Exercises to increase your elbow strength

Personal/Fitness Training Blog

Your elbows are responsible for making your lower arms move. They also take on a lot of weight when you are lifting something. This is why your elbows need to be strong enough to handle your day to day activities.

Your elbow joint uses flexion and extension, and pronation and supination movements to be able to move. Flexion and extension enable your elbows to bend and straighten. Pronation and supination enable you to turn your palms up and down.

To make your elbows stronger, you need to work the joint through its full range of motion using the different equipment when exercising.

Exercise bands

Exercise bands provide resistance when exercising. It can be especially helpful when you have limited range of motion in your elbow. Some exercises include:

  1. Elbow curls

Standing up, step out with one foot in front of the other. Place one end of the exercise band under the back foot and hold the other end with your hand. Pull the band up with your hand, curling your arm toward your shoulder.


Dumbbells engage both the supporting and stabilising muscles of your elbow. Using dumbbells to exercise increases your elbows’ ability to carry handle more weight. Some exercises include:

  1. Supination

Sitting in a chair, hold a dumbbell vertically in your hand. Rest your elbow on your knee. Turning your palm up, let the weight of the dumbbell help rotate your arm outward. Using the same technique, turn your palm down. Try to keep your upper arm and elbow still.


Barbells also engage the supporting and stabilising muscles of your elbow in order to build strength. However, it doesn’t recruit as much work from these muscles as the dumbbells. Some exercises include:

  1. Triceps extensions

Standing up, hold the barbell in such a manner that your palms face forward. Your hands should be a little closer than shoulder-distance apart and your feet should be shoulder-distance apart. After this, lift the barbell above your head until your arms are completely extended. Keep your elbows in and your upper arms close to your head. Lower the resistance by allowing your forearms to bend down, to your biceps, behind your head. Your upper arms should stay still while your forearms move. Bring the barbell back to above your head.


Using your own body-weight can also work as a means to strengthen your elbows. Some body-weight exercises target your gripping muscles in your forearms and your elbow flexing muscles. These exercises include:

  1. Push-ups

Starting in a planking position, place your hands under your shoulders. Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle starting from your ribs. Lower your chest to the floor. Stop just before you touch the floor. Extend your arms again into the high plank position.

You can make your elbows stronger by including exercise bands, dumbbells, barbells and your own body-weight into your workout. These exercises work different parts of your arms that work together with your elbows to pick up weight.

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