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Elbow: Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Wrist flexor stretch

Picture of the wrist flexor stretch exercise
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slide 1 of 6, Wrist flexor stretch,
  1. Extend your arm in front of you with your palm up.
  2. Bend your wrist, pointing your hand toward the floor.
  3. With your other hand, gently bend your wrist farther until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your forearm.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Wrist extensor stretch

Picture of the wrist extensor stretch exercise
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slide 2 of 6, Wrist extensor stretch,
  1. Repeat steps 1 to 4 of the stretch above but begin with your extended hand palm down.

Ball or sock squeeze

Picture of the ball or sock squeeze exercise
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slide 3 of 6, Ball or sock squeeze,
  1. Hold a tennis ball (or a rolled-up sock) in your hand.
  2. Make a fist around the ball (or sock) and squeeze.
  3. Hold for about 6 seconds, and then relax for up to 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  5. Switch the ball (or sock) to your other hand and do 8 to 12 times.

Wrist deviation

Picture of wrist deviation exercise
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slide 4 of 6, Wrist deviation,
  1. Sit so that your arm is supported but your hand hangs off the edge of a flat surface, such as a table.
  2. Hold your hand out like you are shaking hands with someone.
  3. Move your hand up and down.
  4. Repeat this motion 8 to 12 times.
  5. Switch arms.
  6. Try to do this exercise twice with each hand.

Wrist curls

Picture of the wrist curls exercises
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slide 5 of 6, Wrist curls,
  1. Place your forearm on a table with your hand hanging over the edge of the table, palm up.
  2. Place a 0.5 to 1 kilogram weight in your hand. This may be a dumbbell, a can of food, or a filled water bottle.
  3. Slowly raise and lower the weight while keeping your forearm on the table and your palm facing up.
  4. Repeat this motion 8 to 12 times.
  5. Switch arms, and do steps 1 through 4.
  6. Repeat with your hand facing down toward the floor. Switch arms.

Biceps curl

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slide 6 of 6, Biceps curl,
  1. Sit leaning forward with your legs slightly spread apart and your left hand on your left thigh.
  2. Hold a 0.5 to 1 kilogram (1 to 2 pound) weight in your right hand. The weight may be a dumbbell, a can of food, or a filled water bottle.
  3. Place your right elbow on your right thigh, keeping your elbow slightly bent.
  4. Slowly lift (curl) the weight up and toward your chest.
  5. Slowly return it to the starting point.
  6. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  7. Repeat these steps with your other arm.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.