Did you know that there’s a calisthenics skill that you can learn in less than one day? This move looks more difficult than it actually is and it can be one of those impressive party tricks in your arsenal that will get everyone wowed up!
The elbow lever is one of the three calisthenics skills beginners can learn at home. It is a skill that involves holding the body in a horizontal position above the ground by resting on the elbows. Think of it as a balance scale, your arms act as the stand while your upper and lower body acts as two load trays. Let’s look at how you’d get this move under your belt.
Before you begin, make sure that you do a proper warm-up, especially your wrists as most of your body weight will be resting on them. Spend 5-10 minutes getting yourself prepped up and you should be ready to go.
When doing an elbow lever, I highly recommend you to either face your fingers opposite to the side or backward towards your feet. This will allow a greater range of motion for you to be able to hold the position more comfortably. Personally, I prefer to have my hands facing the sides as it reduces compressive strains on the wrists while allowing me to correct with the thumbs if I fall forward.
Your elbows should be positioned roughly at the level of the belly button and edge of the torso. If you find your elbows slipping out to the sides, try positioning the closer towards the midline
If you can comfortably lift your legs off the floor with your knees bent, you can increase the difficulty by doing so with your legs straight in a straddle position. This requires more hip extension and core strength as the lever is longer.
Finally, you can progress to the most difficult position by decreasing the leverage and bringing your legs together. In the full elbow lever, your body should form a straight line from head to feet. The body must lean more forward in order to maintain balance (think of a balancing scale!)
So there you have it, three progressions you can practice anywhere and anytime to unlock the elbow lever. This process is not as long and grueling as you’d expect it to be, right? The appearance of this skill is eye-catching, unique, and it’s not something that people will see every day, so use it to your advantage!
The elbow lever not only improves your balance but also develops full-body strength as you are required to keep constant body tension. If you want to learn exercises that are similar to this, then check out my previously written articles:
My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.