The usual suspect behind a tennis elbow is overuse and repeated incorrect movements of your forearm. This leads to ligaments, muscle stretch, and even tiny tears forming near the tendons of the elbow.

Incorrect movement of the arm is a major contributor to tennis elbows. If you are someone who plays tennis, then this might mean that the power swing and the way you are using your forearm to hit a shot are incorrect. 

This causes unnecessary stress on your wrist and forearm and can affect your elbow joint and even the shoulder. This incorrect movement can cause pain, irritation, and inflammation. This repeated use of incorrect techniques can have future implications for serious pain in the future. You can also injure the extensor muscles as the tendons get affected.

The function of this muscle group is to straighten the wrist. Physiotherapy for elbow pain, pain meds, compression, and elbow braces are usually the go-to treatment plans for this injury.

Tennis elbow can happen to anyone despite what the name suggests. So if you are someone in an occupation that requires you to use repeated motions of the elbow (construction, office administration, etc) then you might be at risk for developing a tennis elbow.

Here are 10 exercises that you can try for tennis elbow rehab –

Wrist Circles

For performing this exercise, follow these steps:

First, bend the elbow of the affected hand at a right angle degree. 

Then, try extending this hand with the palms facing up.

Rotate, or twist the wrist till the palm faces down. 

Hold his 6 seconds and repeat 10 times of 2 sets. 

This exercise can be upped in terms of intensity by doing this wrist rotation with weight. 

Do the exact same exercise but hold on to a lightweight.

Wrist Lift

To perform this exercise, follow these steps: 

First, make sure that your palms are facing up. 

Then, if you are comfortable grab a lightweight. You can do this without weights if you are still recovering. 

Extend the affected hand outwards. 

Now, try bending the wrist up, as if it is returning back to the body. 

Hold this position for 6 seconds and then release gently. 

Each set has 10 reps, so make sure to complete 3 in total.

Elbow Extension and Bend

To perform this exercise, follow these steps:

Stand straight, with your back upright and your arms rolled back and shoulders relaxed. 

Then lower the affected arm to one side. 

Then, slowly bend the injured hand up till you feel that the hand is touching the shoulder. 

Make sure to hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. 

Each set has 10 reps so make sure to do complete at least 3 sets.

Wrist Stretch

To perform this exercise, follow these steps: 

Hold out the injured arm in front of you 

Then raise this arm straight out

Now, with your palms facing downwards, gently bend the wrist down

Use the non-affected arm to pull the stretched-out affected arm back towards the body. 

Now hold this position for 30 seconds and straighten your wrist again. 

Repeat this exercise twice. Each set has 3 reps, so make sure to complete 3 sets.

Also Read: Elbow Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Extended Wrist Stretch

To perform this exercise, follow these steps: 

First extend the injured arm straight in front of the body. 

Then, with your palms facing down, raise your arm straight out, and slowly bend the wrist upwards. 

Using the unaffected hand, try to pull the fingers back towards the body. 

Hold this flexed position for at least 30 seconds before you straighten. 

Repeat this exercise twice. Each set has 3 reps, so make sure to complete 3 sets of this exercise.

Fist Squeeze

To perform this exercise, follow these steps: 

You will need a towel for this. You can also use an old sock or tennis or cricket ball for this. 

Now, place the object of your choice in your palm. 

Make sure that you grip the ball, towel or sock with your fingers, forming a fist.

Now squeeze this tightly for 20 seconds. 

Each set has 10 reps so make sure to complete a set.

Towel Twisters

To perform this exercise, make sure that you do the following steps:

You will need a towel or pillow cover for this exercise. 

Roll and twist this towel length-wise. 

Now hold this twisted towel from both ends with one hand at each end. 

Try twisting this towel by moving your hands in the opposite direction like you are trying to wring out water from your wet clothes. 

Repeat this motion in this direction 10 times. Then try this motion in a reverse direction for another ten times.

Isometric Contractions

Isometric Contractions are a great way to target your tendons and stretch them to relieve any sort of tension or stress. 

Start by holding the affected arm in a neutral position in front of your body. Use your other arm to support your injured arm. 

Now, try bending the wrist of the affected arm backward. 

Start by holding this position for a minute. You can always raise the intensity of the exercise by upping the time duration of the hold.

Lightweight Dumbbell Supination

This is a great way to strengthen your muscle to prevent any further recurrence. This exercise targets the supinator muscle which is the largest muscle in the forearm that connects the elbow to the forearm.

 Sit straight, with your shoulder rolled back, arms relaxed, and back upright. Then let your elbow rest on your knee.

 Hold a 1.5 kg dumble vertically and then rotate your arm so your palm now faces upwards. Only perform this exercise by isolating your lower arm, while keeping your upper arm and elbow neutral.

 Then, return to the starting position. 

Repeat this around 10 times for 3 sets.

Handshake Exercise

This is an interesting exercise that works well to target the elbow and strengthen your forearm muscles. 

Sit straight with your elbows rolled back and back straight. 

Extend the affected arm with the wrist facing sideways, as if you are about to shake your hands with someone. 

Repeat this motion about 10 times keeping your elbow neutral and firm. 

Also Read: Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis: Symptoms & Treatments

For more information about tennis elbow and physiotherapy for elbow pain, head on to Phyt Health, India’s first digital physiotherapy platform offering online physiotherapy services and consultations. With a wealth of knee exercises present on their website, you can include them in your daily life depending on your comfort level. All these exercises are curated by expert physiotherapists at Phyt Health. You can also book your online video consultation on the app, to discuss any issues you might be facing and begin your journey towards recovery!