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STR for biceps brachii

This is an excerpt from Soft Tissue Release by Jane C. Johnson.

Biceps Brachii

Passive STR

Step 1: With your client in supine and his elbow passively flexed, lock in gently to the biceps brachii, taking up slack in the skin as you direct your pressure towards the armpit.

Step 2: Gently extend the elbow whilst maintaining your lock.

Step 3: Work from the proximal end of the muscle near the shoulder joint towards the elbow. Avoid pressure into the cubital fossa, at the anterior of the elbow.

Advantages This is an easy form of STR to apply because the biceps do not usually require a firm lock. Because you can use this technique with your client in supine, this is a relatively easy stretch to incorporate into a holistic massage.

Disadvantage It may be difficult to fix large, bulky biceps due to their cylindrical shape.

Active STR

Step 1: With your arm in flexion, gently grip your biceps muscle.

Step 2: Gently extend your elbow whilst maintaining your grip.

Applying STR to the biceps brachii feels good after any activity involving prolonged or repetitive elbow flexion, such as rowing, digging or carrying.

Advantage This is an easy stretch to apply.

Disadvantages It is difficult to apply a small lock actively; therefore, it is challenging to localize the stretch to specific tissues. • It is difficult to direct your pressure towards the shoulder and take up slack in the tissues to get a better stretch.


This is an excerpt from Soft Tissue Release.