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The Best 6 Bicep Tendonitis Exercises and Stretches

Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, San Jose

Top 6 Exercises for Bicep Tendonitis

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.

These are only for bicep tendonitis. If you are suffering from other conditions like shoulder dislocation, please seek advice from an orthopedist.

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.

drape your arm to your side

Keep your upper arm straight and lift the weight at your elbow.

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.

raise your arm to the side

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.

 look away and twist

Hold this position for 15 seconds then return to the starting position.

Repeat this 3 times, resting between each set.

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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.

 arm at the side

Slowly raise your arm up, keeping the arm straight, until your fingers are pointed up at the sky.

 raise your arm until it’s pointing at your side.

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.

drape a towel behind your back

With your injured arm, reach behind your back and take hold of the towel at the level of your lower back.

grab the towel with your other arm

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.

 lift your arm up until you feel a stretch

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.

 hold a band out in front of you

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.

pull the band apart

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.

 hold your arm out palm facing down

Turn your hands over so that your palms are now facing the sky and hold for 5 seconds.

turn your hand over palm facing up

Rotate your hands back to the starting position and hold for 5 seconds.

hold your arm out palm facing down

Repeat this so that you have done each movement 10 times. Do 3 sets throughout the day.

What Shoulder Services Do We Offer?

Shoulder Pain Assessment

Shoulder Pain is frustrating and can impact both your sleep and your mental health. Dr. Mehta is a shoulder doctor and can diagnose your pain, offering various surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Shoulder Surgery

If your shoulder condition is severe, or nothing you have tried has helped, Dr. Mehta can advise you on the options for surgery. She is a shoulder specialist and can offer expert opinion and care.

Treatment of Shoulder Conditions


Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder makes your shoulder stiff and can make movement painful.

Bicep Tendinitis

Bicep tendonitis causes pain in your upper arm and can lead to a bicep tendon tear.

Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement makes it difficult to raise your arms above your head.

Shoulder Bursitis

Shoulder bursitis gives you a tender shoulder and makes it difficult to sleep.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears can occur during sports and make overhead movements difficult.

Dislocated Shoulder

Shoulder dislocation causes a disformed and painful shoulder and can be recurrent.

Shoulder Separation

Shoulder separation is a sprain in the AC joint near your shoulder.

And Many More!

Dr. Mehta offers diagnosis and treatment of all shoulder conditions and can offer her specialist opinion as an expert shoulder doctor.

Expert Advice For Shoulder Problems