We’ve all been there: you’re so pumped up going to the gym that you don’t stretch properly and you end up injuring yourself. You say “next time I’ll stretch more!”. But you don’t.
Chances are if you’re working your triceps, you’re moving some heavy ass weight. And when you injure yourself moving heavy ass weight, the results aren’t good. Stretching your muscles prior to warm-up is crucial in preventing injury, increasing range of motion and mental focus. Start your workout with these easy and effective tricep stretches.
Overhead Tricep Stretch
This stretch is fantastic because it requires no equipment and you can do it anywhere. The trick here is to stretch for a few minutes, not just one, two, done.
- Start with one arm and place it over your head as if you were scratching your upper back.
- Keep your wrist straight throughout.
- Tuck your chin in so the opposite arm has more room to work with.
- Grab your elbow with the opposite arm and push it down your back.
- Do not push too hard that it causes pain, but just enough that you can feel the stretch of the muscle.
Standing Tricep Extension (Reverse Skullcrusher)
The standing tricep extension stretch is something I always do on a chest or triceps day. Easy to do and minimal equipment required, especially useful if the gym is busy.
- Use a bar that is below chest high.
- Place your hands at approximately shoulder width.
- Bend over so that your heels are off the floor.
- Press your body away from the bar, keeping your elbows in tight.
The standing tricep extension stretch primarily uses the long head of your tricep, the largest part of the muscle.
Resistance Bands Standing Tricep Extension
In case you have been living underneath a rock for the last 10 years, resistance bands are the new gym tool that you should be using. Easy to use and inexpensive, resistance bands (or stretch bands) are a fantastic tool to use during your warming up.
A tricep extension using resistance bands applies constant tension to your muscles, allowing your triceps to be properly and fully stretched before working out. A warmed-up muscle is a happy muscle.
- Loop the band either securely under your heels OR underneath gym equipment.
- Stand up straight with your chest pointed forwards.
- Keeping your elbows in tight (meaning don’t flare!), grab the resistance band from behind your head and extend
What happens if a tricep stretch hurts my shoulder?
If a tricep stretch is hurting your shoulder, chances are you’re doing it wrong. It should never hurt your shoulder. You could be overextending yourself, such as when doing an overhead tricep stretch. Go slow, and when you feel pain immediately stop.
What about yoga for stretching your triceps?
Yoga is a fantastic aerobic exercise that can vastly increase your flexibility, range of motion, muscle strength, respiration and blood circulation (among many more benefits).
If you currently practise yoga or want to start, try the Childs pose to start.
- Get into a kneeling position on the floor.
- Move your knees to approximately hip-width, more or less depending on your general flexibility.
- Lower your glutes (that means butt) towards the heels of your feet and exhale simultaneously.
- Keeping a neutral spine, fold forward so your chest is facing your legs
- Place your arms ahead of you with palms either facing up or down.
- Slowly breathe as you push your tailbone towards your heels.
If you’d like to further stretch your triceps with the Child’s pose, consider elevating your palms with either a pillow or a hard surface.
The best part of these stretches is that they require either no or minimal equipment. Perfect for warming up as you walk in the gym or even before you leave the house. Not all of us have the time to visit the gym in the first place, so if you’re stuck at home