3 Exercises That Fix 90% of Elbow Pain

Improve your elbow motion and eradicate your pain!

If you have elbow pain, most issues involve altered elbow biomechanics.

But that changes today. I’ll show you 3 exercises I use to address most elbow problems. You’ll learn the biomechanics behind them, and how to perform them like a BOSS!

When to NOT Use These Exercises

Let’s clear the air first. If you’ve got fresh elbow trauma or you’re feeling numbness and tingling, STOP! These aren’t your jam.

If you can’t straighten that arm all the way, head straight away to a medical pro.

With that in mind, let’s get those elbows moving!

Elbow Biomechanics 101

The elbow moves in 4 ways:

  1. Flexion (bending)
  2. Extension (straightening)
  3. Pronation (palm down)
  4. Supination (palm up)

But even bending and straightening involve some rotation. Here’s what rotations happen during these actions:

Photo credit: Connexions
  • Flexion ➡️ supination = forearm external rotation (ER) and humeral ER
  • Extension ➡️ pronation = forearm internal rotation (IR) and humeral IR

But things get REAL CRAZY at 90º elbow flexion. These rotations reverse:

  • Pronation = forearm IR and humeral ER
  • Supination = forearm ER and humeral IR

But the big focus to making elbows feel better? Restoring these rotations.

Here’s how:

Exercise 1: Max Out That Elbow Space

First up, we’re targeting ER. That means you’ll be mayor of the supination nation.

I love the sidelying 5 month roll for this.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your side, keep that bottom arm and knee less than 90º degrees.
  2. Roll forward to get outer elbow and knee contact.
  3. Silent nasal inhale
  4. Soft mouth exhale
  5. While exhaling, push yourself up through the elbow and knee points
  6. Try five sets of five breaths, twice a day, for 2-4 weeks.

Exercise 2: Extension and Pronation Gains!

Once you can ER, you’ll then want to improve IR. Meaning pronation is in your future.

I like a low oblique sit for this:

Here are the tricks:

  1. Arm at 90º, bottom knee at 70º.
  2. Make a letter “c” with your hand.
  3. Roll forward get outside knee and that wiggly wrist bone (pisiform) to the ground.
  4. Rotate your hand down.
  5. Silent nasal inhale
  6. Soft mouth exhale
  7. While exhaling, push yourself up through the pisiform and knee points
  8. Try five sets of five breaths, twice a day, for 2-4 weeks.

Exercise 3: Flex Those Elbows

The real show is capturing full elbow flexion. It’s also the most difficult because it requires more humeral rotation. You get this though, and your upper back mobility will also improve! (and I won’t charge you extra).

A wall squat low reach is money for this.

Here’s how you nail it:

  1. Stand a foot away from a wall.
  2. Rest against it, feeling the PSIS, inner heel, and big toe base.
  3. Slide down
  4. Arms at 60º shoulder flexion with bend elbows
  5. Silent nasal inhale
  6. Soft mouth exhale
  7. Try five sets of five breaths, twice a day, for 2-4 weeks.

Sum up

So there you have it. These moves are your ticket to saying “peace out” to elbow pain. Remember, it’s all about:

  • Maximizing space in the joint.
  • Getting that rotation game strong.
  • Breathing right and keeping it smooth.

And hey, if your shoulder’s acting up too, check out this other video I got. It’s all connected, folks.