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Tennis Elbow Exercises

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about tennis elbow exercises?

Tennis elbow exercises help decrease pain in your elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. They also help strengthen your arm muscles and prevent more injury.

What do I need to know about exercise safety?

  • Start slowly. These are beginning exercises. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to see a physical therapist for more advanced exercises. As you get stronger, you may be able to do more sets of each exercise or add weights.
  • Stop if you feel pain. It is normal to feel some discomfort at first, but you should not feel pain. Regular exercise will help decrease your discomfort over time.
  • Follow the exercise program recommended by your healthcare provider. He or she will tell you which exercises are best for your condition. He or she will also tell you how many repetitions to do and how often you should do the exercises.

How do I perform tennis elbow stretches safely?

Ask your healthcare provider how often to do these stretches:

  • Finger extensions: Hold your fingers close together. Put a rubber band around the outside of your fingers and thumb. Spread your fingers apart and then slowly bring them together without letting the rubber band fall off. Repeat 10 times.
    Finger Extensions
  • Wrist flexor stretch: Hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing down. Use your other hand to grasp your fingers. Keep your elbow straight and slowly bend your hand back. Your fingertips should point up and your palm should face away from you. Do this until you feel a stretch in the top of your wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
    Wrist Flexor Stretch
  • Wrist extensor stretch: This stretch is the opposite of the wrist flexor stretch. Hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing down. Use your other hand to grasp your fingers. Keep your elbow straight and slowly bend your hand down. Your fingertips should point down and your palm should face you. Do this until you feel a stretch in your wrist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
    Wrist Extensor Stretch

How do I perform tennis elbow strengthening exercises safely?

Always stretch before you do strengthening exercises. As you get stronger, your healthcare provider may tell you to you add weights or more repetitions to your strengthening exercises. He or she will tell you how much weight to use.

  • Wrist curls: Hold your arm out in front of you. Turn your palm so that it faces up and hold a weight in your hand. Ask your healthcare provider how much weight you should use. Slowly bend and straighten your wrist 30 times.
    WRIST CURLS
  • Bicep curls: Place your hand under your injured elbow for support. Turn your palm so that it faces up and hold a weight in your hand. Ask your healthcare provider how much weight you should use. Slowly bend and straighten your elbow 30 times.
    BICEP CURLS
  • Grip: Hold a soft rubber ball or tennis ball in your hand. Squeeze the ball as hard as you can and hold this position. Ask your healthcare provider how long to hold this position. Repeat this exercise as directed by your healthcare provider.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You have increased pain or weakness in your arm, wrist, hand, or fingers.
  • You have new numbness or tingling in your arm, hand, or fingers.
  • You have questions or concerns about tennis elbow exercises.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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