I've had tennis elbow for about two months now, on both sides. I've finally been to a sports medicine doctor about it and I'm going to physical therapy and both have cleared me to return to lifting weights, but their guidance is basically, "Don't do anything that hurts, or things that cause your pain to increase after the workout." I think that is sensible and it's what I plan to do; however, I'd love some advice on the kinds of exercises that are least likely to cause me problems.

I found this question specifically about training biceps and triceps, but I'd like to get back to training my whole upper and lower body, so I'd be interested in a more well-rounded workout.

I'm thinking these might work:

  • Chest fly / Chest Press
  • Some sort of press (shoulder press, military press)
  • Concentration curl
  • Tricep extensions (EZ-bar or dumbbell one-armed)
  • Rear delt fly
  • Lat pulldown

At home I have resistance bands, dumbbells and an EZ bar, and I also have access to a gym. I find that my forearms hurt when an exercise requires grip strength (e.g. upright row, bent-over row).

Are there more exercises that I could throw into the mix? Are any of these obviously likely to make the tennis elbow worse?

Note: I am not looking to do the exercises for rehabilitation; the physical therapist gives me exercises for that. I'm mostly looking to maintain my muscle mass and strength during recovery without exacerbating the condition..

  • Have you tried using lifting straps for grip-heavy pulling exercises like bent-over row? They've helped me a lot. Switching grip (from pronated to supinated or vice versa) can also make a huge difference.
    – gustafc
    Oct 11, 2022 at 8:21


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