6 Tips How to Improve Flexibility in the Arm

6 Tips How to Improve Flexibility in the Arm

Your arm muscles, tendons and ligaments need to be flexible in order to protect you against injury. They also need to be stretched to prepare for a workout and to ensure that you get the most out of your exercise session.

Warm up first, and always stretch to the point of mild tension; never force a muscle past its limits. Follow these PT-approved tips to improve your flexibility in the arms:

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1. Stretch Your Arms Every Day

Stretching is an important part of any fitness routine. It can help improve flexibility and reduce soreness after a workout. It can also help prevent injuries. Stretching is like a lubricant for your muscles and joints. It helps get them loose and moving smoothly.

It is important to remember to stretch every day. It is also important to warm up before stretching, as you can hurt yourself if you stretch cold muscles. It is also important to keep in mind that it takes time to become more flexible. Aim for at least 30 seconds of stretching each day, increasing the amount of time as you become comfortable.

2. Warm Up Before Stretching

In order to properly stretch a muscle it is necessary to warm up the supporting muscles. A good warm-up should last 5-10 minutes and can include jogging, jumping jacks, dancing or anything that gets the blood flowing. Without warming up the muscles a stretch can actually make them tighter as they fight against the supporting muscles to perform the movement. This can leech away power from the muscle.

Dynamic arm stretches are ideal for warming up because they mimic the movements of the activity for which you are getting ready. They also help to increase blood flow, which enables the muscles and joints to be more pliable, thus reducing the risk of injury.

3. Stretch the Wrists

Stretching the wrists can improve flexibility in the arm, help prevent arm problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and make it easier to perform many everyday tasks. Start by assuming an upright sitting or standing position. Then interlock your fingers and bend the backs of your hands together in front of your chest. Slowly lower your hands to your waistline and hold until you feel a moderate stretch.

Another good wrist mobility exercise is to rotate your palm in circles. Giordano recommends doing eight to 10 of these clockwise circles, adding that it is important to “feel every centimeter of the range as you go all the way around.” This will help open up the wrist joint.

4. Stretch the Forearms

Many daily activities use the forearms, so it’s important to keep them flexible. This can help prevent arm and wrist pain, especially with repetitive movements that cause tightness.

Start with both hands held out in front of you at shoulder height with your palms facing up. Then interlock your fingers and lower both of your elbows down to stretch the wrist and forearm into flexion. Hold the stretch for the recommended time before releasing it.

5. Stretch the Shoulders

Stretching the shoulders improves flexibility in this area of the body, which can help prevent injury and improve posture. It’s especially important for those who pitch or throw a ball for sport or work, but it can help anyone with shoulder pain or stiffness.

Try the doorway shoulder stretch by standing in a doorway and placing the bottom of your left forearm flat on the doorframe at shoulder height. Lean or step forward for a deeper stretch. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

Another great shoulder stretch is the cross-arm shoulder stretch, which helps to stretch the back of the shoulder. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring the right arm up to just below shoulder height.

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6. Stretch the Neck

While stretching the shoulder and wrists is essential, it is important to also stretch the neck. This can help improve flexibility and prevent injuries in the neck, which is often caused by sitting in a poor posture all day.

Tilt your head upward as far as you can, and then turn it slowly to the right until you feel a gentle stretch on both sides of your neck. Repeat this stretch on the other side of your neck.

All of these stretches should be performed slowly and carefully. Some mild tightness and pulling during a stretch is normal, but it shouldn’t be painful or aggravate your injury.

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