After a workout session where your arms were utilized, it's important that you move through some basic stretching exercises to loosen the muscle, improve flexibility and range of motion, as well as decrease the risk that you suffer from post-workout soreness.
Your stretching exercises should take place after your workout session, as this is when the body will be warm and most limber. During your warm-up, you should instead be focusing on range of motion movements, such as arm circles. This will get the blood flowing and you ready for exercise.
So this said, let's go over some of the best arm stretches that you need to know. Remember, as you do these exercises, you should never bounce into the stretch or perform jerky movements. Everything should be done in a slow and fluid manner, using deep breathing throughout. This will help to keep the muscles relaxed and allow you to move deeper into the stretch.
Each stretch should be held for a total of 20-30 seconds before relaxing and repeating again if necessary.
To stretch your shoulders, assume a seated or standing position with the back upright. Raise your hands directly above your head, elbows straight. Bend one elbow straight down so that your hand moves toward your mid back.
Now with that in position, grab ahold of your wrist with the opposite hand, pulling it toward the back. As you do this, you should feel a stretch in the tricep muscle.
Hold here and then repeat to the other side.
If you aren't flexible enough to reach your wrist, you can also simply pull back at the elbow with that free hand.
To stretch out your biceps, you'll want to clasp your hands behind your back while in a standing position. Now straighten your elbows and rotate your shoulders slightly.
Now bend forward and allow the hands to move upwards as well, toward your head.
Those who are more flexible should be able to bring their hands up so they're pointing toward the ceiling while those who are less flexible may only move up a few inches.
While doing this, you should feel a stretch in both the biceps as well as the shoulder region.
Pause here, taking deep breaths in and out and then relax to finish the stretch.
To stretch your shoulders, you'll want to place one arm directly across the chest, parallel with the floor. As you do this, with the other hand, grab hold of your forearm.
Now, pull the arm slightly toward your back shoulder in the direction its being stretched. As you do this, you should feel a deeper stretch all along the outer shoulder region of the arm you're pulling on.
Hold this and once finished, switch sides and repeat.
Finally, to stretch your wrists, you'll simply want to place the arms out in front of the body and then with the palm facing up, place the other hand over your fingers so your hands form a cross.
Pull down with that crossed hand, trying to flex back the wrist. Hold this as you feel a stretch in the wrist and then release and perform to the other side.
If you perform these stretches regularly after each workout session you do, you should see improvements in how deep you can move into each stretch while also improving your workout performance over time.
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 12 years now. She is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also been named 'Writer Of The Year' two times running. She's also contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance.