Best 16 Strengthening Exercises For Tennis Elbow Of All Time

strengthening exercises tennis elbowIt is just simple plain fact, that no matter which type of soft tissue muscle injury you have, you will simply not recover with implementing an exercise regime.

And if anyone tells you otherwise, they are just plain wrong.

I have been helping, teaching and advising  individuals on how to recover from soft tissue injuries for over 17 years, so I am confident in saying I have seen it all.

One of the most common soft tissue injuries is tennis elbow.

I am going to share with you 16 of the best strengthening exercises for tennis elbow, that for the majority of you, you have probably never even heard of…

But that`s ok.

And here is the best part, you do not need to go out and purchase any expensive exercise equipment to get started!

Table of contents:

How great is that!

Your elbow is a hinge joint.

Muscles and tendons attach on either side of your elbow joint to help stabilize it and make it extend and flex.

The goal of exercise when it come to recovering from any sort of injury, is the build back up the muscles and supporting tissues to prevent your injury from happening again.

If you are not sure whether or not you have tennis elbow, here is quick test you can do – takes just 30 seconds.

Let`s get started with the top 16 exercises which will strengthen and build up your tennis elbow muscles, tendons and ligaments

Towel twist

towel twist exercise

The reason why this movement is so effective is that is specifically targets your forearm flexors and extensors.

Building up these tissues will help you recover faster and decrease your chances of re-injury.

How to Get Started:

  1. You will need a small hand towel.  Do not even attempt a beach towel, way to much and overkill.
  2. Roll the towel up like a cigar.  If your towel is large fold it in half and then roll it.
  3. Sit on a chair or your couch with your shoulders relaxed and a firm posture.
  4. Grab the towel on opposite ends, using an overhand grip for both hands.
  5. No twist the towel in opposite directions as if you were trying to wring the towel out.
  6. Hold at the end for 3 seconds and then repeat for 10 repetitions.

Finger extensions

finger extension

This exercise targets your forearm extensor muscles which are responsible for extending your wrist.

Strong extensor muscles help prevent injuries such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome.

How to Get Started:

  1. You will need a medium strength rubber band.
  2. Wrap the band around the top part of your fingers, just above your middle knuckles.
  3. Collapse your fingers so they look like a beak.
  4. Open your fingers as far as you can and hold for 3 seconds.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

When you get some spare time, check out this other great post on exercises for tennis elbow from our friends over at NCBI Health.  Some great tips over there.

Ball squeeze

ball squeeze

This exercise focusing primarily on strengthening your forearm flexors.

These muscles are responsible for helping your grip, squeeze and hold items tightly.

A common symptom with tennis elbow sufferers is a weakening grip.

This technique will help build back up your forearms so you can hold and maintain a strong grip without pain again.

How to Get Started:

  1. You can stand or sit for this exercise.
  2. You will need a stress ball or a tennis ball can also work.
  3. Hold the ball in the hand where you have tennis elbow.
  4. Squeeze and hold the ball for 3 seconds.
  5. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Wrist deviation

wrist deviation exercise

This movement is so simple but don`t let it fool you, as it is one of the most effective exercises for tennis elbow of all time.

It targets both your wrist/forearm flexors and extensors.

How to Get Started:

  1. Place your affected arm on a table.
  2. Move your hand to the end of the table with your thumb pointing and wrist at the edge.
  3. Now slowly let your wrist drop as if you were about to shake hands with someone.
  4. Come back up to starting position.
  5. This movement should take 3 seconds in total. 1.5 seconds down and 1.5 seconds up.
  6. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

TIP:  You can modify this exercise and make it harder by holding a can of soup or a very light dumbbell in your hand.  I recommend waiting at least 2 weeks before doing so.

Wrist Flexion

wrist flexion

Although it is not technically an exercise, it is more of a stretch.

Stretching can help improve flexibility and decrease any scar tissue you may have built up.

If this stretch really causes you a lot of pain and discomfort, then please skip this step.

How to Get Started:

  1. Extend your arm that has tennis elbow out in front of you.
  2. You can stand or sit in a chair, it does not really matter.
  3. For a right arm affected with tennis elbow, extend your right arm out in front of you.
  4. Extend your wrist and grab your fingers with your left hand.
  5. Slowly pull your fingers back towards your body.
  6. Hold for 3 seconds and then let go.
  7. Perform this movement for 5 repetitions.

Wrist curls

Wrist curls are extremely beneficial when it comes to recovering from tennis elbow.

For the simple fact that they help create strong forearm flexors which you use on a daily basis without even knowing it.

Anytime you open and close your hand, whether it is to grab onto something or catch something in your hand.

Your forearm flexors are engaged and allow you to perform the simplest of actions day in and day out.

How to Get Started:

  1. Place your affected arm flat on a table.
  2. Grab a small can of soup, water bottle or very light dumbbell.
  3. Allow your wrist to fall over the edge of the table as you are holding your object of choice in your hand.
  4. Slowly lower your hand and bring it back up.
  5. Focus on 1.5 seconds down, 1.5 seconds up.
  6. Hold at the top for 2 seconds.
  7. Repeat for 10 reps.

Before we go any further, here is a quick question for you…

Have you had your elbow pain for some time now?

And …

It simply will not go away?

Well be sure to read my article right here on the simple reason why it simple will not go away.

You will be shocked to learn the true reason why and the answer something completely different from what you would expect.

Biceps curls

bicep curls

Your bicep muscle helps you flex your elbow.

It is made up of 2 muscles.

