Elbow Touches Exercise: (Benefits And How To)

Elbow Touches Exercise

Elbow touches is a straightforward calisthenic exercise that’s all about bringing simplicity and efficiency to your workout sessions.

What makes elbow touches stand out in the vast sea of exercises is their ability to target multiple muscle groups without requiring any equipment.

Our article will guide you through the benefits of incorporating elbow touches into your routine, how to perform them correctly to avoid common mistakes, and ways to vary the exercise for ongoing challenges and improvements.

Ready to see changes? Keep reading!

What Muscles Do Elbow Touches Target?

When you’re rocking out the elbow touches, your core gets a fantastic workout, especially the abs that keep you stable.

You’re also giving your obliques a good twist, which means those rotational movements are hitting all the right spots.

Here are the secondary muscles:

  • Shoulders: Your deltoids get in on the fun alongside those mighty stabilizers, the rotator cuff muscles.
  • Arms: biceps and triceps, the dynamic duo, work together to hold up your body during this move. Can’t forget about the forearms; they’re grasping the flexibility and strength spotlight.
  • Chest: your pectoral muscles are not just there for the show; they’re part of the support team.

Ever heard of the serratus anterior? These are the muscles that make your ribs look sculpted, and they’re getting toned, too.

While you’re focused on the hustle, your glutes and hip flexors bring up the rear, building some strength and stability.

Benefits of Elbow Touches

Elbow touches offer a comprehensive workout that targets and strengthens the abdominal muscles, an essential component of core stability.

This exercise not only focuses on muscle strengthening but also enhances balance and coordination, key elements in performing daily activities with ease.

Through engaging the core musculature, elbow touches promote proper lumbo-pelvic stability, safeguarding against potential lower back injuries.

This aspect makes them a vital addition to any abdominal workout routine.

Additionally, these exercises contribute significantly to shoulder strength and flexibility.

Achieving full elbow touch requires a range of motion in the shoulder joints, making it an effective movement for improving shoulder mobility.

Beyond building muscle and enhancing flexibility, elbow touches serve as a cardiovascular boost.

The dynamic nature of this exercise increases heart rate, contributing to cardiovascular health without requiring traditional cardio equipment or high-impact movements.

Thus, incorporating elbow touches into your fitness regimen brings about benefits that extend beyond mere muscle strength to overall physical well-being.

How To Do Elbow Touches

Mastering the technique of elbow touches can significantly enhance your full-body workout routine.

This exercise, known for targeting multiple muscle groups, requires precision and focus to perform effectively.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you get the most out of your elbow touches:

  • Start in a plank position: Position yourself on the ground with your arms extended and hands directly under your shoulders. Ensure your body forms a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core and glutes.
  • Shift weight and reach: Carefully shift your weight slightly to one side as you bend the opposite arm and bring the elbow toward the midline of your body.
  • Bend opposite leg: Concurrently, bend the knee of the opposite leg (the one diagonal to the arm you’re moving) and bring it towards the elbow trying to meet at the middle beneath your torso.
  • Touch or close proximity: Aim for your elbow to touch or come as close as possible to meeting your knee beneath your body. This motion engages not only arm muscles but also abs, glutes, and legs.
  • Return to start: Slowly extend both arm and leg back to their starting positions in plank or pushup stance without letting them touch down fully if seeking more intensity.
  • Alternate sides: Repeat this movement on the other side, alternating each rep for balanced strength training across both halves of your body.
  • Keep base wide: Remember that keeping a wider base with your feet can make maintaining balance easier throughout this exercise.
  • Throughout each rep, keep abs drawn in tightly, and squeeze glutes for stability and added strength training benefits.

Through these deliberate steps, performing elbow touches correctly maximizes engagement across targeted muscle groups including arms, abs, legs, and glutes while contributing to overall full-body conditioning.

Variations of Elbow Touches

Side Plank Elbow Touches

Have you ever tried spicing up your plank routine?

If the classic plank has become a snooze-fest for you, let’s play around with some elbow touches variations to keep things interesting.

Your workout doesn’t have to be monotonous, you know!

Slow and Controlled Elbow Touches

Take it down a notch, but keep it effective! Concentrate on muscle activation by slowing down the movement.

Touch your opposite elbow gently and with purpose. This shift engages more muscle fibers, particularly your stabilizing muscles around the spine, like the erector spinae.

Speed and Agility Elbow Touches

Feeling the need for speed? Quicken the pace of your elbow touches to get that heart rate up and boost your cardiovascular fitness. Just be careful not to compromise form for speed.

Elevated Feet Elbow Touches

Prop those feet up on a bench or step for an intensified core workout. This elevation challenges your balance and really wakes up those ab muscles. Say hello to gravity making your workout tougher!

Side Plank Elbow Touches

In the side plank position, alternate touching the mat with your elbow.

This targets your oblique muscles, particularly the external obliques, for that sculpted side look.

Weighted Elbow Touches

For added resistance, hold a light dumbbell or wear wrist weights while performing elbow touches.

The extra weight intensifies muscle engagement throughout the upper body and core during each movement.

VariationTarget AreaEquipment Needed
Slow and ControlledFull coreNone
Speed and AgilityCore, Cardiovascular system
Elevated FeetCore, especially lower abs
Bench or Step
Side PlankObliquesNone
WeightedCore, increased resistanceDumbbell/Weight Plate

Remember to maintain a proper plank position through all these variations. Your back should be straight like a plank of wood—no sagging or picking!

If any of these variations are too challenging at first, feel free to modify by dropping down to your knees.

These variations make the exercise more versatile, adaptable to your level, and fun. Keep at it, and watch as your core strength soars.


Can beginners perform elbow touches effectively?

Yes, beginners can effectively perform elbow touches by starting slowly and focusing on proper form.

How often should I do elbow touches to see results?

Incorporate elbow touches into your workout routine 2-3 times per week for optimal results.

What are the main benefits of doing elbow touches regularly?

Regularly performing elbow touches strengthens your core, enhances balance and stability, and improves posture.

How does the elbow touch exercise compare to shoulder taps in terms of muscle engagement?

Both exercises work on stability and muscle engagement, but elbow touches typically require a greater range of motion.

This means more muscles are actively engaged, especially in the shoulders and upper chest, compared to the more localized engagement of shoulder taps.

What’s the proper technique for performing elbow touch knee exercises for optimal benefits?

You should maintain a plank position with a straight line from your head to your heels. As you bring elbow to knee, focus on the twist in your torso to engage your obliques.


Elbow touches exercise emerges as a powerful tool for fortifying your core and enhancing overall physical health.

With benefits extending from improved posture to better flexibility, this exercise fits seamlessly into any fitness routine.

It delivers substantial gains in stability, muscle strength, and injury recovery. Embrace elbow touches for a stronger body and a more balanced workout regimen.

Your journey towards greater physical fitness takes a positive turn with the integration of this simple.

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