The Elephant stand or more commonly known as Elephant lift, is a great skill for gymnasts, yogis, cheerleaders, or anyone who wants to challenge their flexibility and strength. Doing this exercise may help you get a spot on a team or even progress to more complicated movements. Doing an elephant stand can take the time to master, but if you practice this move daily, it can be within your reach. You will be able to do a straddle press handstand by mastering each part of this movement, putting it together, and developing your core strength.

  • Bodyweight
  • Compound

Suggested Equipment

Benefits of an Elephant Stand

  • Elephant handstands are considered elevations in the yoga system because the head is lower than the heart in the final pose.
  • Standing upside down with the feet at the top and head closest to the ground stimulates the pituitary gland, which helps the set point for a healthy weight.
  • Handstands are a well-known remedy in yoga circles as a mood-elevator and can contribute to reducing minor depression
  • They are a challenging gymnastics maneuver that builds strength, muscular endurance, balance, and flexibility.

Muscle Worked

Anterior (Front)

  • Deltoid
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Serratus Anterior

Posterior (Back)

  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Trapezius

How to Do an Elephant Stand

  1. First, sit straddle legs with arms placed shoulder-width apart on the floor in front of you.
  2. Shift your body weight into your hands by pressing down on them. Begin to bend forward, with your palms down and fingers facing forward. Hold your arms straight when your feet start to move away from the ground. Keep your core engaged to maintain stability.
  3. Continue leaning forward and press your hands until your feet are completely off the ground. Check the position of your body: your hips should be directly above your shoulders, forming a straight line.
  4. Tilt your hands so that your shoulders are slightly ahead of your hips. This allows you to lift your legs better. Engage your core and the thigh muscles to lift your legs upward in an upright position. Your shoulders, legs, and hips should now be in one line.
  5. Hold the body in this position for as long as you can. Start slowly, for example with five seconds, and then gradually increase the time you can keep your body in a perfect handstand alignment.
  6. Keep your abdominals engaged when you pike, then lower your legs back towards the ground. Place your feet on the ground and get up if you started in a standing position. If you pressed up from the sitting position, bend your arms to bring you back to a seated straddle.
  7. Repeat the procedure as per your strength allows.