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Gymnastics/Strengthening an elbow


I dislocated my elbow twice while tumbling in the past year. I've taken months off (luckily, I'm not a competitive gymnast, just someone who enjoys the sport- were I competitive, I would have gone crazy by now)to let the joint rebuild, but it still aches even after only doing a few cartwheels. Are there any exercises that would help strengthen that joint? I'm in college, so I don't really have access to any fancy gym equipment. ANYTHING would be greatly appreciated- I miss tumbling!
Thank you so much!

Hi Maddi,
It seems to me that doing pushups (ideally handstand pushups, but regular ones would help too) would help to strengthen your elbows in order to tumble more safely.  Holding a handstand (against a wall if you need to, or with your knees on a chair in a slightly tucked position) would also help.  There are 2 main points to keep in mind:
1) Listen to your body, if your elbow hurts then slow down or do something easier
2) Consistency pays off.  You may not be able to do much at first but do a little bit every day and eventually you'll notice your strength and confidence improve.


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Robert Davis


I can answer questions about technique, strength and endurance training, healing from injuries, and competitions. I can also answer questions from parents of gymnasts, as I have six children of my own now. I plan to write a freely downloadable ebook or guide soon, go to to tell me what you want help with!


I competed in gymnastics for 16 years, from age 8 to 24, the last six of those years on the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team ( After almost a 10 year hiatus I've returned to competition, see


I have a BSE and MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. During those 6 years I was a member of the Arizona State Men's Gymnastics Team as well.

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