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Try These Simple Exercises and Stretches to Ease Tennis Elbow

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<article> <section> <p>Tennis elbow is a common injury that extends far beyond the court. </p> <p>Yes, from the casual weekend warrior to the plumber, butcher, and painter, tennis elbow can be a real pain. </p> <p>Tennis elbow—also known as <i>lateral epicondylitis</i>—is a feeling of tenderness or pain in the elbow. The pain can be on the outside of the elbow, on the point of your elbow—known as the olecranon—and even down to the forearms. You may feel worse pain when you try to hold things or open a door as tennis elbow affects your grip. </p> <p>We call this injury tennis elbow because it’s common among tennis players. It’s an overuse and strain injury that comes from making a repetitive movement such as hitting a tennis ball. The elbow is a hinge joint which means it’s only supposed to move in one direction. Moving the elbow in a way it’s not meant to move—especially when done repeatedly—can cause strain.</p> <p>Misuse and overuse create tiny tears in the muscles that connect the elbow to the forearm. Those tiny tears are what’s causing you pain.</p> <p>But tennis elbow also affects us non-tennis players. People who do the same wrist and forearm movements repeatedly—like painters, carpenters, and cooks—are at particular risk <sup>1</sup>. It tends to primarily affect people ages 30 to 50, but active <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/the-best-low-impact-exercises-for-seniors/" rel="noreferrer">seniors </a>and young folks can experience it, too.</p> <p>All right, we’ve got the bad news out of the way, so it’s time for some good news…</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Can You Do About Tennis Elbow? </header> <p>With the right recovery and a program of stretches and exercises, tennis elbow is easy to treat.</p> <p>Take some time off to recover and give your elbow a break. A classic course of RICE—rest, ice, compression, elevation—is a great place to start. And make an appointment with your doctor to get a professional opinion.</p> <p>When you’re ready to get back to working out, studies have shown that exercise is an effective tool for rehabilitating your elbow and can even out muscle imbalances that might cause tennis elbow in the first place. <sup>2, 3, 4</sup></p> <p>We couldn’t agree more! In fact, we’re about to show you our three best tips to kick tennis elbow’s butt: mobilize, stretch, and exercise.</p> <div class="sub-head">Mobilize</div> <p>One of the best things you can do for tennis elbow is to get blood flow to the area. The blood brings oxygen and crucial nutrients to the injured elbow to speed up healing [5]. Injuries can also restrict the flow of blood, adding time to your healing process. That means getting your circulation going is even more important to recovery.</p> <p>To get blood flowing to the elbow, you can do a few things: </p> <ol> <li>Get a massage. The pressing and squeezing motions of massage moves blood through the area and gets rid of waste that slows healing and causes pain. This allows new blood to flow in <sup>6</sup>.</li> <li>Roll it. You can get a similar effect by using a foam roller. Roll out the muscles in your forearms and palms to encourage blood flow.</li> <li>Use trigger points. Tennis elbow can cause trigger points—tight spots in the muscles that hurt when touched. If you find a trigger point, professional or self massage may help to alleviate pain <sup>7</sup>. </li> </ol> <p>Get moving and get the blood circulating with these techniques. Then you can move on to…</p> <div class="sub-head">Stretch</div> <p>If you’re seriously injured, stretching might actually be detrimental to your healing, so be sure to check with your doctor first. But if you’ve got minor soreness or you’re just looking to prevent tennis elbow in the first place, you should make <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/stretching-when-is-the-best-time/" rel="noreferrer">stretching </a>part of your routine.</p> <p>Remember, tennis elbow affects more than just your elbows. The wrists, forearms, and hands are all pieces of the equation and should be the focus of your stretching.</p> <p>Here are three useful stretches you can try to prevent, alleviate, and heal tennis elbow:</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-flexors-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-flexors-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-flexors-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-flexors-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-flexors-0198"> </picture> <p><b>1. <i>Wrist flexors.</i></b> Hold your arm in front of you with the elbow locked and palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently press the fingers back towards the body. You should feel your inner forearm activate. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat as needed.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-extensors-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-extensors-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-extensors-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-extensors-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-extensors-0198"> </picture> <p><b>2. <i>Wrist extensors</i>.</b> Kneel down and place the tops of your hands on the floor, fingers pointed towards you. Lean back until your butt touches your heels while keeping your hands pressed into the floor. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-praying-position-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-praying-position-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-praying-position-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-praying-position-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-praying-position-0198"> </picture> <p><b>3. <i>Praying position.</i></b> Place your palms together in front of you. Bring your elbows together so they touch. Slowly pull your elbows apart from each other, allowing your hands to drop until they’re in front of your belly button (or until it gets uncomfortable). Hold for ten seconds, then release <sup>8</sup>.</p> <p>Once you’ve stretched out, you can move on to…</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Exercises</header> <p>Many common injuries are a result of muscle imbalances, tennis elbow included. Consider incorporating a full <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/no-equipment-arm-exercises-for-women/" rel="noreferrer">arm workout</a> into your fitness routine to even out the strength in your arms. The stronger your forearms, wrists, and hands are, the less likely you are to experience tennis elbow.