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Exercising the Elbow Part 1

After researching what’s wrong with my elbow, I need to take preventative measures to keep it healthy. So, I looked at what exercises I can do and here’s what I’ve come across.

In this article, I’m going to cover mobility. As my elbow heals, I need to make sure I can keep it mobile so that I can climb. I’ve come across these trainings created by Dr. Jared Vagy, a Doctor of Physical Therapy and professor at the University of Southern California. I’ve started doing them, and I think they’ve been helping in my recovery.

Making the Right Moves

Constant activation of the muscles in the back of your forearm (extensors) while climbing can lead to increased tension. The increased pressure in the extensor muscles can strain their attachment to the outside of your elbow. By gently and progressively stretching the extensor muscles, you increase circulation and improve range of motion to aid in the healing process.

Movement 1 – Elbow and Wrist Multi-Position Tendon Glides

Me doing the tendon glide exercise

What this motion does is creates a little opposition to help stretch the extensor muscles out. Climbers do so much pull action on the walls that we forget to work on pushing as well.

Movement 2 – Paint the Wall

Me pressing my left wrist up and down a wall wearing a sock.

Movement 3 – The Frying Pan

There are other exercises to use for lateral epicondylitis that require using a dumbbell. But what if you don’t have one? Come to find out; a frying pan will work just as well. I would start with a small one first then work your way up in size.

Using a small frying pan to work my elbow and wrist.

Other exercises that help are planks and pushups. They aren’t the easiest to do, but they do help with opposition.

In the next article, once I obtain functional mobility, I can look at how to get those muscles stronger, so I don’t become weak. Until next time, happy bouldering!