8 Best Arm Stretches to Do After Your Next Strength Workout

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Friday May 31, 2024

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Tags: workout, stretching, muscle recovery


After a strenuous strength-training session, the last thing you may want to do is spend even more time on your aching muscles. After all, haven’t you been through enough? Not quite. You probably know the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after your strength sessions, but be sure to take time for arm stretches, too. It’s important to soothe your muscles after putting them through the ringer.

You may be itching to throw in the towel after a strenuous workout and hit the shower, but do your aching arms a favor. Add stretch to your strength. 

The Importance of Arm Stretches After Strength Training

There are two different styles of stretches: dynamic and static. You’ll want to focus on static stretches after your workout. Unlike dynamic, which include active movements to prepare you for your routine — such as a swimmer circling her arms —  static stretches are held in place for a period of time without moving.

Static stretching serves several purposes. It loosens and relaxes your muscles after a strenuous session. Relieving tension after your workout feels good and helps prevent soreness. It also makes for a nice reward to look forward to.

There are long-term benefits, too. Regular arm stretches can improve your flexibility and mobility, which is helpful in everyday life, not just in the gym. Functional fitness can make your life so much easier, especially when reaching for top-shelf grocery items. Being limber has many bonuses.

Arm Muscles to Target


You’ve likely done a variety of strength moves, such as overhead presses, biceps curls, triceps kickbacks, upright rows and pullups. Therefore, you’ll want to target your upper-arm muscles, including the biceps, brachialis, coracobrachialis and triceps. It’s also a good idea to include your shoulders and forearms in your post-workout stretching routine. Plus, don’t forget about your lower arms, including your wrists. Remember, your body works as a single unit made up of many moving parts. Think of the big picture.

Spend up to 60 seconds on your stretches at the end of your session to get the most benefit, although you may need to work up to this amount of time.

Add These Arm Stretches to Your Routine


Here are eight arm stretches to add to your strength-training sessions. They don’t take long but will make a world of difference in your everyday life. As you progress, increase the amount of time you hold each pose to make the most of your stretch routine.

  1. Biceps Stretch

This stretch targets your biceps, as well as your chest and shoulders.

  1. Stand up straight, with your hands interlaced behind your back at the base of your spine. 
  2. Straighten your arms and ensure your palms are facing downward.
  3. Raise your arms as high as possible, feeling the stretch in your biceps and shoulders.
  4. Hold for 30-40 seconds
  5. Repeat two to three times.

2. Overhead Triceps Stretch

This stretch targets your triceps and shoulders.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and roll shoulders back and down.
  2. Reach one arm to the ceiling. Bend your elbow and bring your palm to the center of your back.
  3. Gently pull your elbow downward with your other hand.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch arms.
  5. Repeat both sides two to three times, increasing the amount of time if possible.

3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

This stretch targets your shoulder muscles.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart or stay seated in a chair.
  2. Grasp your arm above your elbow with your opposite hand.
  3. Pull your arm across your body to your chest until you feel the stretch, keeping your elbow below shoulder height.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

4. Seated Biceps Stretch

This stretch targets your biceps, as well as your chest and shoulder muscles. It also engages your core.

  1. Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Place your palms on the floor behind you with your fingers pointing away from your body.
  3. Keep your hands in place while sliding your bottom away from them, feeling a stretch in your biceps.
  4. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, gradually increasing the time at each session.
  5. Wrist Extension Stretch

This stretch targets your wrists, which are easily forgotten in stretches.

  1. Start sitting or standing.
  2. Extend one arm forward at shoulder height or just below. 
  3. With your other hand, grasp your fingers above the palm of your extended arm.
  4. Bend your hand up so your fingers are pointed toward the ceiling, feeling the stretch on your forearm and wrist.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  6. Wrist Flexion Stretch

This stretch targets the top of your wrist and your forearms.

  1. Start standing or sitting.
  2. Extend one arm forward at shoulder height or just below.
  3. Use the opposite hand to press down on your extended hand. 
  4. Bend your wrist down so your fingers point toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your forearm and wrist.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

7. Turn and Open Stretch

This stretch targets your biceps, chest and shoulders.

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Press one hand against a wall, arm extended.
  3. Turn your feet and body at a 45-degree angle and hold, feeling the stretch in your chest, shoulders and biceps.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  5. Do this two to three times.

8. Lateral and Triceps Stretch

This stretch targets the triceps and lateral muscles, as well as the shoulders.

  1. Begin in a seated or standing position.
  2. Extend left arm overhead, palm facing to the right.
  3. Grasp your left wrist with your right hand.
  4. Stretch both arms to the right, pulling lightly with your right hand.
  5. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side two to three times.

Make Time for Arm Stretches After Strength Training

Strength training will help you develop strong muscles, but that’s only one part of the equation. Ensure your developing muscles are flexible and functional by engaging in arm stretches after your workout routine. That way, you can stay limber and pain-free in everyday life, which is the most ultimate flex of all.

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