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How to Train with Bicep Tendonitis – Stretches and Exercises

By Born Tough on

Biceps tendonitis is a chronic ailment in which the tendon sheath becomes inflamed over time. As a result, the most crucial treatment for biceps tendonitis is to take it easy and let the tendon sheath heal itself.

However, while your injury heals, you can train your body to keep your shoulders and biceps flexible and powerful.

1. What is Biceps Tendonitis?

Biceps tendonitis refers to the swelling of the tendon and soft tissues running along the biceps. It can lead to swelling, pain, and redness on the outside of your arms and shoulders. Strenuous activities, such as athletics and hard lifting, are the most common causes.

2. How to Train with Biceps Tendonitis?

While your tendon recovers, you can perform various exercises and stretches to make your muscles stronger which can aid in a speedy recovery.

If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, begin strengthening the muscles surrounding the injured joint within a day or two. To reduce tissue shock, begin with an extended warm-up by stretching. Then try working out your sore muscles by lifting a medium weight or using an elastic band.

3. Best Stretches and Exercises for Biceps Tendonitis

3.1. Stretches for Biceps Tendonitis:

Stretching can help relieve pain caused by biceps tendonitis by preventing tightening of the biceps muscles. Best stretches for biceps tendonitis include:

Biceps Stretch:

Bicep stretching is one of the most effective stretches to help reduce tendonitis pain. It is convenient and can be performed easily at home.

How to Perform?

Biceps Stretch:

  • Stand straight in front of a wall, almost six inches away from it.
  • Raise your injured arm with your palms facing down and place the thumb of your hand on the wall at shoulder level.
  • Extend your arm while turning away from the wall until you feel a stretch in your bicep tendon.
  • Hold that position for 15 seconds and then release your arm.
  • Rest and repeat.
  • Perform this stretch two to three times a week with 5-6 reps.

Sleeper Stretch

The sleeper stretch is great for enhancing internal rotation and range of motion in your shoulders. It is often recommended for bicep tendonitis to increase the flexibility and movement of the biceps.

How to Perform?

  • Lie down on your injured side so that your shoulders are stacked beneath you.
  • Straighten your elbow out from your shoulder. Then bend your arm at the elbow in a way that your fingers are pointing towards the roof.
  • Make sure to keep your arms bent in an L position. Push your forearm down towards the ground by using your other hand.
  • Press down as far as you can until you feel a stretch in your arm, shoulder, and upper back.
  • Stay in that position for 30 seconds and repeat.
  • Perform this stretch two to three times a week with 3-5 reps.

Internal Rotation Stretch

The internal rotation stretch helps stabilize your arm during rotation and relieves tendonitis pain effectively.

How to Perform?

  • Stand straight with your feet spread apart at hip-width. Move your arms behind your back and bring both your hands closer together.
  • Extend your arms to the back until you feel a stretch in the injured area. Make sure the fingers of both your hands are interlocked with each other.
  • Pause for 30 seconds, then release your arms.

Note:You can also perform it by holding a resistance band in your hands and stretching it behind your back.

External Rotation Stretch:

The external rotation is the exact opposite of the internal rotation. It aids in making your shoulders more flexible as well as gradually reducing pain.

How to Perform?

  • Stand straight and hold a band in your hands at about waist level.
  • Pull the band apart by bending both elbows at right angles and make sure your arms stay parallel to the floor.
  • Keep pulling the band until you feel a stretch in your bicep.
  • Hold this pause for a few seconds and then go back to the starting position.

3.2. Exercises for Bicep Tendonitis

Bicep Curl

The bicep curl mainly targets the biceps brachii and its tendons. It aids in maintaining the strength and flexibility of your shoulders and elbows respectively.

How to Perform?

  • Stand straight and hold a 5- to 8-lbs weight (either dumbbell or water bottle) in your injured arm.
  • Lift the weight towards your shoulder while bending the elbow.
  • Hold for five seconds and then slowly lower your arm to the starting position.
  • Complete at least two to three sets with 8-12 reps.

Elbow Flexion and Extension

Flexing and extending your elbow will help work your bicep nerves and tendons which will aid in relieving pain and improving your range of motion.

How to Perform?

Elbow Flexion and Extension

  • On the affected side, flex and extend your elbow.
  • Slowly bring your hand's palm towards your shoulder. Bend your elbow as far as you can.
  • Then straighten your arm and elbow.
  • Complete at least 15 reps in a set.

Shoulder Flexion

Shoulder flexion is another great exercise for dealing with bicep tendonitis. There are two variations that you can perform as part of your training.

i. Dumbbell Shoulder Flexion

  • Start by placing your injured arm at your side.
  • Hold the dumbbell in your hand and raise it to shoulder level.
  • Maintain a 90-degree bend in your arm without shrugging your shoulders.
  • Then lower down the arm again and repeat.
  • For better results, perform at least three sets with 10 reps.

ii. Vertical Shoulder Flexion

Vertical Shoulder Flexion

  • Stand straight and loosely hang your injured arm at your side.
  • Raise your arm slowly in your front until it is placed vertically above your head.
  • Keep your elbow straight and hold your arm for five seconds above your head.
  • Then lower your arm again and repeat.
  • Complete three sets with 10 reps.

Resisted Shoulder Rotation

There are two ways to perform resisted shoulder rotation with an exercise or resistance band.

i. Resisted Shoulder Internal Rotation

  • First of all, tie your exercise band to any door or wall at elbow level.
  • Now stand next to the door so that your injured arm is facing the door.
  • Then hold the band and bend your arm by making a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your forearm parallel to the floor and slowly move your arm across your body.
  • Complete two sets with 8-10 reps

ii. Resisted Shoulder External Rotation

Resisted Shoulder External Rotation

  • Tie your exercise band to the door and stand next to it by holding the band in your injured arm at elbow level.
  • Then slowly move your arm away from your body and the door.
  • Complete 2 sets with 8-12 reps

Safety Precautions

It is important to be cautious while performing the exercises mentioned above as tendonitis can worsen due to such repetitive movements.

The best way to train with bicep tendonitis is to take it easy. Stop the exercise and rest as soon as you feel any pain or discomfort during these exercises.

Use medication and ice to reduce swelling and soreness.

4. Takeaways

If your biceps tendonitis isn't improving and you're having trouble continuing your workouts, consult a doctor for advice and get your injury examined.

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