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Pre-Pilates: Spinal Mobility & Strengthening – Elbow Slip



Foundations: Spinal Mobility & Strengthening

Quick Intro: Elbow Slip

Thanks to Lesley Logan for showing me this one!  It’s a great exercise for developing the abdominal strength and spinal articulation needed for Roll Ups and Roll Overs because we’re in the exact position that the difficulty occurs!  But there’s also an element of shoulder stability required to prevent the shoulders rising up to meet the ears!  It’s a fantastic challenge.  And you’ll also notice that you’ll need to activate your glutes to prevent twisting to the side as you reach your arm out.

What’s it good for?

🌟 Strengthening abdominals, glutes and shoulders.  Stretching the lower spine to allow more mobility.
🌟 Learning to perform the Roll Up and Roll Over exercises because this preparatory exercise challenges us to bend the spine in exactly the place where we tend to fall due to a spine that is stiffer than than it could be.



A quick “how to”…

Elbow Slips

🌟 Sit in a semi-supine position with your feet flat on the floor as far out as you can manage but keeping your feet flat.
🌟 Support yourself on your elbows and bring your ribcage up and forwards to correct the natural slumped position.
🌟 Roll up your tailbone to get a stretch in the lower spine.
🌟 Draw in your abdominals and squeeze your butt, and on the exhale (to help abdominal activation), reach out one arm in front of you.
🌟 Bring back the arm the the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Hints & Tips:

🌟 If you can’t manage it yet, start off by easing the pressure off your elbows.  Also, try bringing your elbows further forward.  Your abdominals will have to work for a longer period of time to support you, but the “on/off” feeling will be much reduced.
🌟 As you reach out one arm, one of your butt muscles will want to switch off – can you identify which one?  Once you’ve discovered which one, really focus on maintaining that connection.  Have a look at the Diagonal Press (here) and the Standing diagonal Press (here) for other exercises that teach us about the Posterior and Anterior Oblique Slings

Any Questions?

Ask away – I love to help!  Click here for the Contact Page 🙂 – or leave a comment at the bottom of the post – see you there…


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