Top 10 Most Effective Exercises for Tennis Elbow In 2020

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top exercises for tennis elbow

It doesn’t matter if you are a Medical Doctor, Physiotherapist or Personal Fitness Trainer, all will agree that the most effective way to overcome any sort of muscle or tendon injury is by implementing exercises that are specific to your injury.

This is a basic fundamental to all recovery methodologies.

And it is no different when it comes to tennis elbow.

When you search for tennis elbow exercises in 2020 online, you will quickly discover that there are many websites offering their advice on which ones work and ones which are a complete waste of time.

My intentions here are to give you the hands down top 10 most effective exercises that you can start with right now that will jump start your recovery process and help build back up the strength in your elbow and forearm.

It is important to note that these specific movements will not make your injury worse, regardless of whether you have just discovered or found out that you have tennis elbow or if you are in the severe or chronic stage of your injury.

The bottom line – they work quite well!

I’m going to break the exercises down into Basic and Advanced.

I recommend you do the basic every other day for 3 weeks and then incorporate the Advanced once you have built back up the strength in your forearm and elbow.

If your pain level on a scale of 1-10 is 3 or below, then you can do the basic and advanced movements.

For those of you who are unfortunately, on a pain scale of 3 or higher, I empathize with you first of all…

So please stick with the basic movements for the first 3 weeks.

Let’s get started!

Basic and Advanced Tennis Elbow Exercises You Must Do For A Complete Recovery

Basic Exercises


1)  Eccentric Exercise for Tennis Elbow – This specific movement is the foundation to which your damaged extensor tendon will start to heal.  Without implementing this exercise you simply will not get better!  Here is how to do it:

eccentric exercise for tennis elbow

  • Use a light dumbbell weight (e.g. 1-2kg….or a small can from the kitchen cupboard)
  • Sit in a chair that preferably has an armrest
  • Rest your forearm on the armrest while holding the weight/can with palm facing down
  • Now let your wrist slowly drop down
  • Lift and extend your wrist back up to the starting position
  • Perform 10 repetitions, 3 times  every other day


2) Forearm Extensor Stretch – Although not an exercise, stretching is an important component to overcoming a repetitive strain injury such as tennis elbow.  It allows for an increase of blood flow which is important to help accelerate the healing process.  Here is how to do this stretch:

forearm extensor stretch

  • Raise your affected arm to about 90 degrees out in front of you, parallel to the floor
  • Turn your hand so that your thumb is pointing down or as if you are pouring out a glass of water
  • Now bend your wrist
  • With your unaffected hand, reach over and grab the fingers of your affected hand
  • Slowly pull your fingers to increase the stretch in your forearm
  • Hold for 30 seconds and perform at least twice  every other day


3) Forearm Flexor Strengthening Exercise – For this action you will need a dumbbell or can of soups/beans or whatever sort of can or tinned food you have in your cupboard.  Again this exercise can be performed while sitting in a chair.  Here is how to do it:

forearm flexor exercise

  • Sit in a chair with your forearm laying flat on your thigh or armrest if your chair has one
  • Hold the dumbbell or can in your hand
  • The palm of your affected hand should be facing upwards
  •  Let your wrist bend flop/bend over your knee or end of armrest while you are holding the dumbbell or can
  • Now slowly bend your wrist upwards towards the ceiling until your wrist is inline with your forearm
  • Perform ten repetitions, 3 times every other day


4) Tricep Stretch – Although not an exercise, this stretch is important in your recovery because if helps decrease any stiffness or lack of mobility you may be experiencing due to your injury.  It will help improve your range of motion and help you get back your normal range of motion once again.  Here is how to do it:

tricep stretch

  • Bend your arm behind your back, as if you were scratching your back
  • Put some gentle backwards pressure on the elbow using your good arm to feel the stretch
  • Hold for 30 seconds and perform 3 times every other day

Stretching helps improve muscle and soft tissue elasticity and decreases your change of injury. especially if you go beyond your normal range of motion.

Be sure to check out my top stretches for tennis elbow post right here and get some quick ones you can do at home.


