My boyfriend is an avid tennis player.  He has been playing since he was a little kid and even played on a team while in college.  He has gotten back into it again over the last two years and since then has also developed what I would call “tennis wrist”.  (No, I am not mistaking this for tennis elbow!)  Much of the sensation that he has been feeling during and after playing tennis is from gripping the tennis racket as well as from the swinging motion of going into a backhand or forehand.  From overusing the muscles through the forearm, he constantly feels a slight tenderness that persists for one or two days until he plays again.  He does some simple stretches, wrist exercises for tennis players, and light massage of the muscles running along the forearm, but not enough to alleviate some of the pain he gets.

He could probably benefit from spending some time doing yoga for wrist pain before and after his tennis games, focusing on a Yoga Tune Up® pose called Reverse Crucifix, shown in the video clip below.  It is a perfect stretch for the whole length of the arm and especially for the extensor muscles.  It also can be found on Yoga Tune Up® Quick Fix for Hands, Wrists and Elbows as well the YTU Jill Miller Post Workout Stretch Routine DVD.  This pose will surely get him back in the game without any pain.  You never know, maybe his backhand will even improve!

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Tia Ukpe

Tia Ukpe has been a devoted student of yoga since 2001. She has focused on practicing and teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa. She received her 200 hour teacher certification from IT's Yoga in 2007. Tia is also a Relax and Renew Restorative Yoga teacher and is certified to teach Yoga Tune Up®, an integrative form of yoga therapy created by Jill Miller. Tia is currently working towards her Master’s in Holistic Nutrition, has received her initial certification from Saul David Raye in Thai Yoga Therapy and continues to look for new ways that she can integrate holistic living in all aspects of life. For more about me or to view my Yoga Tune Up® class schedule go here. You can also visit my website at

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Love this! I have a lot of tennis playing students as my studio is just 3 blocks from a major tennis club, so this is great for me to know. I had no idea that “tennis wrist” was even a thing to be on the look out for. Plus, this felt great!


I have a few tennis players in my yoga classes. I will incorporate reverse crucifix next class! Thank you for your blog!


Oh wow! I am going to have to try this immediately! I have been having wrist issues lately, I couldn’t have stumbled on this at a better time!

Jasmine Ellemo

I play a lot of tennis all year round and have taken on learning more about the wrists and hands because I often have numbness and tingling. Reverse crucifix is a great stretch to relieve the tension I feel in my rhomboids. At first it cause a bit more tingling, but that subsides quickly. I will share this info with my tennis team, thank-you,


Thank you for your blog. I didn’t know there was a term “tennis wrist” but it makes sense. I will incorporate more forearm stretching and address the tennis players in my classes.


This could be done standing and using of the wall too… thanks for sharing,. ~ Peace.


I just learned how to do this movement yesterday. I also, roll out my deltoid area which alleviates pain I have in my forearm from time to time.

Sheena Nadeau

what a great stretch! i feel this is so many places. i hope it has helped with his tennis wrists! thanks!

Wendy Melville

I will be showing my hubby who is a squash player this stretch, he is icing his elbow a lot, although I must admit not so much since he has stated rolling out.


I liked this pose for myself – challenging for me: as my body lay on my arms I found it difficult to breath but I really liked the stretch in my upper back.

I will be showing this to my partner as he is an avid tennis player as well.

Rachel Peppler

I really this one stretch and I can see how it can really help a lot of my clients. Thanks for the post! 🙂


I experienced ‘tennis wrist’ from the repetitive action of lifting my NYC bike share bike out its docking station by pulling on the underside of the seat (as instructed in the bike share guide). By consciously stabilizing my wrist, adding more flexion to my biceps and using a Plus ball to roll out my forearm on the wall, I was able to reverse the effects and take away the pain.

Bridget Hughes

Great post Tia – I too am an avid tennis player, although i just started a few years ago I notice the havoc it is reeking on my body and use YTU to avoid injury as much as possible. Thank you for pointing out the benefits for preventing tennis writs, now I’m looking for another post, this one for tennis elbow.


My best friend is a professional glass blower, constantly has brutally beat down wrists and forearms. I give him many tips to get health back to those tissue via YTU balls, each have been helpful. Recently, I found a new use; I made him place his fingers in the empty tote and try to tear it open by extending his fingers outward. The counter balance of spending all his time in tense flexion, has really put the icing on the cake.


I hope your boyfriend’s wrists are now recovered. I was doing the swinging motion and it seems that in order for the wrist to hurt that much would be if there is some over flexion or extension in the wrist while he is swinging the racket. The reverse crucifix is a definite helper!

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Jamie Leigh

This is appropriate for a small population of folks but in general people have weak upper backs that cause pain due to the tightness in their necks and chest. In addition, a lot of pain in the arms and wrists is never pain caused from compression of the colar bone on the 1st rib. This pose puts people into that compressed position. It is definitely useful for certain repetitive movements but I would focus more on the pecs, delts and biceps for the majority of people.


Oh wow the reverse crucifix! As a yogi and a tennis player, I appreciate both this exercise by Tia and Anna’s upper arm stretch, which also feels great through the front of the chest as the shoulders retract. Thanks guys! I imagine that these moves would also help musicians.

Anna Spanopoulos

The reverse crucifix is a wonderful upper arm and upper back stretch. The protraction of the shoulder blades by relaxing in the pose is a great release and stretch. I like to follow reverse crucifix with a good pectoralis major and medial upper arm stretch such as holding a door jam with my hands shoulder height and bringing my sternum up and forward through the door.