Recovering from tennis elbow can be a long process. Like so many injuries, recovery won’t happen overnight.
One of the surest ways to alleviate tennis elbow symptoms and lower the risk of future injuries is to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your arm. But what types of exercises are best suited to recovery, and how can you get a full work out when it’s painful just bending your arm or tightening your grip?
You may have heard of tennis elbow flexbars, or twist bars, as a way to help recover from arm and elbow injuries, but you aren’t sure how they work or whether they are right for you. Or maybe you’ve seen people use flex bars at the gym, and you want to make sure you find the right brand before ordering one for yourself.
How Do Twist Bars Work?
Twist bars are an ideal form of exercise to strengthen and rehabilitate muscles in the hand and wrist. They’re a natural way to improve grip strength, increase flexibility, and improve range of motion, and they’re backed by clinical research. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, continued use of tennis elbow flex bars can decrease elbow pain by 81 percent and increase strength by 72 percent.
The Twist Bar is ideal for people who have experienced elbow injuries caused by lateral epicondylitis, or “repetitive motions in the arm and elbow,” including elbow tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or arthritis. Physical therapists and neuromuscular specialists often recommend twist bars as a way to help improve grip strength in athletes or anyone who regularly engages in physical activity involving the arms, such as housework or heavy labor.
Using gentle twisting motions in the wrist and arms, the twist bar helps support rehabilitation in the wrists, forearms, and hands. The ridged design makes gripping easy, and twist bars are small and lightweight enough to fit in a gym bag, purse, or glove compartment.
Not all tennis elbow flex bars offer the same features, however. So before you buy, let’s look at two of the most popular flex bars on the market.
TheraBand FlexBar Review
Using the TheraBand FlexBar as part of a tennis elbow treatment plan enables the muscles to both lengthen and contract more easily without causing more pain. Unlike weights, the FlexBar won’t overwork your muscles, making it easier to stay active and reducing the risk of aggravating the injury. Instead, the FlexBar involves wrist extension and flexion techniques specially designed to decrease pain and increase strength.
The FlexBar is ideal for rehabilitation in the wrist, forearm, and hand. With an average 4.5 star rating and coming in 4 different resistance levels, the TheraBand FlexBar has earned its place as one of the most popular twist bars available.
Some beginners may need additional support, however, and guidance on what types of tennis elbow exercises they can perform to get the most out of their purchase. Which is why we prefer the Simien Flexible Rubber Twist Bar.
Simien Flexible Rubber Twist Bar Review
The Simien Twist Bar is ideal for any kind of persistent elbow pain, regardless of whether it’s from tennis, golf, fishing, traveling, tendinitis, carpal tunnel, arthritis, or any other injury caused by repetitive stress motion.
It differs from the FlexBar in that its patented design provides all the benefits in just one bar, instead of requiring multiple resistance level bars to get a complete workout. This “all in one” product includes a resistance exercise plan with three different levels of resistance, depending on your strength level.
The Simien Flexible Rubber Twist Bar also includes a helpful guide for how to use it and how you can incorporate physical therapy exercises to address tennis elbow pain. In addition, you receive two free guides full with instructions on additional tools, facts, and resources you can use to supplement your recovery plan and see faster, more pronounced improvements in flexibility and grip strength.
You can use the Twist Bar not only to assist with the healing process from tennis elbow, but to also strengthen your hands, arms, and shoulders at the same time. Prevent future injuries by implementing the flex and twist motions into your regular exercise routine.
The Simien Flexible Rubber Twist Bar has an average rating of five stars, and you can order your own here.
The Incredible Benefits of Twist Bars
The benefits of using a twist bar as part of a tennis elbow treatment or prevention plan are clear: relieve muscle and tendon pain, increase flexibility, and prevent future injuries.
And the Simien Twist Bar has the added benefit of three resistance levels to choose from, depending on your strength—unlike other brands that require purchasing as many as four separate rubber bars for different types of exercise. It’s easy to use, easy to assemble, and can be stored anywhere, from a gym bag to a glove compartment.
Many customers who have used twist bars to supplement their tennis elbow exercise routine claim that their elbow pain subsided within a week of using the product. In just seven days, they were able to effectively stretch their elbow muscles to promote healing without worsening the pain.
And many continue to use the Twist Bars long after they have healed as a way to prevent future injuries. Frequently purchased with the Twist bars are the Simien Tennis Elbow brace and sleeve, as well as Simien pain relief cream.
Learn more about how to use twist bars—and what products you can use to get even more out of them—with our Tennis Elbow Support Ultimate Guide.