How To Do Elbow Lever Properly

It is uncommon finding a workout that you pull off with ease at the gym or home, but, the elbow lever is undoubtedly the best.

The lever exercise sharpens your coordination, balance and strength.

It is a bodyweight exercise shoring strength in your arms and promoting a unique hand-balancing act.

It promotes wrist mobility and strength and helps you grasp how to shift your weight using excellent techniques.

Without further ado, this is how you correctly do the elbow lever.

  • Put your hands on the ground with your fingers pointing backwards or outward.
  • Let your elbows rest on your hips if your hands are too broad.
  • Pull your elbows in and rest your waist on top of your elbows while your knees are on the floor.
  • Tighten your abdominis and pelvis to get a stable point of balance
  • Stand on your tiptoes and extend your legs out wide. Adjust your balance so that you can ‘float’. You know you got it right when the balancing feels natural.
  • Keep your torso level with the floor.
  • Breathe normally and ensure your legs are straight and your feet are firmly together.

You set out on a magical fitness journey by doing all this. Here is more about this exercise.


You can expect upper body muscles to work extensively as this exercise heavily relies on balancing and strength.

Both actions rely more on upper body muscles. The following muscles work in this exercise.


The abdominals – external obliques, internal obliques, transversus abdominis, Pyramidalis and rectus abdominis – give the push in a lever exercise.

They work in sync with other back muscles to give you the lift and endurance to stay afloat.


The chest gives the pushing power needed to execute this exercise.


Triceps are large muscles on the back of vertebrates’ upper arms, and they aid in the exercise mechanics.

The triceps allow the elbow joint to extend during the exercise. It executes its function of straightening the arm.


The front deltoid, or anterior deltoids, are the muscles that make up the front of our shoulder.

It runs from the clavicle and attaches to your humerus – upper arm bone – to let your chest muscles flex and internally rotate your shoulder.


The elbow lever is an excellent bodyweight exercise that requires dedication and proper mechanics to get its full benefits.

When done correctly, expect to achieve these benefits.


The workout engages the diaphragm to stabilize the spine while allowing you to maintain a steady flow of air.


You notice that your wrists shoulder a lot of weight when performing this exercise. They develop stamina with every rep that you take.


The concept behind this workout is ‘mid-air floating’, which engages the triceps, abdominals, front deltoid and chest.

Each muscle plays a crucial role in maintaining balance which is vital in every workout regimen.


Besides balance, pushing requires a significant amount of power which the triceps provide wholesomely.


Lower back discomfort/pain is easy to solve with this exercise. Why? Because abdominal exercises stretch and strengthen the back muscles and the spine, abdominal exercises reduce rigidity.

The tension applied on the abdominals to maintain balance helps keep the spine healthy and aligned.


Posture and stability depend on solid abdominal muscles. Stability is critical for athletes and the elderly, both of whom are at risk of falling and tumbling regularly.

Working out abdominals develop the muscles around the spine and improve posture since weight is evenly distributed.

Having a healthy posture is essential to boosting self-esteem and maintaining excellent spine health.


There are variations to the elbow lever that give a great workout experience. They are:


The rationale behind an elevated lever is practising on an elevated surface. Here is how to do it.

  • Set up an object to practice on like a bench or a box, and then stand in front of it.
  • Place your palms flat on the bench/box with your fingers pointed towards you, and bring your elbows in toward your midline.
  • Bend your elbows and keep them in line with your hip bones. As you lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees, gradually shift your weight onto your arms.
  • As you tighten your glutes and lift your chest higher, keep your elbows open.
  • Keep your knees bowed in a tucked position as you begin.
  • Extend your legs into a straddle position and eventually pull them together as you build strength in your core, shoulders, back, arms, and wrists.


The only twist here is the wall which gives you support and more muscle tension. Do the following.

  • Start in a plank posture, facing away from a wall, with your legs completely stretched and your heels pressed up against the wall.
  • Make a few inches of progress up the wall by placing your hands on the wall with your elbows tucked under your hips.
  • Push your feet into the wall to help you use your quadriceps and glutes and raise your chest.


Even for the most talented hand balancers, the one-armed elbow lever is a challenging variation.

You start on an elevated platform with your legs bent or in a straddle. However, you employ one arm to support you while your legs stretch out.


The biggest mistake you could make within this workout is completing with weak wrists.

Ensure that your wrists are strong enough to sustain your entire body weight before learning to embark on this workout.

Flexible and robust wrist make it easy for you to nail this workout hassle-free.

Lastly, learn the rotational shoulder movements to make everything easy if you have stiff shoulders. It reduces shoulder stiffness.


The elbow lever is a complete package of strength and balance, which is not typical for such a workout. It is not the easiest of exercises to learn, but it is worth every minute of effort spent learning it.