Elbow Tendonitis Exercises for Mountain Bikers

I get a lot of questions about elbow tendonitis. I have clients who suffer from it and I have even gone through some episodes of it myself. It seems like it is a pretty common overuse injury for rides so I shot this video on what is most likely causing it (it isn’t what you think) and some exercises to help combat it. Enjoy…

-James Wilson-

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  1. jeffB says:

    I had lateral epicondylitis (a big word for tennis elbow) about a year ago. Went to the sports doc, got some therapy and a shot. Helped a *little*. Then I stumbled on a supplement called Cissus Quadrangularis. I get it raw and in bulk, not the overpriced BS crap you can buy in pill form. No exaggeration whatsoever, in a month I could train as hard as ever before without pain if I let it rest afterward, and after two months I had NO pain at all, at any time. My grip strength is back to 100% as well. I have referred a few people to the stuff and they have all had positive results. It`s a natural occurring extract from a flower related to grapes. The only side effect is that it tastes HORRIBLE. I was taking a gram a day for the first two weeks, then half for six weeks. Now I only take it when I have a particularly brutal ride or workout. It`s been a good six months since I`ve used it daily and I have NO pain. It`s at least worth a look, as it`s claim is that it`s proven to actually heal connective tissue. I can vouch for it personally.

    Reply • May 12 at 12:33 pm
  2. Eric says:

    I have both elbow and knee tendonitis. I know what makes the pain flare up, running, hiking, preacher curls, and the list goes on. Since you’ve covered the elbow, may we please have some exercises for knee tendonitis?

    Reply • May 13 at 6:52 am
  3. Stephen says:

    Interesting. I had severe tendonitis about a year ago from swinging a hammer all day right after recovering from a shoulder injury. My physical therapist didn’t connect the dots but what you say makes perfect sense. I have been pain free for quite some time probably due to strengthening my shoulder. I’ll have to work some of those exercises into my routine to really get solid. Thanks James!

    Reply • May 13 at 11:58 am
  4. Simon says:

    Surprised you didn’t include arm bars as part of the prevention/treatment here? Have you gone off those?

    Reply • May 22 at 2:17 pm
    • bikejames says:

      No, I still like them, I just wanted to run through some new things that people might be a little more familiar with. Lots of tools in the ol’ tool box…

      Reply • May 22 at 2:37 pm
  5. Simon says:

    I guess. I’ve been doing them pretty religiously – start of every work out – and I was super disappointed when I tried TGUs and seemed to knacker my shoulder – I was doing sets of the hip raise step, with light weight, but the hip raise step seems to put a lot of tension on my lower shoulder, the one that’s supporting my body rather than the one that’s holding up the weight. Any suggestions? Or do I just need to keep trying to strengthen/rehab my shoulders with the pull aparts, push ups, and what not?

    Reply • May 23 at 10:33 am
    • bikejames says:

      @ Simon – you are probably internally rotating your hand when you go from your elbow to your hand (turning your fingers in towards the body). You have to keep the hand pointed out which will keep the supporting shoulder packed in. I just shot a video and will post it today on what I am talking about…

      Reply • May 24 at 9:30 am
  6. Eric says:

    I have been working with a professional, certified physical therapist and she echoed James’ comments word for word. I have a very weak, unstable shoulder, and that, combined with doing a bunch of mountain biking and pull-ups all of a sudden triggered the tennis elbow. Fixing the problem will involve focusing on strengthening my shoulder and upper back muscles, as well as resting and stretching the forearm. Thanks James!

    Reply • November 26 at 12:29 pm
  7. Gary says:

    Thanks for the great tips James. I am a recent sufferer of Tennis Elbow. I know it’s from weakness in my shoulders due to old injuries. I will tell you a stretch that gave me almost instant relief though. Kind of found this on my own after I really started thinking of why those tendons are tight in the first place. Just spent a weekend putting in new trails on Saturday and mtn biking Sunday. My left elbow was killing me and I started feeling it in my right one.

    Here’s the stretch:

    Hold arm straight out and hand up like you are telling someone to stop. Grasp the fingers with the other hand and bend the fingers back until you really feel that stretch in your forearm. Now hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat.

    I did that a bunch of times today at work on both arms and I’m telling you my elbows feel so much better. Give it a try. My forearms were so tight from swinging a rogue hoe one day and squeezing handlebars the next.

    BTW – I am a flat pedal rocker and that is how I found your site. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Reply • October 22 at 4:55 pm
  8. Martin says:

    Is this video still available? I can’t see it on your site.

    Reply • March 15 at 3:23 am

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