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Exercises for Straightening the Elbow

by Kristi Stephens

About Kristi Stephens

Kristi Stephens has been writing professionally since 2010. She holds certifications in athletic training, massage therapy, personal training and has a physical-education degree with concentrations in coaching and family life/human sexuality. Stephens is on the kinesiology faculty at a local community college and is employed as an athletic trainer/patient relations coordinator for a sports medicine physical therapy clinic.

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Overview

Adequate elbow strength can allow you to avoid or recover from injury. The musculature involved with elbow function perform the motions of elbow bending, straightening and rotation, as well as some wrist motions. Beginning with light weights, you should be able to perform three sets of 10 repetitions. Once you are easily able to do this, you may increase your weight. Dumbbells or small hand weights are ideal for many of these exercises.

Flexion

Biceps exercises increase the strength of your elbow flexion. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hold a barbell, which is a single long weight bar. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Begin with your arms extended, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows as far you can, lower and repeat. From this same position, grasp a dumbbell or small weight in each hand. Bend your arms one at a time, raising one as you lower the other. Turn your thumbs so that they are facing forward and repeat with hammer curls.

Extension

Triceps exercises increase your elbow extension or straightening. Standing in an upright position, grasp a dumbbell with your arm straight overhead. Stabilizing your upper arm with your other hand, slowly bend your elbow, allowing your hand to lower behind your head. Straighten it back out. Lean over and support your weight on the back of a chair. Raise your arm behind you, with your elbow bent. Keeping your upper elbow parallel to the floor, straighten your arm behind you. Lower and repeat.

Pronation/Supination

Rotation of your palm into an upward and downward position will increase your pronator and supinator musculature. Begin in a seated position with your elbow flexed and resting on the edge of a table. Grip the end of a dumbbell with your thumb pointing toward the ceiling. Slowly rotate your palm downward until the dumbbell is parallel to the floor. Turn your palm back so that it is facing the ceiling and the dumbbell is again parallel to the floor to complete one repetition.

Flexion/Extenison

Wrist flexion and extension exercises will increase the musculature that supports elbow function. Begin with your forearm resting on the edge of a table and your elbow flexed. Hold onto a weight with your palm facing the floor. Bend your wrist back as far as you can toward your forearm to extend the muscle. Slowly lower back to the neutral starting position and repeat. Turn your arm so that your palm is facing the ceiling and repeat the above exercise by flexing your wrist toward your elbow and back to starting position.

Photo Credits:

  • exercise image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from Fotolia.com

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.