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Tennis Elbow Exercises

Tennis elbow or also known as lateral epicondylitis, is injury to the muscles/tendons of the forearm that attach to the bony prominence of the elbow called lateral epicondyle, these muscles extend the wrist and fingers.  Any sustained, repetitive movements of the wrist can cause this condition, it is not only limited to tennis players. 

Symptoms of tennis elbow include tenderness on the outside of the elbow, pain when performing tasks that involve gripping, grasping or holding an object, activities that require resisted wrist/finger extension, stretching of the forearm muscles. There may also be trigger points/ sore spots present within the muscles causing pain.


Treatment for tennis elbow involves reducing symptoms and inflammation. Rest is initially prescribed in very acute phases, compression, dry needling, strapping, elbow adjustments and cold laser therapy can also be used to reduce acute inflammation. Once the inflammation subsides, strengthening protocols, gentle exercises and stretching the muscles of forearm may also be used by gradually increasing the load through the elbow to a point where normal use of the wrist can be presumed. Strengthening of the muscles is very important in preventing recurrence of injury. Sports massage and myofascial release of the wrist extensor muscles in the forearm is another great technique to reduce pain and subsequent symptoms.


Fist clench

By strengthening grip strength, common symptoms of tennis elbow can be reduced.

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

Supination with a dumbell

The supinator muscle is a muscle of the forearm that inserts into the elbow. Its action is to turn the palm upward and may be involved in causing tennis elbow symptoms.

  • Sit in a chair holding a dumbbell vertically in your hand, resting your elbow on a chair or on your knee
  • Let the weight of the dumbbell help rotate the arm outward, turning the palm up.
  • Rotate the hand back the other direction until your palm is facing downward.
  • Repeat 20 times on each side.
  • Try to keep the upper arm and elbow still and only use movement from your forearm. 

Wrist extension

The wrist extensor muscles attach into the elbow. These group of muscles are responsible for extended the wrist and overuse can cause pain and tennis elbow symptoms.

  • Sit in a chair holding a dumbbell in your hand with your palm facing down, resting your elbow on a table, chair or your knee.
  • 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.
  • Return to starting position and repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Try keeping the rest of the arm still while doing this motion.

Towel twist

This exercise works on both the wrist extensors and flexors.

  • Sit in a chair comfortably and relaxed, holding a towel with both hands.
  • Twist the towel with both hands in opposite directions as if you are wringing out water.
  • Repeat 10 times then repeat another 10 times in the opposite direction.


Wrist flexor/extensor stretch

Stretching of the wrist flexors and extensors will ensure flexibility and proper movement of the muscles that attach into the elbow.

  • Start by extending your arm out in front of you with your palm up for a flexor stretch or palm down for a extensor stretch
  • Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
  • With your other hand, gently bend your wrist further until you feel a stretch in your forearm.
  • Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

For further advice or treatment plan with tennis elbow or arm pain, come in and see one of our experienced chiropractors. We are located in Central Walk, Joondalup central to Perth’s northern suburbs. We have regular patients visiting from Kingsley – 6026, Woodvale – 6026, Clarkson – 6030, Quinns Rock – 6030, Kinross – 6028, Burns Beach – 6028, Heathridge – 6027, Edgewater – 6027, Hillarys – 6025 and Kallaroo – 6025.

Disclaimer: The exercises provided on this website are for educational and entertainment purposes only, and are not to be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product, or course of action. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult a healthcare provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions.

August 03, 2017