Tennis is a great form of exercise to get into. It can be done indoors or out and can be played all year round whilst helping to lower blood pressure and improve your strength, flexibility and hand-eye coordination. But what happens when you get an injury such as tennis elbow? Tennis elbow is caused by the repetitive motion of swinging the racket in any racket sport, causing inflammation of the muscles in the forearm.
There are ways to treat this without surgery, such as rest, medication or ice and compression, but once this has been done, there are exercises you can do to help recover and rehabilitate the muscles from tennis elbow.
*Be sure to check with your doctor or physical therapist to determine when you are ready to begin these exercises.
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One of the symptoms of tennis elbow is weakened or poor grip strength. The fist clench can help improve this, whether you’re suffering from tennis elbow or not. Hold something like a rolled-up towel or a grip strengthener in your hand, rest your forearm on a solid, flat surface and squeeze it between your fingers. This repetitive motion will build strength up in the muscles of the hand, wrist and forearm, perfect for recovering from tennis elbow.
Wrist flexing works on the group of muscles known as the wrist flexors, which are smaller muscles that link to your elbow. These are at risk of overuse if you’re regularly lifting things or playing racket sports. Like the fist clench, rest your forearm on a solid, flat surface, palm up, and, with a dumbbell in your hand, lift your hand towards yourself at the wrist. This will stretch and strengthen the muscle group and reduce pain and inflammation.
The twist is a good exercise that works the muscles of the hands, wrists and forearms up to the elbows. You can use a towel or an old T-shirt, something fabric you can twist around. Roll it up until it’s in the shape of a tube, hold it between two hands and twist the fabric like you’re wringing out water. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and your grip on the fabric tight.
Wrist extensions are like wrist flexing but in reverse. The wrist extensor muscles are the group that works to bend your wrist and are similarly at risk of being overused in things such as racket sports. Just rest your forearm on a solid, flat surface, this time palm down with the hand overhanging the surface at the wrist. With a dumbbell in your hand, tilt your hand downwards toward the floor at the wrist. This will stretch and strengthen the muscle group and reduce pain and inflammation.
Supination works the supinator muscle, which links your forearm to your elbow and is most often involved in moves that can cause tennis elbow, whether that’s at work, at home or on the courts. This exercise can be done on its own (and is recommended if you’ve never done it before) or with a dumbbell.
You just need to rest your elbow on a solid flat surface and rotate your palm upwards. Hold for 30 seconds, twist so your palm is facing down and repeat. Once you’ve got the hang of this, you can add a dumbbell to work the muscle more.
Tennis elbow can seriously impact your training and put you out of action whilst you recover. But with these recovery exercises, you’ll be back on the courts in no time. You can even do these exercises without tennis elbow to help strengthen the muscles and prevent tennis elbow later down the line.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.