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Suffering From Elbow Tendonitis? Use This Yoga Sequence to Help Your Tennis Elbow

Elbow tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons and tissues around the elbow and forearm. Medically known as lateral epicondylitis but often referred to as “tennis elbow,” elbow tendonitis is a common, painful injury that is a result of repetitive movements of the wrist and arm. Luckily, yoga for tennis elbow can help alleviate pain.

While athletes who play sports such as tennis, golf, or baseball may endure this type of injury, it also commonly occurs in those who put repetitive stress on their elbow joints throughout their daily lives.

Baristas, chefs, and hairstylists are just a few examples of jobs where the elbow joint may get inflamed from overuse.


What Exactly Is Elbow Tendonitis?

According to the Mayo Clinic, elbow tendonitis is caused by “repeated contraction of the forearm muscles [used] to straighten and raise hands and wrists, [resulting in] a series of tiny tears in the tendons that attach the forearm muscles to the bony prominence at the outside of your elbow.”

The tissues swell and pain is found in the tendons of the forearms and the wrist.

Wrist Pain? Practice These 10 Stretches to Reduce Pain and Prevent Injury

There’s a a variety of reasons why anyone can experience tennis elbow. We may stress the joints while practicing our Planks or Chaturangas, while cooking or cleaning around the house, or from everyday use of our ever-present technological devices.

If you’re experiencing pain around your elbow joint, please be sure to rest and ice your injury first. Alternative therapies like acupuncture and anti-inflammatory foods may also support you on your journey to ameliorate pain, but there is no substitute for rest.

Yoga for Tennis Elbow – Use This Sequence to Help Alleviate Elbow Tendonitis:

Once you’re ready to move, try out the yoga sequence below to help strengthen and stretch your muscles around your elbow joints. For this practice, you will need a yoga strap or a belt.

1. Wrist Rolls

Gently invite movement into your wrists with some simple rolls.
Wrist Roll1
Wrist Roll2
Wrist Roll 3
Wrist Roll 4
Let’s try it:

  • In a standing or seated position, make fists with your hands and begin to roll out your wrist joints in a clockwise motion five to 10 times
  • Then, repeat in a counterclockwise motion five to 10 times


2. Wrist Extension

Start to release the muscles of your forearms with this simple stretch to help alleviate elbow tendonitis.
Wrist Extension
Let’s try it:

  • In a standing or seated position, extend your injured arm straight out into the space in front of you and mimic a stop sign signal
  • With your opposite hand, draw your fingers toward you and press through the heel of your front palm
  • Take three to five deep breaths here and then switch sides


3. Wrist Flexion

Release the muscles on the opposite side of your forearms now with this yoga for tennis elbow stretch.
Wrist Flexion
Let’s try it:

  • From the wrist extension exercise, flip the direction of your hand so that your fingers face downward
  • Keep your arm fully extended and with your opposite hand, draw your fingers toward you and press through the top of your hand
  • Take three to five breaths here and then switch sides


4. Forearm Rolls

Warm-up and mobilize all the muscles within your forearms with these simple rolls.

Let’s try it:

  • In a standing or seated position, extend your forearms like you’re holding a heavy platter and hug your elbows into the sides of your body
  • Begin to externally rotate your forearms away from the center of your body and turn your palms to face up
  • Next, internally rotate your forearms toward the center of your body and turn your palms to face down
  • Continue to alternate between internal rotation and external rotation of your forearms about five to 10 times


5. Elbow Rolls

Continue to ameliorate your elbow tendonitis with these gentle elbow rolls.
Elbow Roll 1

Let’s try it:

  • In a standing position, lift one forearm as you mimic a gentle wave to a friend
  • Keep your elbow glued to the side of your body and begin to create a circular action with your forearm in a clockwise motion five to 10 times
  • Repeat in a counterclockwise motion five to 10 times
  • Release and repeat with your other arm



6. Standing With Strap Work

Activate the muscles surrounding your elbows with this simple exercise to help with your elbow tendonitis pain.
Standing Strap work 1

Standing Strap Work 2
Let’s try it:

  • In a standing position, hold a yoga strap or belt in your hands about shoulder-distance apart at shoulder height
  • With your arms straight and the strap taught, begin to lift the strap as high as your shoulders allow and then lower the strap back to shoulder height
  • Repeat about five to 10 times


7. Plank

Start to build strength in your forearms with a classic Plank Pose.
Let’s try it:

  • From a tabletop position, shift your shoulders forward to stack directly over your wrist joints
  • Keep your knees on the mat or extend your legs straight to form a Plank position
  • Create a straight line from your shoulders to your hips and keep your arms straight
  • Take a few long, deep breaths here


8. Tricep Extension

Stretch your upper arms with this yoga for tennis elbow release.
Tricep Extension 1

Tricep Extension 2
Let’s try it:

  • In a standing or seated position, lift both arms overhead
  • Bend both your elbows and hold onto one elbow with your opposite hand
  • Take five to 10 deep breaths and then switch sides


Yoga for Tennis Elbow May Be Just What You Need to Help Alleviate Your Elbow Tendonitis

Please remember that self-care is paramount to your healing process!

If you’re aware of the causes of your injury, do your best to avoid those repetitive stress patterns for a period of time. Rest as much as possible and slowly start to integrate these exercises when you feel up for it.

Be sure to consult your doctor before attempting this practice. Best of luck on your journey to recovery!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Denelle Numis

Denelle Jarro Numis is an advanced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) based in San Francisco, California. In addition to her yoga credentials, Denelle has a B.S., an MBA, a love of travel and an impassioned zest for life. To learn more about Denelle check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

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