Release Your Biceps and Free Your Arms, Shoulders and Neck
I often refer to the biceps as “the quads of the upper body.” Meaning, if I had to choose only ONE thing for every person in the western world to release in their upper body, it would be the biceps (more specifically, ALL the fascia within and around this muscle group INCLUDING the brachialis junction).
The biceps play a KEY role in upper body movement, and when the fascia within and surrounding them gets restricted it can wreak havoc on everything up AND downstream. (The quads are similarly critical in lower body and pelvic movement/structure, and if I had to choose only ONE thing to release in the lower body it would be the quads).
Reasons to release the fascia in your biceps:
- Helps relieve shoulder issues, especially bicep tendon issues
- Relieves elbow pain (especially when combined with my forearm or brachialis techniques)
- Helps with carpal tunnel and wrist pain (combine with the forearms release linked to above)
- Can be a player in neck issues and neck pain (combine with the pec and deltoid and trap/scalene release)
- General upper body fascial health – keeping your biceps fascia free, unrestricted and elastic means better efficiency in your everyday life and activities!
Now, let’s look at some anatomy:
Pictured to the right you can see how connected the biceps are to the shoulder joint AND the elbow joint, and you can probably imagine because everything is connected, how they are also linked to the scapula (and rotator cuff) as well as the neck.
When the fascia in the upper arm gets dehydrated, shrinks and sticks to itself in balls, this pulls on ALL of the above mentioned joints and can contribute or be the main cause of a lot of issues, from radiating pain down the arm to rotator cuff and shoulder joint pain as well as biceps tendon tears and neck pain.
Is this a one-off solution for any of the above mentioned issues? Most likely not. MOST of the time there is a chain of connected players in any given “pain pattern,” and all of them need to be addressed to eliminate the issue.
I highly recommend using this technique IN CONJUNCTION with other techniques, depending on your goal.
Tips for getting the most out of this technique:
- I tried several different balls for this, and the baseball was BY FAR the best. The lacrosse ball (my usual favorite) was a little too small. So if you can find a baseball you will definitely get the BEST result.
- Take your time finding the right “pin”, and this might be different for every one of you. For me, the best way to pin my biceps is to start with the short head, or on the “inside” meaty part like I demonstrate in the video, and then use rotation to separate the stuck fascia between the two heads.
- Take a lunging stance in order to sink your weight into the ball and get the best result with more compression.
- Spread your fingers wide and make sure your arm is mostly or totally straight. This engages ALL the fibers of muscle and surrounding fascia in your entire arm, ensuring the best result that will affect joints up and down the chain.
- Make sure you’re actually PINNING the tissues and not just rolling over or “massaging” them. This won’t actually release the fascia!
- There may only be ONE or maybe two spots to go after on this one. If you get it right, you will only need 30 or so seconds, or maybe 10 back and forth rotations. Then I’d leave it for a day.
- If you’re using this to get out of pain, make sure you include whatever other techniques may be necessary to get the best result.
- If it’s a wrist or carpal tunnel issue, go after your forearms and brachialis.
- If it’s a shoulder issue, you could use my pec and deltoid release.
- If you’re looking to eliminate neck pain, definitely go after your pec and deltoid as well as your traps and scalenes.
- If you have pain between the shoulder blades, click here for the best techniques to address that.
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