Gomukasana arms is an excellent stretch for the triceps muscles.
Stretching your arm muscles is just as important as working them out. Stretching returns your muscles to their normal resting length, which is where they produce maximum force. There are five muscles that affect your elbow and shoulder joints. Some flex the elbow, others extend the elbow, some supinate the forearm and others adduct the shoulder. Shedding light on the anatomy and action of these muscles will show you how to stretch your arm muscles.
Principles of Stretching
There are several ways to stretch: active, passive, dynamic and static. The most accessible and effective way to stretch is active. Active is when you contract one muscle group to stretch another. For example, to stretch the triceps in active stretching, you must contract the biceps. Passive stretching is when your muscles are relaxed and you hold the stretch with some other part of your body or with the assistance of a partner. Dynamic stretching uses movement to enter, exit and deepen the stretch, as in yoga, while static stretching requires you to hold the stretch without movement. Static stretches can either be active or passive.
Biceps Brachii and Brachialis
The biceps brachii consists of two heads: short and long. Both span the entire length of your upper arm bone -- the humerus. Together they flex or bend your elbow and supinate your forearm. In forearm supination, your palm faces forward when your arm is straight and up when your elbow is bent. Your brachialis sits underneath your biceps and performs elbow flexion. To stretch your biceps and brachalis, hook your thumbs behind your back. Reach your fingers away from your back with your arms straight. Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Switch the clasp of your thumbs and repeat.
The triceps consist of three heads: lateral, medial and long. The lateral and long head span your entire humerus, while the medial head spans half of it. All three heads extend your elbow, but the long head also performs shoulder adduction. Shoulder adduction moves the humerus into your body. To stretch your triceps, bend your right elbow next to your right ear and your left elbow behind your back. If you can, clasp your fingers and reach your elbows back toward each other. If you cannot, grab a towel. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Brachioradialis, Anconeus and Breathing
The brachioradialis is a muscle that commences on the outer, lower portion of your humerus. It stretches around your elbow and down your forearm. The brachioradialis performs elbow flexion and is, therefore, stretched when stretching your biceps and brachialis. The anconeus is a little muscle situated on the back portion of your elbow joint. It extends your elbow and, therefore, is stretched when stretching your triceps. Do your triceps stretch. When stretching, make sure to breathe. Inhale deeply to expand your muscles and exhale slowly to deepen the stretch. These stretches can be considered active or passive but the breathing will make make them slightly dynamic.