What are the Different Types of Elbow Stretches?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Elbow stretches may be required for a number of reasons. People with elbow pain from an injury or frequent wear and tear from sports, such as tennis or golf, can find relief through daily stretches. From forearm flexes to extensions, an elbow stretching routine can include several helpful movements.

Elbow stretches are also called tennis stretches.
Elbow stretches are also called tennis stretches.

Wrist flexes, or forearm stretches, are the most common type of elbow stretches. These involve using a one pound (half a kilogram) weight in the hand being stretched, with the palm faced upward. Placing the forearm at the edge of a table, keep the arm immobilized so that only the hand may move. The wrist should alternate between being bent up and lowered very slowly. Additional weight may be added for resistance if needed.

Wrists can be massaged with ice cubes after performing stretches and exercises.
Wrists can be massaged with ice cubes after performing stretches and exercises.

Another forearm stretch can be done with a hammer. While grasping the hammer, or a similar device, rotate the hand until the palm is facing down. Rotate the hand again until the palm is facing upward. This should all be done with the forearm supported by a table.

Elbow stretches can help alleviate pain from injury or overuse.
Elbow stretches can help alleviate pain from injury or overuse.

Extensions of the wrist can be completed using a string, a weight, and a broomstick. Tie one end of the string to the broomstick and the other to the weight. In a standing position, extend both arms and elbows out straight while rolling the weight from the ground by turning the wrists. Palms should be facing downward during this exercise. As a flexing stretch, palms may face upward.

Broomsticks may be used to perform wrist extensions.
Broomsticks may be used to perform wrist extensions.

Also known as tennis stretches, elbow stretches may include the use of a ball as a prop. A ball squeeze may be completed by placing a tennis ball or other ball of similar size in the palm of the hand. It should be squeezed multiple times to execute the stretch. A piece of foam or sponge may be placed around the ball to ease any discomfort.

A finger extension can be performed with the aid of a rubber band. After placing a rubber band securely around all five finger tips, spread the fingers apart repeatedly. Multiple rubber bands may be added to increase resistance.

Repetition for these exercises should be discussed with a physician, personal trainer, or physical therapist. The most common amount of repetition called for is ten repetitions, three times daily. Some therapists may recommend that the exercises be completed up to five times per day. Following these exercises, a massage is recommended. Wrists can be massaged with an ice cube, or treated with an ice pack for five minutes.

While mild pain during another workout can be expected and accepted, elbow stretches should be comfortable. If any pain is experienced while performing elbow stretches, a physician should be contacted. Pain during elbow stretching can indicate further problems with the affected area. Elbow stretching should not commence until the area has been properly treated and the elbow area is pain-free.

A ball squeeze may be completed by placing a ball in the palm of the hand, and squeezing.
A ball squeeze may be completed by placing a ball in the palm of the hand, and squeezing.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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