T Nation

Lateral Tennis Elbow?


I'm on my 3rd cycle of the Russian squat program for bench after using mainly 5x5 type programs and a have started to get a lot of pain in my left elbow over the last month or so, to the point where it hurts just to push a door open.

Obviously heavy benching and chins are going to be out of the question as I get elbow pain from both but I wondered what other upper body exercises I could still do in the mean time ?

One exercise I would like to do is snatch grip high pulls however I have read that if you suffer with tennis elbow you should avoid upright rows and wondered if this exercise was to similar ?


Hi tredaway. Your biggest challenge from personal experience when it comes to training with Epicondylitis is avoiding unnecessary rotations of the forearm. Avoid upper and forearm movements and modify flexion and extention exercises to avoid pain. Unfortunately you will have to consider skipping training altogether until this injury has healed. You might be able to train if you firmly strap to avoid unnecessary rotations, but that will be something you need to consider depending on the pain you are experiencing. Rest, ice and light stretching is a must! Anyway, good luck and hopefully you can continue training while strapped.I included some stuff below which really assisted me about 6 years ago.

Consider the following for treatment:

Applying ice or cold therapy to the elbow (15 mins up to six times a day) to reduce pain and inflammation if present is a good start. Rest is an extremely important component of treatment and the patient that fails to rest the elbow sufficiently will struggle. Wearing a specialist elbow brace to protect the tendon whilst healing can take some of the strain off the elbow by changing the direction of forces through the tendon. As with all soft tissue injuries a comprehensive rehabilitation program of exercises should be completed.

Consider the following for exercises to help with Epicondylitis:

Stretching exercises

The following guidelines are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any rehabilitation. Stretching exercises for tennis elbow should be performed gently and as soon as pain allows. They should be maintained throughout the rehab program and continued even when the injury has healed. The wrist extensor stretch and neural stretch can be performed on your own whilst a partner tennis elbow stretch is affective but requires some assistance.

Wrist extensor stretch

Wrist extensor stretch. The arm is placed in front with the hand pointing down. Pull the hand towards the body to feel a stretch in the back of the wrist, forearm and elbow. The forearm can be rotated inwards to increase the stretch which will be felt more on the outside of the elbow. The stretch can be held for 20 seconds and repeated up to 5 times.

Partner tennis elbow stretch

Partner tennis elbow stretch. The arm should be out to the side, and rotated inwards (downwards). The wrist is then flexed (bent) to increase the stretch. This stretch is more easily done with a partner to help. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times. Aim to stretch at least 3 times a day.

Neural stretch

Neural stretch for tennis elbow. Pain in the elbow may be contributed to by tension in the neck. This neural stretch may be beneficial in helping to release tension, especially in conjunction with sports massage. Hold neural stretches initially for a maximum of 5 seconds and only do so if this is comfortable. If there is any pain or tingling in the arm or hand then stop immediately. Gradually progress the duration of the stretch up to 10 seconds.

Strengthening exercises

Strengthening exercises for tennis elbow should only be performed pain free. It is better to wait a bit longer to introduce strength exercises than to begin them too soon and make the injury worse. If any adverse effects or pain is felt either during, after or the next day then rest some more and take a step back.

Isometric wrist extension

Isometric extension. The best way of contracting the muscles isometrically (or statically - no movement) is to get a partner to resist your movement, or use your other hand or an object such as a table to resist movement. Position the arm with the forearm and palm facing downwards and supported if possible. Attempt to extend the wrist by lifting it back as if trying to point the fingers to the ceiling. Maintain the contraction for 5 seconds. Rest and repeat 10-15 times. There should not be any movement at the wrist joint.

Finger extension

Elastic band finger exercises. Bring all your fingertips together as if making a beak shape. Place a rubber band over your fingers, holding the tips together. Move your fingers away from each other against the resistance of the band. Repeat this 10-20 times.

Dynamic wrist extension

Wrist extension with dumbelle. When the above exercises can be completed comfortably without pain then you can move on to dynamic exercises. This may be from 5 days onwards. Do not rush. If the injury becomes painful take a step back. Dynamic exercises can be performed using a light weight (about 1 kg). Move the wrist from flexion to extension. Start with 1 set of 10 repetitions daily and build up gradually up to 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

Wrist extension with a resistance band.The same exercise can be performed using a resistance band. Rest your forearm on your knee, pinning one end of the band under your foot. Wrap the other end around your hand. Start with the wrist in a flexed position (pointing down to the floor) and the band pulled taught. Extend your wrist, keeping the forearm still. Slowly return back to the start position and repeat 10-15 times. Gradually increase the number of repetitions you perform.


Thanks for taking the time to give me such a detailed reply Mavric I appreciate it and i’ll definitely take on board some of the advice given.


[quote]tredaway wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to give me such a detailed reply Mavric I appreciate it and i’ll definitely take on board some of the advice given.[/quote]

My pleasure and good luck with your injury and training going forward.