Tennis Elbow – Its not the Forearms Fault!!!

Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition of the elbow caused by overuse. Sports like tennis, any racket based sports or throwing games can all results in inflammation in the tendons.

Tennis elbow specifically is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. The forearm muscles and tendons become damaged from overuse — repeating the same motions again and again. This leads to pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow.

So to fix this problem we cannot just deal with the sight of the pain but we need to look at our posture and how to we hold ourselves when we repeatedly preform the same motion over and over again.

The pain has resulted in the top of the forearm but I suggest that there is a weakness either on the flexor muscles on the other side of the forearm and a weakness in the scapula or shoulder blades to maintain stability throughout the movement. (Specifically the shoulder blade that is connected to the arm with the pain. This is due to internal rotation of the shoulder pulling the shoulder blade away).

This constant internal rotation that the arm performs without stability from connecting and opposing muscles when you strike top spin or serves results in the forearm muscle taking on the load of these other bigger muscles and results in injury. It is not the forearms fault but rather a postural strength issue of the scapula, rear deltoids and underside of the forearm.

The Fix:

Stretching the over used side of the arm and also massage using myofascial release techniques (thumb or tennis ball). Specifically the forearm and the pectoral (chest)

Also strengthening exercises of the flexor arm muscles (opposite muscle to the forearm) and strengthening shoulder blades doing external rotational movements of the shoulder.

Exercise Reps/Time
A1 Forearm &  Pectoral 5 x 3-5 sec hold
A2 Message Forearm & Pectoral 2/3 x 20-60 secs message
A3 Repeat Stretches 5 x 3-5 sec hold
B1 Flexor Forearm muscles 8 x 5 secs contraction & 2 sec hold
B2 Shoulder Blades – I, Y & T’s 8 x 5 secs contraction & 2 sec hold
B3 Eccentric Lowering of Forearm 8 x 5 secs concentric & 2 sec lowering

Stretching exercises

A1 – Forearm Stretch

A1 – Pectoral Stretch

A2- Message Forearm

Youtube Video: “Fix Wrist Pain with this Wrist, Elbow, and Forearm Massage Video.”

(Skip to 1.07-3mins in the video)

A2 – Message Pectoral

Strengthening Exercises


B1- Flexor Forearm Muscles (5 Secs Up 2 secs down)


B2- Shoulder Blades – I’s, Y’s & T’s

Youtube Video: “Floor I’s, Y’s & T’s”



B3 – Eccentric Lowering Wrist with a weight  (5 secs down & 2 secs up)

Video: Floor I’s, Y’s & T’s


Written By: Richard Andreucetti B.A. in Strength & Conditioning