Tennis elbow… a subtle but nasty little issue that’ll be sure to wreck your next tennis game. And tennis players aren’t the only ones “lucky” enough to experience this. Your typical gym goer will most likely get to join in on the fun at some point in their lifting career.
So if you’re sick of looking up tennis elbow pain on WebMD, buying a new elbow brace or wrap every few weeks, or just sick of this annoying pain, then stick around because I’m going to show you a simple and extremely efficient way to start combating this issue.
WHAT IS TENNIS ELBOW
Tennis elbow is pain or discomfort on the outside tissue of the forearm/elbow. Usually it’s caused by poor tissue quality in the area and is associated with a lack of mobility in elbow pronation (when the palm is rotated down towards the floor). From this position, the tissues on the outside of the elbow are in a lengthened position, which is where they tend to be the most vulnerable.
For tennis players, imagine every time you hit a forehand and find your elbow rolling over as you finish it. That’s pronation, and if it’s lacking at all, your elbow will start to blow up.
For all you lifters out there, visualize that you’re doing a lat pull down with your palms facing away from you (pronated grip). If you lack the ability to do this motion well, the tissue on the outside of the elbow will start to get aggravated.
TENNIS ELBOW TEST
Perform the following test for both elbows, and most likely you’ll see that the injured elbow has less pronation than the uninjured side.
Keep your elbows at your side, and flex your palms up, so your elbow is at 90 degrees of flexion.
From there, rotate your palm inward (pronation), so that it faces the floor.
Make sure your elbow stays at your side and really see how far it rotates.
Compare both sides.
TENNIS ELBOW EXERCISE
For this tennis elbow exercise, you’ll need something like a broom stick, pvc pipe, mobility stick, or even a straight bar attachment from a cable weight stack. Basically something you can attempt to break in half without actually breaking it.
WHEN TO DO THIS EXERCISE FOR TENNIS ELBOW
You can do this sequence exercise once per day, and even multiple times per day if you choose. The key is to keep your intensity at a level where you feel this tissue working, but not causing any pain of discomfort. I assure, you will not get the tissue rehabbed faster by cranking on this exercise. For those of you in the gym, I love doing these in between sets of my pulling exercises, like rows, pull-ups, etc.
Perform 2 rounds of 10 seconds for each isometric.
Perform 5 elbow CARS to hit save on your work.
From there you can start to increase your time as well as your intensity as long as the tissue feels good and you’re not causing any pain or discomfort. As an extra bonus, I would highly encourage you to perform the elbow CARS located at the end of this sequence multiple times per day. The more quality inputs you can give your elbow the better!
TAKE CARE OF THE REST OF YOUR BODY
If you liked today’s coaching and want even more ways to level up your tennis game, check out my 3 must-have mobility moves in the link below. It includes my all-time favorite mobility exercises that will be a game changer for you, I promise. It’s completely free, so check it out.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified