Best Exercise for Tennis Elbow


The purpose of this web site is to help those of us who suffer from the affliction commonly called tennis elbow. Whereas in carpal tunnel syndrome brushing one's teeth can be excruciatingly painful, with tennis elbow, doing just about anything with the arm extended can stop one in his or her tracks. Activities such as putting dishes away in the cupboard or moving a chair can be torture.

This website brings together some dedicated resources that can help in your recovery from tennis elbow. Of course the primary in-home treatment is appropriate daily exercise of the affected arm.

Although we will mention other therapies on this website, we are mostly geared toward in-home, self-help treatment.

What is Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury that refers to two conditions in the elbow: tendinosis and tendinitis. The first could be called a deterioration of the tendon. And the second one is simply an inflammation of the tendon and surrounding areas.

There is still substantial debate within the medical community regarding all the finer details of these two conditions. Discussing them is beyond the scope of this website.


Tennis elbow affects the outside, or lateral tendon, going from the elbow to the wrist and pinky finger. If the condition you are experiencing runs along the inside of your arm from your elbow to your thumb, you most likely have the condition called golfers elbow.

The pain of tennis elbow is felt in the elbow and outer forearm and most likely occurs when the arm is straightened and extended, especially when the hand and arm are exerting force against something.

There may also be weakness of the arm and soreness at night, even though the arm is not being exerted.


Popular belief is that tennis elbow is caused simply by playing tennis. However, tennis elbow got its name because the preponderance of those who complained about the condition initially was tennis players. And so the condition got tagged with the nickname of tennis elbow.

The condition we commonly call tennis elbow is mostly caused by repetitive stress, that is, motions that are done over and over again and usually while exerting some force. Imagine that your job is to clean rugs in the long-ago days by hanging the rug on a clothesline and continually whacking it with a broom. You might very well develop tennis elbow doing that.

This illustrates that people from a broad variety of occupations can succumb to the affliction. Certainly construction workers are high candidates. This includes painters, bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, and even electricians. It can also overwhelm line cooks in a fast food restaurant, house cleaners, and certainly gardeners and those who play any sport with a racket, bat, or club.

Other causes of tennis elbow are blows to the elbow or arm, an especially intense strain of the muscles and tendons, and disease.

The Best Exercise for Tennis Elbow

Although there are a variety of treatments that are employed for tennis elbow, the correct exercise is by far the most common and effective way to cure most incidents of tennis elbow. This is especially true if it is performed in conjunction with a few other self-administered treatments.

The best exercise for tennis elbow is the group of exercises most commonly prescribed by doctors and physical therapists. The great thing about these exercises is they work in almost all cases. Beyond that, there is the convenience factor. These exercises not only can be done in your own home, you can actually do them while watching TV. In that sense there is almost no expenditure of time.

All of those commonly prescribed exercises are well illustrated in the inexpensive ebook called How to Cure Your Tennis Elbow. If you prefer a physical book, get Treat Your Own Tennis Elbow.

There are three important things to remember when choosing to do these physical therapy exercises for your tennis elbow. First, make sure you are treating tennis elbow. If you have any doubt whatsoever, see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

The second important consideration is that pain is NOT gain. Or put it another way, a little discomfort when doing the exercises is okay. However experiencing pain while doing them is counterproductive. Back off!

And the third thing you want to remember is that when your symptoms subside, continue to do the exercises daily until you are past the point of thinking you are completely cured.

We have reviewed some books to bring together all the information needed for home treatment. They will help you learn the standard approach to curing your tennis elbow yourself, especially the full set of exercises. See them here.

Surgery, the last-resort method for treating tennis elbow, is discussed elsewhere on this site. Also elsewhere, we go over physical devices to help your arm and devices to best modify the tennis racket and other tools.