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Both stretching and strengthening exercises are important and provide the foundation of a rehabilitation program. The exercises should be performed as soon as pain allows and then continued until and after full fitness has been achieved.

Wrist extension stretches and exercises are the most important with the aim of gradually increasing the load transmitted through the tendon and its attachment whilst also being within the limits of pain. Isometric (also known as static exercises) are done first and involve contracting the muscles without actually moving the wrist. They should only be started once the initial pain and inflammation has settled down.

Below is a walk through of the 5 best exercises to cure tennis elbow yourself. An aggregated summary of the five most effective exercises to help in the recovery of tennis elbow. After speaking with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and medical professionals and combining their feedback with readily available information online and gaining additional insight from patients who have effectively recovered from a tennis elbow injury using various exercises, I’ve compiled a list consisting of the exercises that were most frequently referenced and stated to be effective in treatment.

The Fist clench

Poor grip strength is a common symptom of tennis elbow. Improving grip strength by building the muscles of the forearm can help improve ability to perform daily activities.

Equipment needed: table and towel

Muscles worked: long flexor tendons of the fingers and thumb

Instructions:

  1. Sit at a table with your forearm resting on the table.
  2. Hold a rolled up towel or small ball in your hand.
  3. Squeeze the towel in your hand and hold for 10 seconds.
  4. Release and repeat 10 times. Switch and do the other arm.

 

Supination with a dumbbell

The supinator muscle is a large muscle of the forearm that attaches into the elbow. It’s responsible for turning the palm upward and is often involved in movements that can cause tennis elbow.

Equipment needed: table and 2-pound dumbbell

Muscles worked: supinator muscle

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a chair holding a 2-pound dumbbell vertically in your hand with your elbow resting on your knee.
  2. Let the weight of the dumbbell help rotate the arm outward, turning the palm up.
  3. Rotate the hand back the other direction until your palm is facing downward.
  4. Repeat 20 times on each side.
  5. Try to isolate the movement to your lower arm, keeping your upper arm and elbow still.

Wrist extension

The wrist extensors are a group of muscles that are responsible for bending the wrist, like during the hand signal for stop. These small muscles that connect into the elbow are often subject to overuse, especially during racquet sports.

Equipment needed: table and 2-pound dumbbell

Muscles worked: wrist extensors

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a chair holding a 2-pound dumbbell in your hand with your palm facing down, resting your elbow comfortably on your knee.
  2. Keeping your palm facing down, extend your wrist by curling it towards your body. If this is too challenging, do the movement with no weight.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.
  4. Try to isolate the movement to the wrist, keeping the rest of the arm still.

Wrist flexion

The wrist flexors are a group of muscles that work opposite the wrist extensors. These small muscles that connect into the elbow are also subject to overuse, leading to pain and inflammation.

Equipment needed: table and 2-pound dumbbell

Muscles worked: wrist flexors

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a chair holding a 2-pound dumbbell in your hand with your palm facing up and elbow resting comfortably on your knee.
  2. Keeping your palm facing up, flex your wrist by curling it towards your body.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.
  4. Try to isolate the movement to the wrist, keeping the rest of the arm still.

Towel twist

Equipment needed: hand towel

Muscles worked: wrist extensors, wrist flexors

Instructions:

  1. Sit in a chair holding a towel with both hands, shoulders relaxed.
  2. Twist the towel with both hands in opposite directions as if you are wringing out water.
  3. Repeat 10 times then repeat another 10 times in the other direction.