Stretching is an important and often overlooked part of exercise, as how to stretch properly can be confusing. As muscles shorten over time, they become stiff. Using them suddenly without priming them beforehand increases the risk of injury. Stretching before and after exercise will go a long way toward increasing the benefits your body reaps from physical exercise.
Stretching the Arms
Stretching your arms before or after any weightlifting or strength training is essential, as doing so helps to loosen the muscles and prepare them for heavy use. It also lessens the chance of injury and amplifies the benefits the training will bring about.Warm up & Comfort
Although many would argue that stretching should be the first activity undertaken before any exercise, it's actually more beneficial to undergo 3 to 5 minutes of light cardio training before stretching. This is so the muscles can warm up sufficiently; stretching when cold could damage them. Ensure that you wear comfortable clothing.Stretching Triceps
Stand upright. Raising your right arm above your head, bend your elbow, ensuring that your hand and forearm extend behind your head and between your shoulder blades. Using your left hand, push your right elbow down or pull it towards your head. Switch arms once sufficiently stretched. Another method of stretching triceps is by bringing one elbow across your body towards the opposite shoulder, using the other arm to hold it closer to the shoulder. Hold this for 10 to 15 seconds.Stretching Biceps
To stretch your biceps, extend your arm at shoulder height with the palm facing upwards. Placing the palm of your other hand over your outstretched fingers, gently press down, holding for 10 to 30 seconds until you feel the stretch in your biceps. Repeat with your other arm.Stretching Wrists
Holding your arm out in front of you, gently pull back the hand with your other hand. This will stretch the wrist muscles. Repeat with the other hand.Stretching Shoulders
Standing up straight with shoulders relaxed, clasp your hands behind your lower back and lift your clasped hands, making sure your elbows are kept straight and your posture, upright. Lift until the stretch becomes uncomfortable, but before you feel pain. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.