Rehab: Golfers Elbow
Do you have elbow pain? If yes, take your opposite hand and locate the 2 bony parts (epicondyles) that stick out from either side of your elbow. Once you’ve found those, massage the area around each to determine which side the pain is originating from. If the pain is coming from the outside (pinky side) you may be suffering from ‘Tennis Elbow’ (which we will cover later). Golfers elbow – or medial epicondylitis if we’re getting technical – as the name suggest, is an injury that is most common in golfers. However, anyone can succumb to it through any form of repetitive movement. Throwing a ball, typing, etc can all lead to this type of inflammation of the elbow.
In the video we go through 2 warm-up exercises with the first simply extending the elbow straight out in front of yourself, forming a first and then moving the wrist up and down (extension and flexion). This should be a slow, controlled movement for 10 reps – 5 up and 5 down.
The second warm-up exercise involves stretching the wrist flexors by once again locking the elbow straight out in front, forming a fist, and then using the opposite hand to pull the knuckles back towards your body. If this stretch isn’t providing you much of a stretch then instead of forming a fist, splay your fingers apart as wide as you can. Then use your opposite hand to pull the fingers back towards the body. Be sure to hold this stretch for 30 seconds or more and repeat at least 3 times.
Now that you’re warmed up it’s time to move on to the other exercises.
Golfers Elbow Rehab Exercises
Elbow Extension with Wrist Mobilisation
For this exercise you will need to go to the floor and start on on your hands and knees. You will only be working on one arm at a time so start on your dominant or affected arm.
- Fully extend the elbow and keep it locked throughout the whole movement
- Rock your hips and body back towards your heels
- Splay your fingers out and keep them apart
- Lift/extend your wrist off the ground and towards your body – be sure to maintain this through the exercise
- Keeping your elbows lock and wrists extended, slowly rock forward onto your palms and keep moving until your palms can no longer stay on the ground
- Slowly rock your body back towards your heels, focus on extending your wrists off the ground as soon as possible.
- Congratulations, you’ve just done 1 rep! Aim for 3-6 reps per arm and slowly build up as pain decreases.
I use a dumbell in the video but if you don’t have access to one you can always substitute with any weighted object that can held in your hand. Use a bench, chair, table, or any flat surface and rest your forearm on it with your wrist and hand hanging over the edge.
- Place a weight in your hand that is hanging off the bench.
- Use your opposite hand to assist the wrist in going into full flexion (curl the wrist towards you).
- Release the assisting hand and slowly (eccentrically) let the weight pull your wrist all the way into extension.
- Then simply repeat steps 2 and 3 in order, bringing the wrist back to the fully flexed position with the help of your free hand, release at the top, and eccentrically load the wrist going all the way back into full extension
Complete 3 sets of 12 reps. As you get stronger increase the reps to 15/20/25. Once you are comfortable with the higher reps, increase the weight you are holding and drop the reps back to 12.
Wrist Flexion and Extension Holds This exercise can be done standing or seated.
- Fully extend your elbow down by your side.
- Form a really tight fist – squeeze it as hard as you can!
- Maintain that squeeze and flex your wrist as far as you can, holding for 5 seconds
- Return your wrist to a neutral position, releasing the fist and splaying for fingers out as wide as possible – everytime I do this it brings back memories of the “spirit fingers” scene from Bring It On, in case anyone was wondering where reference in the video was from!
- With the fingers spread wide extended the wrist as far as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Remember to keep that elbow locked out throughout exercise!
- Return to a neutral wrist
Repeat 6 cycles (6 of flexion and extension). As you get stronger increase the number of cycles. You will be aiming for 3 – 5 sets in total.
I hope this helps relieve some of that pain and tension you’re feeling! If any of these exercise cause intense or excruciating pain please STOP immediately and seek advice from a health professional.
If you found this interesting then feel free to check out our other videos and blogs and be sure to drop us a message on Facebook if you want us to focus on a particular injury. Or if you have a pre-existing injury and aren’t sure how to train with it sign up for a free consultation and we will see what we can do to get you moving again!