The biceps. AKA guns. The show pony of the upper body. They tend to get a whole lotta lovin’ during training – pull ups, muscle ups, bicep curls in the mirror….ok wrong crowd maybe. But how often are we actually showing these hard working muscles some mobility love? Not all that often….
The biceps brachii are a two-headed workhorse of the upper arm that has an impact across both the shoulder and elbow joints. It functions to flex (bend) the elbow, supinate the forearm (turn the palm upwards) and assists in flexion of the shoulder (bring arm in front), adduction of the shoulder (bring the arm across the body) and stabilization of the shoulder joint when carrying a heavy object.
Tightness through the biceps has implications for movements that require shoulder extension, such as ring dips/muscle ups, chest to bar pull ups and push ups. In addition, tight biceps can cause the humerus to sit further forward in the socket than normal causing increased tension on the biceps tendon. This can lead to bicep tendinopathy and increased likelihood of tears of the biceps and/or labrum.
Trigger points in the biceps can cause pain in the front of the shoulder and down the front of the arm into the elbow.
So if you have failed to give your biceps some of it’s length back after a crazy pull up workout, maybe it’s time. Try rolling them out on a foam roller, or even better, set up a squat rack with a barbell and smash them out over it.
A great bicep stretch can also be done in partners post-wod. Just make sure that you stay active through your shoulder blades during this stretch (keep squeezing them together) and make sure your trunk stays upright.