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Published January 22, 2018

Moving on from Hula we have Elephant, an exercise typically done on the reformer.

This is good for  

Developing trunk stability (teaching the legs to move without the torso needing to help too), developing core strength, and to improve hamstring flexibility and activation.

How to do Elephant

Pilates Can Elephant Exercise
  • Make sure your bottom is above heels to start
Pilates Can Elephant Exercise
  • Inhale to press carriage away from stoppers, pressing through heels. Your pelvis/bottom should stay still as legs move.
  • Exhale to return to stoppers – use your abs to pull feet back under you
  • Maintain shoulder and pelvic stability throughout

Things to focus on

Maintain the pyramid shape through your body throughout. The line from your head to tailbone doesn’t change as the legs move.

Before you start, make sure that your bottom is over your heels – this takes some pressure out of the wrists and shoulders, and allows a little extra stretch through the hamstrings.

Ensure you keep the weight of your legs through your heels. This will help you activate the back of the legs as you push the carriage backwards.


  • Keep the range small. This will allow you to maintain the pyramid shape through the body throughout.
  • Make sure you are using the abs to draw the carriage all the way back in to the stoppers, it can be tempting to cheat a little and not come all the way in!

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About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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