Exercises Tennis Elbow


If you master the proper exercises tennis elbow can be a thing of the past!  All it takes to eliminate the pain and stiffness of this chronic condition are a little basic knowledge about tennis elbow, and some dedication to stretching and strengthening the affected areas.  Before we discuss the best tennis elbow exercises, it is necessary to understand a little about the condition. 


What is tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)?

Despite its name, tennis elbow is not limited to those who play tennis or racquet sports; in fact, it can happen to anyone who repeatedly performs these motions:

  • Lifting with the elbow.
  • Gripping.
  • Twisting the wrist. 

Because even those on the job can suffer from “tennis” elbow, doctors and therapists have dedicated themselves to developing tennis elbow exercises that get positive results.  Without the proper exercises tennis elbow often becomes a chronic, nagging problem that worsens over time and may require surgery.

What are the symptoms?

Tennis elbow sufferers have pain in the outer elbow or wrist when doing even simple actions like gripping or lifting, with little or no weight.  If you have this type of pain, which may subside at night, you may be able to benefit from tennis elbow exercises.

What causes tennis elbow?

The causes of tennis elbow include:

  • Inadequate shoulder rotation.
  • Back stiffness.
  • Inflexibility.
  • Improper technique or poor form.

With a solid regimen of exercises tennis elbow causes like these will disappear, as your body’s flexibility and strength increase.

The Exercises

With both strength and stretching exercises tennis elbow can be vastly improved and usually eliminated.  The important thing to remember, however, is that if improperly performed, tennis elbow exercises can actually worsen your condition; be sure to get your doctor’s okay before you begin any of these exercises!


With these exercises tennis elbow affected muscles, tendons and ligaments have the ability to become more flexible and elastic, which will help prevent the hyperextension of your elbow during play or work.  Do these stretching exercises after a warm-up, but before you perform the aggravating motion.

  1. Rubber band hand:  Cup your hand with your palm facing up; loop a rubber band around your fingers and thumb.  Against the resistance of the rubber band, spread your fingers and thumb apart and then back together again.  Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

  2. Wrist and forearm stretch:  Hold one arm straight out in front of you, palm up, grasping your hand with the other hand.  Slowly pull your hand downward, rotating your wrist down and out, holding the stretch for 10-15 seconds.  Do 2 to 3 repetitions.


When your tennis elbow pain has started to improve, you can safely begin these tennis elbow exercises which will help increase your strength.  Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

  1. Forearm side-to-side:  Sit down with your forearm on a flat surface, out to your side, with your hand extending over the edge.  Grasp a hammer or dumbbell, and rotate your wrist from right to left, so that the hammer or dumbbell moves in a side-to-side arc. 

  2. Palm Squeeze:  Grasp a tennis ball or some putty in your hand.  Squeeze your hand around the object, hold for a few seconds, and then release. 

  3. Wrist curls:  Sit down in a chair or on a bench, and place your forearms on your legs with your hands extending past your knees, palms up.  Grasp a light weight or the end of a thera-band in each hand and curl your wrists toward you and back down again.  After completing these with the palms upward, do them again with the palms facing downward.

We hope you have found this tennis elbow article informative and helpful.  With a little dedication, these exercises have the ability to eliminate your pain and get you back in the game or back to work in no time



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