While recovering from biceps tendonitis, gentle exercises and stretches can help speed up your recovery and help with the healing process. It’s best to perform bicep tendonitis exercises at the direction of an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist, to avoid making the inflammation worse.
Here’s 5 simple bicep tendonitis exercises and stretches:
If any of these bicep tendonitis exercises cause increased pain, stop right away.
Bicep Tendonitis Exercises
1. Biceps Curls
Don’t push yourself here! You’re trying to gently heal your tendon, not build huge biceps.
For biceps curls, start in a standing position and grab a light weight such as a dumbbell or tin can. Let your arm drape to your side with your palm facing forward.
Keep your upper arm straight and lift the weight at your elbow.
Slowly lower your arm back down. Do this 10 times and then repeat the set 3 times, resting between each set.
2. Biceps Stretch
This stretch is one of the best bicep tendonitis exercises as you can really tailor the intensity to make sure you’re not over-stretching.
To perform a biceps stretch, start by standing facing a wall, about 6 inches away. Raise your arm to the side so that your hand is in line with your shoulder.
Move your hand slightly forward so that your thumb is touching the wall, with your palms facing down.
Keep that arm in the same position as you twist your body to look away from the raised hand until you feel a stretch in your bicep.
Hold this position for 15 seconds then return to the starting position.
Repeat this 3 times, resting between each set.
3. Shoulder Flexion
Bicep tendonitis exercises are meant to help you to heal, rather than causing further damage – avoid shoulder flexion if it causes any pain in your shoulder!
Stand up with your arm at your side and your palm facing your thigh.
Slowly raise your arm up, keeping the arm straight, until your fingers are pointed up at the sky.
Hold this position for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Do this 10 times.
Repeat this 3 times throughout the day, taking plenty of rest between each set.
4. Shoulder Internal Rotation
For shoulder internal rotation, find a towel, resistance band, or something similar. Hold one end with your non-injured hand, holding it behind your head.
With your injured arm, reach behind your back and take hold of the towel at the level of your lower back.
Use your non-injured arm to gently lift your bottom hand so that it reaches up towards your shoulder blades. Keep lifting until you feel it stretching, before it causes any pain, and hold it here for 30 seconds.
Return to the original position, then repeat again after a rest. Repeat this set of two twice throughout the day.
5. Shoulder External Rotation
To perform external rotation of your shoulder, start by taking something elastic, like an exercise band, in both of your hands. Holding your elbows at your side, hold the exercise band out in front of you at waist height, so that your elbows are at a roughly 90-degree angle. Your palms should be facing down.
Gently pull the band apart, keeping your elbows stuck to your side, until you feel a gentle stretch in your arm. Slowly bring your hands back together until back in the original position.
Repeat this 10 times. Complete this set of 10 three times throughout the day.
6. Forearm Supination and Pronation
To do forearm twists, also known as forearm supination and pronation, start from a standing position with your arms by your side. Keep your elbows stuck to your side and bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle so your palms are facing down.
Turn your hands over so that your palms are now facing the sky and hold for 5 seconds.
Rotate your hands back to the starting position and hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat this so that you have done each movement 10 times. Do 3 sets throughout the day.