How changing your strings can help your tennis elbow
Updated: Jun 14, 2019
Tennis elbow is generally caused by overuse. The tendons in your forearm leading up to your elbow become strained and inflamed due to repetitive movements and strenuous activity.
This strenuous activity is made worse by vibrations, shock waves and high impact to the arm.
4 quick ways to improve tennis elbow
1. Racket Handle Grip Size
Gripping your racket too tightly puts a lot more tension on the tendons in the forearm. One way to improve this is to use a racket with a bigger grip size. This forces your hand to stay slightly more open and put less pressure on these tendons.
2. Racket Type / Balance Some rackets are worse for tennis elbow than others. Light rackets, although seem better on the elbow and shoulder, the lighter the racket the more work your elbow does and the more vibrations it takes. Heavier rackets will do more of the work for you and absorb more of the vibrations. A dampener on your string bed can also help with this. The balance of a racket can make a big difference to tennis elbow. Some rackets are head heavy, some handle heavy and some evenly balanced. A light racket is generally head heavy in order for a better swing and generate more power. Head heavy rackets can be a big culprit for causing tennis elbow. They are balanced like a hammer. When they are swung, at the end of the swing they jar your elbow and send more shock waves shooting down your arm. The Wilson Hammer tennis rackets are a prime example of this and have historically been very bad for causing tennis elbow. An improvement on this would be to use a handle heavy/head light, or at the very minimum, a equally balanced racket and not to go for the ultra light variation.
3. String Type
Like with rackets, some strings are better on the elbow than others. Stiff polyester strings have no give. They produce more shock on the arm and generate a lot of vibrations. These are a must avoid for anyone with potential elbow issues or juniors. Soft multi filament or nylon based synthetic strings are far more forgiving. They flex and absorb the impact, generating less vibrations and are far more comfortable on the arm. This string change alone can make a huge improvement on elbow issues and is definitely worth consideration. Read our 'Choosing a string' page for more information or get in contact for advice.
4. String Tension
Higher tensions are less forgiving than lower. A highly strung racket feels a lot heavier and sends much stronger shock waves through to the elbow upon ball impact. A loser tensions will generate less vibrations, absorb more impact and feel much easier on the arm and may be worth exploring. For more information on tensions, read our 'Choosing a tension' page or get in contact for advice.
To change string and tension to a set up that will improve your elbow, book your racket in now for a restring.