Weak bicep muscles can have a dramatic impact on how fast you overcome your tennis elbow condition.

You do not have to join a fitness center or gym to do bicep curls.

You can simply start out with a water bottle and increase the size of the bottle you use overtime.

So for example, start out with a 500 ml bottle, then goto 1 liter, 1.5 liter and eventually 2 liter bottle.

This will provide more than enough resistance especially if your tennis elbow pain is on a pain level of 5 or above.

How to Get Started:

  1. Sit in a chair or stand.
  2. Grab your resistance object of choice in each hand.
  3. Ensure your arm is relaxed, straight and down by your side.
  4. Flex your arm and bring your forearm upwards towards your chest.
  5. Hold at the top for 2 seconds and then lower your arm back down by your side.
  6. Perform 10 reps over the first week and then increase to 15 in the second week.

Fist clench

Although a strange exercise that you most likely have never heard of, again this one helps build your forearm flexors and tendons.

While this is similar to the ball squeeze, the towel provides a different level of resistance than the ball.

Include this one in your daily routine and you will be back doing the things you love in no time at all.

How to Get Started:

  1. Grab the towel you used in the towel twist and roll it up as before.
  2. Lay your affected forearm flat on a table or even the arm of a chair.
  3. Slowly squeeze the towel and hold it for 5 seconds.
  4. Perform 10 repetitions as part of your program.

Prayer Stretch

prayer stretch

As mentioned earlier, stretching helps improve flexibility and range of motion in your damaged elbow.

It also helps increase blood flow to damaged tissues.

The greater the amount of new blood sent to injured tissues, the faster it can repair and heal.

This is hands down the best stretch to help accelerate your tennis elbow healing.

How to Get Started:

  1. Place your palms together in front of you as if you were about to pray.
  2. Press your palms together and downwards.
  3. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your wrists and forearms.
  4. Hold this stretch for 5 seconds and relax.
  5. Perform 5 repetitions.

Wrist turn

This movement helps improve range of motion and flexibility in your affected forearm and elbow.

At this point you may be second guessing some of these exercises and whether or not they will strengthen your elbow.

When it comes to repetitive strain injuries such as tennis elbow, slow and steady wins the race.

It is not about lifting heavy weights or going all out with a program.

These simple, easy-to-follow movements are set up to help you completely recover instead of providing a band aid solution or temporary fix.

Put your faith and trust in these actions and I guarantee you will recover much quicker than you think

How to Get Started:

  1. Extend your affected arm with your palm facing up.
  2. Slowly start to rotate your forearm inwards.
  3. Hold at the bottom of the rotation for 3 seconds.
  4. Then rotate back to the beginning.
  5. Do 10 reps.

I want to give a shout out to our friends over at AlbertaHealth for posting this article on the same topic.

I highly recommend you check it out as it will add more insights on how to build back up your forearm muscles, flexors and tendons to keep your tennis elbow condition at bay.

Forearm supination

Without including this exercise in your routine, you are not doing yourself any favors.

This supination movement helps build stronger supinator muscles which are responsible for allowing you to twist and turn over your forearm.

These muscles need to be strong in order for you to perform your daily chores and activities.

Just about everyone who suffers from tennis elbow have somehow injured their supinator muscles and this is definitely the best way to get them strong again so…

You decrease your chances of being back at square one again in the future.

How to Get Started:

  1. Sit in your favorite chair with a table in front of you.
  2. Get yourself a can, water bottle or light dumbbell.
  3. Slowly start rotating your wrist from left to right while holding your resistance object.
  4. Do not rush it.
  5. Focus on slow and steady movement.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps as part of your program.

Wrist Extension Using a Tie

This exercise really works your forearm extensor muscles.

When you have weak extensor muscles, you are susceptible and at high risk for a tennis elbow injury.

It is an absolute must, that you incorporate this movement into your program and daily routine.

How to Get Started:

  1. Get yourself a tie or resistance band if you have one.
  2. Lay your affected arm flat on a table or arm of a chair.
  3. Let one end of the tie or resistance band fall to the floor and use your foot to secure it to the floor.
  4. Wrap the other end of the tie or resistance band around your hand.
  5. Bring your wrist to the end of the table to allow it to move up and down.
  6. Ensure there is enough tension on the tie/band to give you some resistance.
  7. Lower your wrist and then extend back up.
  8. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Tricep Stretch

tricep stretch

Your tricep muscles helps you extend your arm.

It is made up of 3 muscles, hence the name “Tri”.

An injury to any one of these muscles can cause tension and pulling at your elbow.

This hinders your ability to flex and extend your elbow without pain or discomfort.

That is why it is important to perform the tricep stretch to keep these muscles pliable and flexible.

How to Get Started:

  1. Lift your affected up over your head.
  2. Bend your elbow and let your forearm fall behind your head.
  3. Reach around with your unaffected hand and grab your elbow.
  4. Pull down on your elbow until you feel a light stretch.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds.
  6. Repeat and perform for 5 reps.

Summary

Tennis elbow is a nasty condition.

We all know someone who has battled this injury and unfortunately for the majority of people …

Their suffering continues even to this day.

So why is that?

The main reason is approach.

You do not have to run from Doctor to Doctor or Specialist to Specialist in search of a magic pill.

I can tell you from first hand experience, it doesn`t exist.

When it comes to treating tennis elbow, you need a plan that has been proven over and over again to work.

Luckily, I have just that blueprint formula you have been seeking.

And the best part …

It only take 5 minutes every other day.

Check out my instructional video right here that shows you exactly what to do and more importantly, what not to do!

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