If you’ve watched the classic movie “The Shining”, you’ll know the phrase, “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. I agree with that, since we all need a little tennis to keep ourselves sane! But that all-too-common injury, Tennis Elbow, can keep us from our play. In which case you’ll need some healing exercises for tennis elbow before you go completely insane from lack of tennis.
What is Tennis Elbow?
This type of injury is also called lateral epicondylitis, and the cause is normally due to overuse of the arm. The pain experienced is normally on the outside of the arm specifically where the arm connects to the elbow joint.
Typically, the pain is revealed when you stretch or open the arm fully, and this is usually due to inflammation of the tendons. Tendons are the tissues that connect your muscles to the bones and sustain the tension.
With that said, let’s us look into the five exercises for tennis elbow that can ease the pain and often heal the condition fully.
Top 5 Exercises for Tennis Elbow
So let’s quickly dive into our best exercises for tennis elbow:
1. Triceps Stretch
This is the first among the many exercises for tennis elbow. The stretch helps in lowering the rate of stiffness you might be experiencing. It also helps fix the immobility that accompanies the injury. This exercise is meant to increase the scale of your motion and should eventually lead to normal tricep function and reduced pain.
- Bring your arm back and over your head until it touches your back, just below you neck.
- Use the good arm to apply some backward pressure to the injured elbow
- Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat the exercise three times daily.
2.“Stress Ball” Squeeze
This is another great exercise for tennis elbow. A tennis ball would also work with this exercise. This movement is meant to work on the forearm and the muscles in the arm. The technique helps to improve the strength of your arm and brings back the stamina in your forearm, that you lack with an injured elbow. It is more of a “hardening your grip” exercise.
- Find a place where you can sit comfortably and take the ball with the hand that is injured
- Squeeze it and release after three (3) seconds
- Continue squeezing the ball and make improvements by holding it longer than the initial 3 seconds
- Repeat this exercise ten (10) times twice daily.
3. Forearm Extensor Stretch
As we discussed earlier, stretching is one of the most important exercise for tennis elbow. It helps in beating strain injuries as it will increase the rate of blood flow to the affected areas. This is highly essential in the healing phase of any injury.
- Raise your injured arm at a 90 degree angle “parallel to the floor”
- Twist your hand to a point where the thumb is pointed down
- At this stage this exercise requires you to bend your wrist inwards
- With the other arm hold the fingers of the injured arm
- Pull your fingers gently to increase the stretch on the forearm muscles
- Practice this for thirty (30) seconds and do it at least twice daily
4. Bicep Curls
The purpose of this exercise is to develop much needed strength in the bicep and the forearm. It must be noted that that the muscles should be in good shape to avoid repeat injuries or further major injuries. This exercise requires a light dumbbell or a can.
- Have a sit and take the can/dumbbell in your hand
- Have your legs apart and have the arm between the legs and relax the elbow on the inside of the thigh. This makes the forearm face the other leg
- Bend and put your arm upward towards the roof and raise your injured arm in a 90 degree angle “parallel to the floor”
- Repeat this ten (10) times, three (3) times daily
5. Hammer Curls
This is another very effective home exercise for tennis elbow. It is also very easy and you will use the dumbbell/can once again. This strengthens and thickens the tendons we spoke about earlier, as well as the muscles and flexors.
- Spread your legs shoulder width apart
- Get hold of the can by the injured arm
- Have your arm close to the body and get a “hammer grip”
- Make a 90 degree angle by bending your elbow until it’s perpendicular to the bicep
- Attempt this ten (10) times for three times daily
There you have it! There’s no injury that should stop you from enjoying your favorite sport. Again, you don’t have to always go the medicine route, especially when you have these exercises for tennis elbow as your remedy. Give them a try and see how it goes.