5 Effective Exercises for Tennis Elbow

What is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?


Tennis elbow is a widely common soft tissue condition characterized by pain and inflammation on the lateral and outer aspect of the elbow. It is typically due to overuse of the extensor carpi radialis brevis tendon through repetitive actions such as improperly playing tennis, operating machinery, typing or other gripping activities. Symptoms may include weakness in the arm, stiffness in the elbow, and difficulty performing common hand actions such as holding an object. While ice packs and braces can assist with pain control in the early stages of tennis elbow, improving one's fitness is very important in the long-term management and prevention of this elbow condition. Try these five exercises to strengthen the arm:

BALL SQUEEZE (to improve grip strength)

1) Hold a tennis ball (rolled up sock or towel can also be used) in your hand.
2) Squeeze the ball for 5 seconds and then relax the hand for 10 seconds.
3) Repeat 8 - 12 times for 3 sets, then alternate to the other hand and repeat exercise.


WRIST TWISTS (to improve forearm supination)


1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand.
3) Rotate the arm outward and turn the dumbbell up. Then rotate the arm inward so that the dumbbell will point back down.
4) Repeat 15-20 times for 3 sets on each arm.

WRIST FLEXION (to strengthen flexor muscles)



1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand so that the palm is facing up.
3) Flex your wrist by curling the dumbbell towards the body and then back down to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 - 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other hand and repeat exercise.

WRIST EXTENSION (to strengthen extensor muscles)


1) Place your elbow on a table so that your hand and wrist are just off the edge.
2) Hold a very light dumbbell (around 2 lbs) in your hand so that the palm is facing down.
3) Let your wrist slowly drop down and then lift your wrist back up to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 - 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other hand and repeat exercise.

HAMMER CURLS (to condition your forearm muscles)


1) Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2) Hold a light dumbbell (5 to 10 lbs) in a hammer grip position (dumbbell is vertical) in both hands.
3) Keeping the elbows close to the body, flex your forearm upward to 90 degrees, then back down to starting position.
4) Repeat 8 - 12 times for 3 sets. Alternate to other arm and repeat exercise.

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