If you’re a fanatic tennis player, the chances are high that you have experienced tennis elbow yourself. Tennis elbow occurs often in tennis players and is a painful condition that will affect your performance on the tennis court. Did you know that practicing yoga can actually help to relieve pain if you have a tennis elbow? By doing gentle stretching and easy yoga poses, athletes have experienced a relief in pain, which helped them to get back into shape and perform better on the tennis court.
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow is a form of tendinitis, which is an inflammation or irritation of thick bands that connect your bones to your muscles in the elbow area. Even though it is called ‘tennis elbow’, you can actually get this painful condition if you haven’t even been playing tennis. The reason why it’s called tennis elbow is because this is a common condition among tennis players. The most common causes of tennis elbow are:
If you regularly play tennis or padel, the risk of getting tennis elbow heightens as the repetitive movement and force you use during the sports affects your muscles. If your elbow feels tight, sore or it actually hurts, you can practice yoga by doing easy poses and stretching exercises to aid relief.
Yoga to relieve tennis elbow
An important thing to remember when practicing yoga if you have tennis elbow, is that you should never do poses that require you to bear your full weight onto your hands with your wrists and elbows in extension. Besides the fact that this will most likely hurt, it also will not benefit your tennis elbow at all. By doing gentle exercises that won’t ask too much of your elbow, yoga can relieve pain caused by your tennis elbow and eventually even help it to disappear. But do remember, that with tennis elbow, rest is also super important!
Yoga exercises for tennis elbow: 3 exercises that can help
If you’re unfamiliar with yoga, it might be helpful to consult our beginners guide to yoga. But don’t worry, because we have selected three simple yoga poses and exercises that will help your tennis elbow. Nothing too crazy or complicated. Be mindful not to hyperextend your elbow during upper-body exercises.
1. Cobra stretch
Lie down on your front, place your hands on your yoga mat and slowly press your upper body up, while keeping your hips and legs pressed into the ground. Avoid hyperextending your elbows or put too much weight on your hands. Hold this pose for a few seconds, as holding it for much longer won’t benefit your tennis elbow.
2. Warrior pose
Stand up straight and step out until your feet are three or four feet apart. Now, turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot 90 degrees to the left. Bring your arms up and keep them parallel to the floor.
3. Extended triangle pose
This extended triangle pose will help to stretch both elbows and wrists and reduce the pain caused by tennis elbow. From the warrior pose, keep standing with your feet apart measuring the width of your hip. Raise your left arm upwards and stretch it as far as comfortable. Bring your right hand to your right ankle and touch the ground with your fingertips. Hold this pose for one minute and repeat one the other side.