What Tennis Elbow Exercises Should I Do?

If you have been diagnosed with tennis elbow your main objective is to eliminate any pain and strengthen the muscles of your forearm and wrist allowing flexibility (and pain-free) movement again. The use of exercises improves the blood flow to tendons and this helps in the healing process.

Below are some easy exercises for you to follow, but you may also have to think about what is causing the tennis elbow and look at changing your tennis stroke or the other activities that are causing it to flare up.

While in the initial stages of the condition, tennis elbow can be treated at home to alleviate and eliminate elbow pain and discomfort, however it is very important to wait for swelling to diminish before trying any of the tennis elbow treatment exercises below:

Wrist Turn

This is a simple exercise for tendonitis that can be easily be carried out at home and is a very easy elbow tendonitis exercise. It involves bending the elbow at a right angle. With the palm upward facing, extend the hand out and gently twist the wrist until the palm is facing own. This position should be held for about 5 seconds and repeated.

A variation of this tennis elbow exercise is with a weight, such as a light dumbbell or bottle of plastic water, held in the patient’s hand.

Wrist Extension

Works a group of muscles that allow us to bend our wrist. This tendonitis exercise is easy to do; from a sitting position and holding a dumbbell (approx 2 pound), palm facing up and elbow resting on your knee, curl your wrist towards your body, causing wrist flex, and slowly bring it back to the starting position. This should be repeated about 10 times.

Grip Strengthening

As grip strength is often weakened with tennis elbow, this easy to do tennis elbow exercise focuses on building up the strength of the muscles in the forearm. Sitting at a table with forearm resting on the table you hold a towel (or object of similar size) in your hand. Squeeze the towel with your hand and hold the squeeze for about 10 seconds. Release the squeeze and repeat – approx 10 times. Repeat with the other hand.

Elbow Bend

From a standing position lower your arm to one side. Then carefully bend the arm upwards until it is touching the shoulder – hold for 10 – 20 seconds and repeat.

Wrist Deviation

This exercise helps to strengthen the forearm and wrist. In a sitting position, place your arm on a table with your hand over the edge of the table. Your hand should be in a “handshake” position. You should next move your hand up and down. Repeat 10 – 15 times.

Towel Twist

A variation of grip strengthening above, this exercise works on strengthening flexors and extensors in the wrist. From a sitting position, hold a towel at the ends, with both your hands. Using both hands, twist the towel in opposite directions, as if wringing water out of it. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10-15 times.

What exercises should I avoid when I have tennis elbow?

Typically you should refrain from doing the activity that is causing the pain or discomfort – even if it means giving up your favorite pastime for a few weeks. Strength training and many bodybuilding exercises such as push-ups and bench pressing are carried out with strain on the elbow flexors. These exercises along with other wrist exercises like forearm curls with weights worsen tennis elbow injuries and could lead to further damage.

It is important to note that when showing any signs of tennis elbow you go to a reputable and experienced practitioner, before attempting to do any exercises by yourself.

Usually rest and ceasing to do the activity that provokes the discomfort will see symptoms reduce within a matter of weeks. Use of anti-inflammatory, over the counter medicine along with ice-packs might be recommended by your elbow specialist doctor. Following some of the physical therapy exercises for tennis elbow will keep pain at bay and will strengthen affected muscles.

Skip to content