its actually quite a tricky muscle to stretch. Interestingly it inserts into the shoulder and then skips over to the forearm. Speaking with my therapist hat on, I’d say 85 % of shoulder problems have a “poor relationship” with the bicep. Getting some sort of stretch in, is therefore, good.
Stretch No 1
The “just straighten your arm” stretch. Do what it says on the tin. It’s better than nothing
Stretch 2 is more fun. Sit down with your arms behind you and start sliding your bum forward. You’ll either feel the stretch in the elbow, the shoulder or in the belly of the muscle. Over the weeks, focus on getting your hips further forward to increase the stretch. Build to 2-3 minutes
Number 3 is a disgusting stretch, so make sure you have built some stretch capacity by pushing Stretch 2 along for a few weeks. This hanging stretch is stolen from gymnastics and is called the German Hang. Find a low bar, hang off it. Pull your knees through your arms then keep on turning. Lower your legs to the floor and hang in your shoulders. Do start this with a low bar, as you may need to drop straight off even as you get into something resembling the position. Its very intense!
It also helps you understand the meaning of the word “intense”
It’s about time that you began to understand the secrets behind effective stretching. The secrets begin with understanding what the process is.
The first part of the process, in the first 30 days, is that improvements in your range of motion in the joint occur because you tolerate the discomfort more (aka Stretch Tolerance) NOT, because you have lengthened the muscle.
The move that most people hate is the straddle. Some call this the middle split, others the side splits, others, names that cannot be published.
It is one of the key positions in gymnastics (along with others).
Just as a test, Im going to trial several types of Straddle development .
Before I start, for a matter of record on the floor with my legs wide apart , my straddle angle was 145 ( 31st January 2014)
35 Degrees to go.
The 1st thing I did was to lie on the floor with my bottom against the wall and let my legs open. After 2 sets of 30 seconds, I re-measured the angle and it was 160.
For the next 30 days , Im going to do 3 x floor holds of 1 minute trying to keep my heels down and edging my hips forward, and 3 sets of wall straddle. Static stretching (like this) is very unpopular in therapy circles.
so over the next 3 weeks, I laid on the floor, with my bum against the wall, and pulled my legs down.
On the 18th of February , after warming up and doing several 3 step run ups to a front tuck, my adductor popped. The damage was deep into its attachment to my pelvis. It was so painful that it took 6 days for the bruising to appear. Im still hobbling
So, stretching, especially if you are old, needs to be gentle…..