One of the reasons I love to receive this Tricep Stretch is because I never realize how much I needed it until my partner starts it. This pose directly addresses what I think of as the “forgotten” area of the body – the back of the arm, armpit and side torso. I find we all hold alot of tension here. And rarely does it get addressed in everyday life.
The traction we give to the tissues in the side torso with the Tricep Stretch helps to improve circulation, especially in the many lymph nodes located in this area. It also releases facial tension that restricts our movement in every direction. Not sure about that? Try doing a side stretch, a twist, a backbend, etc after this pose. I bet you will notice a better range of motion in all directions.
The squeeze we give here to the Triceps is just like you are trying to squeeze a grapefruit. And, just like squeezing a fruit, you will release the “juice” bound up in the tissues – generating warmth and vitality in the tissues.
Give this juicy Tricep Stretch a try and let me know what you think!
How to do the Tricep Stretch
- Kneel with your knees wide facing your partner’s shoulder from the side, with your top knee near your partner’s ear.
- Bend their elbow so that their hand comes near to the side of the head. Hook your own elbow to their’s by sliding your top hand under their arm so your own hand ends up on the outside of their upper arm. This position allows you to traction the shoulder and side body in a controlled manner while working on the tricep. I like to brace my forearm and/or palm against my own body here for even great control.
- Using your upper arm to position their arm, use your bottom hand to squeeze their triceps, from their elbow to their armpit. Squeeze the muscle as if you were squeezing a lime.
- Find the edge of the lateral shoulder blade (under the arm) and use the edge of your hand to apply gentle pressure toward the floor to release the space between shoulder blade and rib cage.
Benefits: Releases shoulder and upper back tension, and increases circulation in the arms.
Cautions: Be extra careful and use great communication if your partner has rotator cuff injuries.
Ah, our triceps get overlooked so often. We might try to strengthen them to get rid of “bat wings” but then we completely forget to stretch them! Here’s a gentle pose to stretch them, similar to our Thai Yoga Massage Triceps Stretch.
Stand or sit and bring your arms overhead. Interlace all your fingers but the index fingers (this brings you into Temple Mudra). Move your hands down behind your head, working toward pointing your elbows straight up toward the sky. Then, lift your hands back to straight overhead. See if you can keep your side body long and upper arms parallel as you do this several times.