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The wrist extensors are the group of muscles coursing from the outside of the elbow, along the top of the forearm to the fingertips. These muscles are responsible for extending the wrist. Common with conditions such as ‘Tennis Elbow’ these muscles can become weakened and play a vital in our upper limb function.

Variation 1: Dumbbell


  • Position yourself with the affected limb positioned on a bench or as shown below or resting on the knee
  • The elbow should be bent to approximately 90 degrees
  • Hold the weight with the wrist in a flexed position
  • Using the unaffected arm lift the wrist into an extended position
  • Remove the support of the unaffected arm and slowly lower to the starting position
  • The unaffected arm must be used each time to elevate the wrist into the extended position
  • Control the return and repeat


  • Relax the shoulders and neck
  • Avoid forcefully gripping the hand weight
  • Keep the palm facing the ground, avoid rotating the wrist up or down

Resisted extensor exercise is an excellent exercise to increase lateral elbow strength. It is used for injuries such as tennis elbow where pain is typically on the outside of the elbow, or while you grasp any objects.

Variation 2: No Equipment


  • Sit comfortably by a table or bench
  • Place your forearm on a table with the elbow extended
  • Your arm should be at elbow level, palm facing the table
  • Extend the wrist back towards you
  • With the opposite hand press the hand towards the table while resisting
  • Raise the back of the hand again without resistance, and repeat
  • Further directions may be progressed by your Physiotherapist


Exercise with mild pain. Stop if pain becomes disabling.