Last Updated on April 20, 2022

I have the best arm stretches to do after your upper body and arm workouts.

I see so many people in the gym skipping stretches and so many people admitted that they don’t stretch after their workouts when I shared my post with 10 tips to get better results from your workouts that corrected mistakes I see most in the gym and when I’m training new clients.

The #1 mistake people were making was skipping stretches.  I’m not surprised, either.

  • Every time I’m at the gym I see people jumping right into a workout.
  • Every time I train someone they’re confused and surprised that I dedicate 10-15 minutes of the session to stretching…
  • Then after the session is over they’re shocked that they feel better, that they don’t feel any post-workout pain, and that they get better results… even with less time & intensity spent working out.

I’m all about working smart NOT hard and stretching is definitely smart for a lot of reasons. So today I’m kicking off a mini-series with the best stretches.

Today, we’re focusing on the arms with 10 of the best arm stretches to do to cool down after your upper body and arm workouts.

But before I get into the arm stretches let’s go over why they’re so beneficial… Because when you know the benefits of stretching it’s more motivating to do them.

Here’s why arm stretches are your new best friend.

 

Why Arm Stretches are Important

 

People text, type, and sit with poor posture all day.  You’re probably already aware that sitting at a computer can lead to sciatica, neck issues, and poor posture.

But it’s a little-known fact that sitting and computer/phone work affects your arms, too, and that stretching arms actually helps your back, neck, and posture.

Stretching your arms helps prevent (and treat) tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms.

Arm stretches can also help reduce back & neck pain and improve posture.

Stretching your arms regularly also helps prevent stiffness and increases circulation… and this list doesn’t include the benefits you get from stretching your arms after a workout.

Stretching to cool down helps prevent knots, adhesions, recovery time, soreness, and risk of injury.

Plus, stretching feels good.  And the better you feel the better your life will be.

 

Best Arm Stretches to do After Upper Body Workouts

 

The following arm stretches target all of the muscles in the arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back.

It’s important to stretch all of these muscle groups together because they all connect at the same joints, namely the wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

 

 

By stretching all of the muscles in the same session the muscle fibers have a chance to elongate and release acids that accumulate during the workouts.

This helps prevent soreness and allows the muscle fibers to settle back into position which prevents knots, pain, and posture issues.

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating 10 different arm stretches and text that says the best arm stretches to do after upper body workouts

Pin the Arm Stretches to Pinterest so you’ll have them forever

 

Arm Stretch Routine Instructions

 

  • There are 10 stretches in this upper body arm stretching routine.
  • Repeat each of the 10 stretching exercises as instructed.
  • Do two full rounds or sets of all 10 exercises to complete the arm stretch cool down after your arm and upper body workouts.

When you’re done taking a look at the arm stretches, leave a comment and let me know which stretch feels best to you and helps you the most.

 

Arm Stretch Exercise Instructions

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a bicep and chest stretch

Bicep and Chest Stretch

Stand or with your arms extended out the to side.  Stick out your thumb and tuck your other fingers as you pull your arms back slightly so that your hands are a few inches behind your shoulders.  Rotate your thumbs down and hold for 5-10 seconds then rotate your thumbs up.  Repeat holding your thumbs up and down three times.

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a tricep shoulder lat stretch

Tricep Shoulder Lat Stretch

Stand or sit and draw one arm across your chest using the opposite arm to hold it for 5-10 seconds.  Repeat the stretch with your other arm.

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a forearm stretch

Forearm Stretch

Stand or sit with your hands clasped together out in front of your chest at shoulder height.  Begin rotating your wrists in a figure 8 motion, rolling them down to the left, then up to the left, then down to the right, and finally up towards the right in a fluid motion.  Continuously rotate your wrists for 10 seconds.


Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a chest, lat and bicep stretch

Chest, Lat and Bicep Stretch

Place your palm on a wall with your fingers pointed up.  Step and twist your feet and upper body away from the wall without moving your hand.  Hold for 5-10 seconds.  Then repeat the movement with your other arm.

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a triceps and lat arm stretch

Triceps and Lat Arm Stretch

Stand or sit with your fingers interlaced in front of you.  Rotate your palms up as you extend your arm straight overhead.  Hold for 5-10 seconds.

 

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a tricep bicep and shoulder arm stretch

Tricep Bicep and Shoulder Arm Stretch

Stand or sit with your hands out to the side in line with your shoulders with your thumbs facing up.  Push your hands back behind you as far as you can and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a forearm stretch

Forearm Stretch

Stand or sit with your arms out in front of you in line with your shoulders.  Face one palm out in front of you with your fingers pointing down.  Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back towards your body as far as you can and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a shoulder and lat stretch

Shoulder and Lat Stretch

Stand or sit in front of a chair.  Place your hands on the chair.  While pushing your lower body back, lower your hand and upper body down until your arms and upper body form a straight line.  Hold for 5-10 seconds.  Tip:  Don’t drop your shoulders lower than your hips.

Trainer Christina Carlyle demonstrating a Chest and shoulders stretch

Chest and Shoulders Stretch

Sit with your legs in front of you and your arms at your sides with palms facing down with your fingers forward.  Slide your hands back as far as you can while keeping your shoulders down and back, opening up your chest and hold for 5-10 seconds.

 

That’s all 10 arm stretches.

 

Arm Stretching tips for the best results

 

  • You’ll notice that most of the exercises as you to hold a stretch for 5-10 seconds.  As a rule, if you’re younger than 30 hold for 5 seconds.  If you’re older than 3 hold the pose for 10+ seconds.  I only ever hold a stretch for 10 seconds.  The longer you hold a stretch the more beneficial it is.  You can perform the following stretches for up to 20 seconds if you want.
  • You can do these arm stretches after your arm and upper body workouts but you can also do this routine after an extended period of time sitting, typing, or using your hands to release tension and correct posture.
  • Unlike weight training and cardio workouts, there’s no limit to how often you can perform arm stretch exercises.

Which arm stretch feels the best to you?  Let me know in the comments.

Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader,

 

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16481080/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15676904/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29184298/

 

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