How to Roll Your Biceps - Rolling for Biceps Brachii, Biceps Brachialis, and Self-Myofascial Release

How to Roll Your Biceps - Rolling for Biceps Brachii, Biceps Brachialis, and Self-Myofascial Release

1. Introduction

The biceps are a set of muscles on the forearms responsible for providing flexion and assisting the triceps in forearm stabilization. Rolling biceps can be tricky but it is a great help in reducing biceps soreness after a workout.

Here you will learn what bicep rolling is, why it is important, and how you can roll out your biceps effectively by using foam rollers.

2. What is Bicep Rolling?

Bicep foam rolling is a technique of self-myofascial release (SMR) that helps to loosen the stiff areas (hot spots) in your arms and enhance your range of motion.

(The main target of foam rolling is the fascia: a connective tissue surrounding and uniting the body’s bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The myofascial system consists of muscle tissue and fascia, and foam rolling is an excellent way to allow self-myofascial release. SMR is important to relieve the pain caused by tight spots in the muscles due to injury or overuse.)

Biceps consist of two important muscles and an effective rolling involves working these muscles equally.

  1. Biceps Brachii: These are the muscles that make up the bulge in the middle of the bicep.
  2. Brachialis: These are deeper biceps muscles that are present at the anterior of the upper arm and deep in the middle of the biceps.

3. Why Rolling Biceps is Important?

Because the bicep links to both the shoulder and the elbow, a tight bicep can cause elbow and shoulder pain. Despite the fact that the bicep does not connect to the muscles in our neck, it might cause neck pain.

Hence, rolling out your bicep is important to keep it loose and functioning to avoid pulling other muscles out of alignment.

3.1. Benefits of Rolling Biceps

Rolling can provide multiple benefits to the biceps, particularly when performed after training. These include:

  • Speedy recovery from an injury
  • Reduced pain and soreness
  • Increased range of motion
  • Reduced lactic acid levels

4. Types of Rollers for Rolling Biceps

In general, there are two types of rollers that can be used for biceps.

4.1. Regular Foam Roller:

It is a simple cylindrical, lightweight tube of compressed foam which can vary in size and firmness. It helps to soothe sore muscles.

4.2. Vibrating Foam Roller:

It is similar to the regular roller except that it has a in-built vibrating feature that is more effective in massaging muscles and relieving pain.

5. How to Roll Your Biceps?

5.1. How to Roll Biceps Brachii

When rolling your biceps brachii, focus is put on the bulge in the arm. You can roll your biceps brachii either with a regular foam roller or vibrating roller. However, a vibrating foam roller will be more effective in helping revlieing your muscles and allowing them to do throwing and pulling movements.

To roll your biceps brachii, follow the steps given below:

  • Lie on your stomach with your foam roller placed on the ground parallel to your body.
  • Place your arm on top of the roller by extending it on its side. Make sure to apply pressure downwards while focusing on the top part of your upper arm.
  • If you’re using a regular foam roller, gently roll it back and forth from the elbow to the shoulders with your biceps.
  • If you’re using a vibrating foam roller, you don’t need to do much rolling as vibrations will do most of the work.

Pro Tip:

  • After performing three to five rolls with focus on the middle of your biceps, you can change the position of your hand, slightly inside or outside of the bicep, to work different fibers in your bicep muscles. 

5.2. How to Roll Biceps Brachialis

The brachialis is the muscle in the upper arm which runs down the exterior of the humerus and is responsible for flexing the elbow.

This is mostly associated with the “width” of the arm compared to the biceps brachii which is associated with the "bulge" on the top of the bicep muscle.

To roll biceps brachialis, follow the steps given below:

  • Lie on the floor so that the top part of your shoulder is atop the roller.
  • Gently roll the shoulder above the roller before crossing the point of insertion (point where the shoulders and biceps separate).
  • Then hold the vibrating roller just outside the middle part of your arm.
  • Tilt your body back and forth above the roller.

5.3. How to Roll Biceps for Self-Myofascial Release

  • Stand straight next to  a wall and place a mini foam roller between your upper arm and the wall.
  • Turn your body towards the wall.
  • Put pressure down on the mini roller and slowly roll up and down. Switch sides and repeat.

Pro Tip:

  • In case you find a tight spot in your bicep, continue to massage the muscle  until it is relaxed.

6. How to Choose your Biceps Roller?

The foam rollers vary in size, density, and overall length. You may have to try different rollers before purchasing the one that is right for you.

However, the guidelines for choosing appropriate size and firmness are provided below:

6.1. Size

In general, small-sized rollers are preferred for targeting a special muscle group like biceps.

According to experts, a 36-inch long roller with 6-inch diameter is ideal for SMR. It is equally versatile for larger and smaller groups of muscles.

6.2. Shape and Firmness

Foam rollers can be smooth or textured with varying density. If you’re a beginner, try using a soft roller first before moving to a firm one. As your muscles adjust and your techniques improve, use a denser roller for improved results.

7. Common Mistakes to Avoid

While rolling out your biceps, make sure to avoid making these common mistakes:

  • Rolling in one direction only.
  • Rolling a cold muscle
  • Using the wrong amount of pressure
  • Rolling wrong areas and starting in wrong places

8. Takeaways

Rolling biceps can go wrong if you fail to follow the proper technique. Hence, try focusing on the procedure while performing. Moreover, make sure to warm up your body by stretching before and after rolling out your biceps to avoid any muscle damage.

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