How to Stretch Your Brachialis
Your brachialis is hidden beneath the biceps in your upper arm. Your brachialis muscle is the only true elbow flexor because it attaches to your ulna, the forearm bone that doesn't rotate, as opposed to the radius, which does. Because other elbow flexors like the brachioradialis and biceps attach to your radius, they also act to create pronation or supinate your forearm instead of only generating elbow joint flexion.
Despite these differences, the brachialis responds to the same general stretching techniques as your biceps. So before you grab those dumbbells, here are some brachioradialis stretches to improve elbow flexion and reduce risk of injury during your workout.
How to do a Standing Stretch?
This stretching exercise is a great range of motion to warm up your biceps brachii and other muscles around your humerus.
Stand in a doorway with your shoulders parallel to the doorway's opening. Reach straight to the side and slightly back to grasp the door jamb at shoulder level with your right hand and your palms facing to the side. Back further away from the doorjamb, if necessary, so you can fully straighten your right arm.
Turn your body slowly toward the left until you feel a stretch in your upper right arm. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing normally, then switch to the other side. Do the stretch a total of three to five times on each side.
How to do a Seated Stretch?
This brachial biceps stretch is easy to add to your exercise library as it only requires a chair.
Sit down on the floor. Straighten both arms, and plant your hands on the floor behind you, slightly wider than your hips. Turn your hands so your fingers point straight back.
Scoot your hips slowly forward, keeping your weight evenly distributed, until you feel mild tension in your biceps and brachialis. You might feel a stretch across your chest, too.
Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing normally, then scoot your hips back toward your hands to release the stretch. Repeat a total of three to five times.
Doing either one of these stretches is adequate; you don't have to do them both.
Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise or physical therapy routine.
Lisa Maloney is a travel and outdoors writer based in Anchorage, Alaska. She's written four outdoors and travel guidebooks, including the award-winning "Moon Alaska," and regularly contributes to local and national publications. She also has a background in personal training, with more than 6,000 hours of hands-on experience.