5) Ball Squeeze – For this technique you will need a “stress” or tennis ball.  This exercise targets the forearm flexors and small muscles in your forearm and hand.  It will drastic help improve your grip strength which will once again allow you to carry and hold items with confidence once again.  Here is how to do it:

ball squeeze exercise

  • Sit in a chair and grip the ball in the hand of your affected arm
  • Squeeze the ball and keep it squeezed for 3 seconds, then release
  • Work your way up to holding the squeeze for as long as you can
  • Do this exercise for 10 squeezes, twice every other day

click here for video

Advanced Exercises

Even though these movements have been labeled as Advanced…

Don`t let them scare you.

Feel free to implement them into your daily exercise routine.

What is key, not only with these Advanced movements, is to perform them slowly and do not rush.

As with all repetitive injuries, not just tennis elbow, it all about time under tension.

This basically means that you need to keep the tension on the muscle, performing the exercise slowly to improve blood flow to your damaged soft tissues and muscles.

You should be in no rush to complete these exercises.

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to completely recovering from injuries such as tennis elbow.


6) Drawing the Sword – For this movement you will need some sort of resistance band.  They can be found online for less than $10 and they come in all kinds of resistance levels.  Here is how you do it:

drawing sword exercise

  • Imagine you are drawing a sword out of its sheath
  • The thumb starts facing downwards and at the end of the movement faces upwards
  • Lift your arm outward and upwards towards the ceiling
  • Perform ten repetitions, 3 times every other day


7) Forearm Pronation and Supination with a Dumbbell  –   For this exercise you will need a dumbbell or can.  Again it is not important how much weight you use, it’s all about the movement.  Here is how to do it:

forearm pronation exercise

  • Stand with your feet shoulder apart
  • Bring your affected arm up and out in front of you parallel to the floor while holding the dumbbell or can
  • Start the movement with your thumb pointing upwards, then rotate your hand so that your thumb ends up pointing downwards
  • Perform ten repetitions, 3 every other day

TIP: Again, do not seek out the heaviest dumbbell you have at home or in the gym.

This will only make your condition and injury worse.

It is all about the range of motion.

Focus on 3 seconds down and 1.5 seconds up.

This is the proper time it should take for each and every repetition.


8) Bicep curls – This exercise focuses primarily on building back up the strength in your forearm and bicep.  These two muscle groups are on either side of your elbow and need to be kept in good shape to avoid re-injury.  For the women reading this, don’t worry you won’t build big biceps/muscles in your arms.  All you need is a light dumbbell or can.  Here is how to do it:

seated bicep curls

  • Sit in a chair and grasp the dumbbell/can in your hand
  • Open your legs and let your arm fall between your legs and rest your elbow on the inside of your thigh so that your forearm is facing the other leg
  • Now bend/flex your arm upward towards the ceiling as if you were striking a bicep pose
  • Bring your arm so far that your forearm is parallel to the floor
  • Perform 10 repetitions, 3 times every other day


9) Hammer curls – You will again need the light dumbbell or can you have been using all throughout these exercises for tennis elbow.  This action will help thicken and strengthen your forearm muscles, flexors, extensors and tendons.  Here is how to do it:

standing hammer curls

  • Stand with your feet shoulders width apart
  • Hold the dumbbell or can in the hand of your affected elbow
  • Keep your arm in close to your body and incorporate a  “hammer grip” (imagine you are holding a hammer)
  • Bend your elbow until your forearm is perpendicular(90 degress) to your bicep
  • Perform ten repetitions, 3 times every other day


10) Rhomboid and Back Strengthening Exercise – You may be thinking, why do I need to strengthen my back.  Remember all of the muscles of your body are interconnected and form a kinetic chain.  An injury to one muscle can affect the balance and movement of other muscles in your body.  Here is how to do this movement:

rhomboid back exercise

  • Lie on your stomach
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Raise both hands with your palms facing away from you and thumbs pointing upwards
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times every other day

So there the top 10 most effective tennis elbow exercises that you can easily do at home.

Without following a program that doesn’t include exercise, you will simply not get better.

There are no short cuts or pills you can swallow that will cure you overnight but …

For those who want the fast track recovery program, click the button below to learn 5 simple steps that Professional athletes use to cure their tennis elbow fast!

click to learn more

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