on the arm, the bicep will then be used in all forearm positions.

Difference between supination and pronation

Supination and pronation of the forearm are terms often mentioned in these types of articles, with no explanation as to what they mean.

They are anatomical terms and here’s a quick explanation.

Supination and pronation describe the movement/rotation of the body’s feet and forearms.

The movements are responsible for a number of important actions of the body such as propulsion, balance, coordination, and shock absorption.

For the purpose of the explanation assume to be holding the following body posture/position.

  1. Standing up straight.
  2. Upper arms vertical, against your sides.
  3. Forearms 90 degrees to upper arms, horizontal, parallel to the floor.
  4. Hands and fingers pointed straight out, palms facing each other, thumbs pointing up.


  • Supination of the forearms turns the palms upwards and thumbs outwards.


  • Pronation of the forearms turns the palms downwards, and thumbs facing towards each other.

Bicep tightness

All muscles become tighter the more they’re used. This is more so the case when heavy loads are frequently placed on those muscles.

All kinds of work that necessitate the elbow to be bent will tighten the biceps. If the muscles become overly tight it won’t be possible to fully straighten the arm. This contributes to what’s commonly regarded as the muscle-bound look.

This bicep tightness can also cause pain in the elbow. This is generally known as ‘golfers elbow‘. It would be foolish, however, to think this means it’s limited only to golfers. Weightlifters and other everyday professions, where the bicep is constantly and repeatedly engaged can suffer this pain.

For these people, bicep stretches become the solution to avoiding these types of aches and pains.

Benefits of Bicep Stretches

Stretching the biceps brings numerous benefits, and few if any downsides when done correctly. Some of those benefits are –

  • Reduced muscle tightness
  • Improved range of motion
  • Reduced injury risk
  • Improved performance
  • Faster recovery

For those suffering from tightened biceps stretching them regularly should bring relief. Over time, bicep stretches will gradually loosen and lengthen the muscles. This should be done consistently and gradually. However, it’s important to remember to go just a little bit at a time.

By gradually loosening and lengthening the muscles, the range of motion will increase naturally as a result. This is important for general everyday good health, and the ability to move pain-free.

Flexible muscles are muscles that are less likely to suffer tears/strains and become injured. This is an important factor in the ability to maintain consistency in your exercise plan. Your muscles aren’t going to progress much while they’re injured and unable to work.

Stretching muscles is well known to improve the performance of those muscles. This is true when done before a workout, and in general over the longer term. Warming up and loosening out your muscles pre-workout, gets them ready to move heavier loads, for longer, with less chance of injury.

Stretching post-workout ensures your muscles remain loose, supple, with a full range of motion, and performing at their best over the longer term. As a result, your performance will increase more over the long term too.

When the muscles are stretched, the blood flow to those muscles increases. This increased blood flow enables greater oxygen and nutrient supply to get to the muscle. By doing this, particularly post-workout, we ensure the recovery process gets the best start possible. Stretching after a workout also helps to lower DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

How to stretch biceps correctly

  • Never stretch cold muscles

It’s always a good idea to warm up the muscles before stretching them. Muscles are much more likely to injure or tear when they’re cold. So, before stretching, do a gentle warm-up to get the blood flowing, and the muscles warmed up.

  • It shouldn’t hurt

This is not the time to employ the “no pain no gain” mentality. Stretching the muscles shouldn’t be painful. You should stretch to the point of feeling tension on the muscle. You can stretch past this point a little, but not to the point of feeling pain.

  • Remember to breathe

Many become distracted while stretching, and end up breath-holding. Try not to do this. Instead, focus on relaxing the muscles with deep and steady breathing.

  • Don’t bounce

This is an important one. Bouncing the stretch is a dangerous game to play. Combine this with cold muscles, i.e. not warming up, and you will be playing with fire. Stretching should be controlled and steady. By bouncing, you massively increase the risk of pushing into that pain zone, before you can react and pull back.

  • Progress slowly

Progress your stretching by pushing a little further into the stretch each day. You can also progress by holding the stretch a little longer each time.

List of Bicep Stretches

#1 Standing Bicep Stretch: Single Wall

This bicep stretch is possibly one of the most common, and easiest to perform. I regularly use this one myself. All you need is a wall, or similar to place your hand against.

  1. Find a wall or similar solid surface you can place your hand against.
  2. Stand at 90 degrees to the wall, at about arm’s length away.
  3. Place the palm of the hand on the wall, shoulder height, fingers facing behind.
  4. Begin to slowly turn your torso away from the wall.
  5. Hold for around 30 secs once you feel the stretch in the bicep.
  6. Repeat for the other arm.
  7. Repeat 2 – 3 times on each arm as desired.

This stretch has the added benefit of stretching some other areas of the upper body. Namely in the shoulder, chest, and wrist areas.

#2 Standing Bicep Stretch: Wall Corner

This stretch is similar to the single-wall bicep stretch. However, the inner corner of a wall is needed for this one. Doing both arms at once saves you valuable time, as opposed to doing one arm per stretch.

  1. Find a clean, clutter-free corner.
  2. Stand facing into the corner.
  3. Extend both arms out at shoulder height.
  4. Place both palms on the wall, fingers facing behind.
  5. Move forward slowly into the corner.
  6. Stop once you feel the stretch in both biceps.
  7. Hold the stretch for around 30 secs.
  8. Repeat 2 – 3 times as desired.

#3 Standing Bicep Stretch: Arms Behind Back

No walls or equipment is needed to perform this bicep stretch. A good one to know when no walls are nearby!

