Five Views On Exercising With Tennis Elbow

Tips and recommendations from five independent sources on questions surrounding weight training / gym exercises and Tennis Elbow, such as "Which exercises should one avoid?" – with commentary by Allen Willette, Tennis Elbow Tutor.


  1. Exercising With Tennis Elbow
    Exercising With Tennis Elbow
  2. The first question and a priority concern is: Should you be doing upper-body strength training when you have Tennis Elbow at all?
  3. Most sources seem to agree that the answer is, "Yes, if you're careful and avoid certain exercises!"
    But this won't work for all "elbow" tendon injury sufferers - Especially those who were injured weight lifting in the first place. This short video discusses several key variables:
  4. Can You Still Work Out With T.E.? – A Two-Minute Tutorial
  5. Jeff Cavaliere of Athlean-X understands that Tennis (and Golfer’s) Elbow is a very challenging injury once a weight lifter has it, with the potential to keep one out of the gym for a long time.

    In addition to the discussion of bad exercise form, here are two of the most important points in the video:
  6. That it’s not really an “Elbow” problem, but rather a wrist issue - OR a compensation for weakness elsewhere (Key!)

    – And the importance of the "neutral" wrist position.

    (My "mini post" G+ commentary is below the video.)
  7. Elbow Pain When Working Out (WHY & HOW TO FIX IT!!)
  8. Next is an article from LiveStrong and I think the best piece of advice in it is:

    DON’T just train your major muscle groups!

    Kent van Alstyne recognizes the shortcomings of neglecting to work smaller, stabilizing muscles, like those of the Rotator Cuff. (A significant, general pitfall that many who work out in gyms slide into.)
  9. The consequence being raw power without stability and coordination…

    And the tendency to compensate for lack of shoulder/scapular stability with the forearm / wrist muscles contributing to Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow:
  10. The next article from “The Running Doc” on the N.Y. Daily News site contains the most important cautionary advice on Tennis Elbow treatment, stated unequivocally:

    “Do NOT consider a corticosteroid injection…”
    – Bravo!...

    Doc also admits that, “the conventional treatment works on the symptoms, not the cause.” – (How true)...
  11. But, when it comes to exercise advice, I think it's too much, too fast for the average Tennis Elbow sufferer. Particularly the advice to do 'wrist-extensor-specific' exercises TWICE a day, every day – without recovery time.

    In my opinion and experience, even exercising once a day, in moderate to severe cases, can sometimes overload those muscles – and more critically, the tendons they attach to at the Lateral Epicondyle, the “Tennis Elbow spot.”

    I would like to suggest once a day – every other day at most to start off.
  12. Fourth, comes Stephen Bergeron, offering five simple tips on dealing with elbow pain arising from weight lifting (and, apparently, office work)...

    He makes a statement early on that I couldn't agree more with (and bases his 1st tip on on it)...

    “For most people with elbow pain, a little bit of soft tissue work and corrective exercises can help decrease, or even eliminate the elbow pain.”

    Among other things he also recommends using dumbbells instead of barbells. (And this is the second exercise pro out of four, who favors dumbbells. More on that in my mini G+ post below)...

    My take is that it’s much more important to avoid certain specific exercises like “Lateral Deltoid Raises”than it is to avoid dumbbells in general.
  13. Finally, here's my own article and recent video on Exercises To Avoid When You Have Tennis Elbow - which covers:

    General thoughts on exercising with Tennis Elbow,
    Basic types or "classes" of strength-training exercise to avoid,
    And which specific upper-body exercises to modify or skip
  14. Tennis Elbow: Exercises To Avoid When You Have Wrist Extensor Tendinosis