</p> <p>We recommend that you try these exercises:</p> <div class="sub-head"><b><i>Pronation and Supination</b></i></div> <p>We’ll start by working with two movements of the forearm first: <i>pronation</i> and <i>supination</i>. If you stand with your arms at your sides, your palms naturally face behind you. When you turn the forearms so the palms face in front of you, that’s supination. Turn the forearm back, and you’ve performed pronation. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-supination-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-supination-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-supination-0198jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-supination-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-supination-0198"> </picture> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-pronation-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/lcourtney-wrist-pronation-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-pronation-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-pronation-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-pronation-0198"> </picture> <p>Place your forearm into a bucket of rice. Now practice turning just the forearm so your palm faces away from you. Then rotate back to return to the starting position. Repeat this movement for 10 to 15 reps on each arm.</p> <div class="sub-head"><b><i>Flexion and Extension</i></b></div> <p>Next we’ll work with two movements of the wrist: <i>flexion</i> and <i>extension</i>. If you hold your arms in front of you, then bend the wrists so your fingers point toward the floor, that’s flexion. Switch to point your fingers upward, and you’ve got extension.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movement-flexion-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movement-flexion-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movement-flexion-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movement-flexion-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-movement-flexion-0198"> </picture> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movements-extension-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movements-extension-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movements-extension-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-wrist-movements-extension-LR-0198.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-wrist-movements-extension-0198"> </picture> <p>Once again, stick your arm into a bucket of rice and practice both flexion and extension. Repeat the movements on each arm for 10 to 15 reps.</p> <div class="sub-head"><b><i>Pinch Holds</b></i></div> <p>When we pinch something, we use the muscles of the hands, wrists, and forearms. Strengthen these muscles, and you’ll be far less likely to get tennis elbow. </p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-pinch-and-hold-0198.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-pinch-and-hold-0198.jp2" type="image/jp2"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-pinch-and-hold-0198.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/courtney-pinch-and-hold-LR-0198.pg" class="img-fluid" alt="courtney-pinch-and-hold-0198"> </picture> <p>Grab something fairly heavy by pinching it with your thumb and forefinger. You could use a can, a book, or any other object you have lying around. Pinch and hold the object for 30 seconds with your right hand, then switch to the left hand. </p> <p>All of these exercises can help prevent or alleviate tennis elbow. But before you’ve get started, you should do one important thing...</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header><b>Always Check with Your Doctor</b></header> <p>As a Warrior Made <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/products/warrior-made/" rel="noreferrer">member</a> , we’ll give you lots of great advice for healing, alleviating, and preventing injuries. But our suggestions aren’t a substitute for the opinion of your primary care physician. If you’re experiencing tennis elbow, see your doctor and ask what they feel the best treatment plan is. </p> <p>If they do give you the go-ahead to stretch and exercise, then we’d love for you to try out the moves we’ve shown you here!</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>Wrapping Up</header> <p>Tennis elbow hurts, but it doesn’t have to. With a little <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/27-fitness-quotes/" rel="noreferrer">motivation </a>and the exercises we’ve shown you here, you can make your tennis elbow a thing of the past. The key is to listen to your body and take it at your own pace. And make sure to keep up with those exercises after your tennis elbow is gone to prevent re-injury down the line. </p> <p>If you’d like to learn more useful tips like this, then you’ve come to the right place! Check out our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/" rel="noreferrer">Fitness </a>page for ideas to help you meet your fitness goals and join the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/products/warrior-made/" rel="noreferrer">Tribe </a> to connect with our fitness community.</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tennis-elbow/symptoms-causes/syc-20351987" rel="noreferrer">Tennis elbow</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/7712560" rel="noreferrer">Rehabilitation of shoulde</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/1423702" rel="noreferrer">Elbow tendinosis/tennis elbow.</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0003999396903007" rel="noreferrer">The example of lateral elbow pain</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.h-wave.com/blog/physiological-stages-healing-process-what-happens-when-you-injure-yourself/" rel="noreferrer">Physiological Stages of Healing Process</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.massageenvy.com/massage/massage-benefits/improves-circulation/" rel="noreferrer">MASSAGE THERAPY IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.massagemag.com/how-to-fix-elbow-pain-with-myofascialtrigger-point-therapy-5107/" rel="noreferrer">HOW TO FIX ELBOW PAIN WITH MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINT THERAPY</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-pain/wrist-and-hand-stretches#simple-stretches" rel="noreferrer">Simple hand and wrist stretches</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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