  1. Stand straight up.
  2. Place arms behind the back and interlock the fingers.
  3. Palms can be facing in or out.
  4. Begin to slowly extend the arms backward and upwards.
  5. Stop once you feel a stretch on the biceps.
  6. Hold the stretch for around 30 secs.
  7. Repeat 2 – 3 times as desired.

#4 Standing Bicep Stretch: With Tubing/Bands

This stretch has an added benefit. It also increases flexibility, and range of motion in the shoulders. A length of tubing or exercise band is required.

  1. Stand straight up.
  2. Hold tubing in both hands, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Extend arms straight out in front, shoulder height, palms facing downward.
  4. Begin to move arms upwards above the head.
  5. Continue behind the back, keeping the elbow straight.
  6. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat 2 -3 times as desired.

This stretch can be tough for some. Only attempt if you have the range of motion, and flexibility in the shoulders to complete comfortably.

#5 Standing Bicep Stretch: Straight Arm

For this stretch, you will need an upright object that you can place your thumb and forefinger against. Something like the outer corner of a wall, or a pole, etc.

  1. Find a suitable object to stretch against.
  2. Stand straight up next to the object, arms distance away.
  3. Face perpendicular to the object.
  4. Extend your arm to the side, shoulder height, palm facing down.
  5. Place the thumb and forefinger against the object.
  6. From here begin to rotate the body away from the object.
  7. Stop once you feel a good stretch on the bicep.
  8. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds.
  9. Repeat 2 -3 times for each arm as desired.

#6 Overhead Bar Bicep Stretch: Holding

Overhead bar bicep stretches are a good variation of the more standard bicep stretches. Attempt these once you are comfortable with the other stretches, and have sufficient arm strength.

All of these require a solid and stable overhead bar to complete.

  1. Stand straight up and just behind the overhead bar.
  2. With arms extended, reach overhead and grasp the bar with an overhand grip.
  3. Begin to slowly lean forward.
  4. Stop once you feel a decent stretch on the biceps.
  5. Hold the stretch for around 30 secs.
  6. Repeat 2 – 3 times as desired.

#7 Overhead Bar Bicep Stretch: Hanging

A more advanced version of the overhead holding bicep bar stretch. This version uses the subject’s suspended bodyweight to stretch the bicep. Good grip strength and endurance are required.

  1. Stand straight up and below the overhead bar.
  2. With arms extended, reach overhead and grasp the bar with both hands.
  3. An overhand or underhand grip is suitable.
  4. Raise feet from floor to free hang bodyweight from the bar.
  5. Avoid swinging during the stretch.
  6. Hold for 30 secs if you can, or as long as comfortable.
  7. Repeat 2 – 3 times if arm/grip strength holds out.

#8 Overhead Bar Bicep Stretch: Single Arm Hanging

A tough stretch to do. Only one arm is used during the hang. Major arm and grip strength required. A much more challenging version of the overhead hanging bicep bar stretch.

  1. Stand straight up and below the overhead bar.
  2. With arms extended, reach overhead and grasp the bar with both hands.
  3. An overhand or underhand grip is suitable.
  4. Raise feet from floor to free hang bodyweight from the bar.
  5. Remove one hand from the bar.
  6. Avoid swinging during the stretch.
  7. Hold for as long as you can.
  8. Repeat 2 – 3 times on each arm, if arm/grip strength holds out.

#9 Sitting Bicep Stretch

One of the more common variations of bicep stretches. A good all stretch, in that it also targets the chest and shoulders too.

Ensure the head, neck, and spine are aligned throughout the stretch. Also, avoid arching the back throughout the movement.

  1. Start by sitting on the floor.
  2. Use a mat or similar soft surface.
  3. Bend the knees with feet in front of you flat on the floor.
  4. Put your palms on the floor behind you, facing fingers away from you.
  5. Keeping hands fixed on the floor, slide your bum forward slowly.
  6. Stop once you feel the desired stretch in the biceps.
  7. Hold for around 30 secs.
  8. Repeat 2 -3 times as desired.

#10 Buddy Assisted Lying Bicep Stretch

This stretch requires the help of a buddy. Ensure that it is someone you trust, as they will be effectively be applying the stretch on you.

  1. Lay face down on the floor.
  2. Use a mat or similar soft surface.
  3. Place your hands straight behind your back.
  4. Interlock the fingers.
  5. Ask your buddy to slowly lift your hands upwards.
  6. Tell them to stop as soon as you feel the limit of the stretch.
  7. Hold for around 30 secs.
  8. Repeat 2 -3 times as desired.

Be careful with this one. It would be easy for your buddy to stretch past your limit. This is because they can’t feel your stretch limit like you. Ensure it is someone with who you are comfortable communicating.


Stretching is an important part of any workout. However, most of us skip them. Usually, by the end of a workout, we just want to finish up and go home. Start delegating 5 or 10 mins at the start, and/or end of your workouts for stretching.

It’s an easy aspect of training to neglect, but you really shouldn’t. As we’ve seen, the benefits of stretching far outweigh the negatives.

Another great thing about the above bicep stretches is that most of them will stretch your chest and shoulders too. If you’ve been following our modified pull-up guide, these would be great stretches to include before and after your workout.

Hopefully, some of the ten stretches listed here will either get you started or add some variety.

As always, feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts, advice, questions, or opinions related to this article.

A special thanks to all my subscribers. Your continued support means a great deal to me personally and helps this site out enormously. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness, or exercise. 

Michael Duffy
Michael Duffy

Fitness, health, and outdoor enthusiast! 2 decade of experience training for, and competing in different sports. Boxer, runner, road cyclist, triathlete, and XC mountain biker. More about me here.

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