Three Exercises To Strengthen Your Elbows

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If you play tennis or badminton, having weak elbows leaves you prone to injuries, the most common of which is tennis elbow. It's a lot easier to prevent an injury to the elbow than it is to rehabilitate one. By strengthening the muscles and connective tissues in your elbow, you decrease your chances of injury. Here is a look at three elbow –strengthening exercises to include in your regular workout routine.

Ball Squeezes

This exercise is so simple and easy that you can do it as you sit at your desk. All you need is a ball that fit into the palm of your hand. A tennis ball, in fact, is the perfect size. Hold the ball in the palm of your hand, making a tight fist around it. Squeeze the ball tightly, being sure to engage the muscles in your forearm. You should feel the tension through your forearm and elbow. Hold your squeeze for about 10 seconds, and then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 8 – 10 times with each hand.

Wrist Curl-Ups

For this exercise, you will need a 1 – 2 pound weight. A filled water bottle will also work if you are in a pinch. You'll also need a flat table, across which you can lay your arm. Place your forearm on the table surface, positioning it so that your palm is facing upwards, and so that your wrist is just slightly overhanging the table. Grasp the weight in your hand, and slowly bend your wrist towards the ground before curling it back up. Make sure you keep your forearm firmly on the table throughout the exercise. Perform 8 -12 curls with one arm, and then switch to the other arm.

Basic Bicep Curls

This exercise will not only strengthen the muscles in your upper arm, but also those in your lower arm. For this reason, it is a good, balanced exercise for strengthening your elbows. To perform a bicep curl, you need a small, 3 – 5 pound dumbbell. Sit on a bench with your legs slightly spread apart. Hold the weight in one hand, and rest the elbow of that hand on the knee of the same side. Slowly bend your elbow, straightening your arm and lowering the weight towards the floor. Then, bend at the elbow again to curl your arm back up. Try not to bend your wrist while performing this exercise. Aim for 10 – 15 repetitions with each arm.

Remember that although these exercises will reduce your risk of an injury, they may not prevent it all-together. If you experience minor elbow soreness while playing tennis or engaging in other physical activity, take a few rest days and ice the joint. Always contact a physician or physical therapy professional if the condition does not resolve itself in a few days.