Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, occurs when the tendons in your arms are overworked, usually from repetitive motion. Although tennis players suffer from the condition, many people can develop tennis elbow by performing everyday activities. Luckily, there are several tennis elbow exercises to help you find relief. Should you feel any pain while doing these exercises, stop immediately. You should also consult your doctor before performing these exercises to avoid further muscle strain.
This exercise provides you with a stretch from your elbow to your wrist.
Stretch the affected arm straight out in front of you. Turn it over so your hand is facing up. Using your other hand, gently push the extended hand toward the floor, pulling backward. Only bend at the wrist so the rest of your arm remains straight. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and release. Repeat two to four times. Repeat the exercise on your other hand if needed.
The wrist extensor is essentially the wrist flexor flipped over.
Stretch the affected arm straight out in front of you, but this time keep your forearm and palm facing down. With your other hand, grab your extended hand and slowly pull it down and toward you. Just as you did in the wrist flexor, only bend at the wrist so the rest of your arm stays straight. You should feel the stretch on the top of your arm. Hold the stretch for five seconds then release. Repeat two to four times and then do the exercise on the other side if needed.
For this exercise, you’ll need an object to squeeze, such as a ball of socks or a tennis ball.
Hold the object in your hand, making a fist around it. Squeeze the object for six seconds then release, resting for 10 seconds. Perform this exercise 10 times then repeat on your other hand if needed.
For this exercise, you’ll need a small dumbbell, a can of food, or a full water bottle.
Hold the object in your hand. Place your forearm on a table or other flat surface with your hand hanging off the edge—palm facing up. Lift the object using your wrist then lower it back to the starting position. Keep your arm against the flat surface the entire length of the exercise. Do this 10 times. Repeat the motion with your palm facing down.
To add some resistance, use your opposite hand to grip your fingers or you can slip a rubber band over your fingers and thumb.
Cup your hand, touching all your fingers and thumb together. Stretch out your fingers and thumb as far as possible then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and do three sets.
For bicep curls, a weight works best but you can use anything that adds some resistance.
Sit on a chair with your legs slightly spread in front of you and feet flat on the floor. Bring your torso forward slightly and keep your abdomen strong. Hold the weight in your hand, resting your elbow on your thigh, elbow bent and palm facing up. Place your other hand on your other thigh. Lift the weight all the way up without moving your upper arm. Slowly bring the weight back down. Repeat eight to 12 times.
You will need a resistance band, dumbbell, or barbell for this exercise.
Grab the resistance band handle with your palm facing down and your arm resting at your side. Step on the other end of the band with the same foot, stepping the opposite foot forward. Lift your hand, curling your arm toward your shoulder, then lower back down. Do three sets of ten. Repeat with your palm facing upward.
For the forearm twist, you’ll need a weight, can of food, or water bottle. Remember to keep your upper arm still throughout the exercise.
Start with your right forearm resting on a table or flat surface. Your wrist and hand should hang off the edge, and your palm should be facing down. With the object in your hand, twist your arm at the elbow until your palm is facing up. Twist it back to its starting position. Repeat 10 times for three sets.
This requires good range of motion.
Stretch your right arm out in front of you as if you’re shaking hands with someone (thumb pointing up). Lift your hand at the wrist while the rest of your arm remains still. You can rest your arm on a table if you need. Bring the hand back down, lowering as far as you can. Repeat 10 times.
For this exercise, you will need a pulley machine or similar equipment.
Stand in front of the machine with both hands on the bar and your knees slightly bent. Pull your arms down, keeping your arms close to your sides, then slowly release. Repeat three sets of ten.