Compliant members come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While thin beam flexures are commonly used in this field, they can be replaced by soft members with lower aspect ratio. This paper looks to study the behavior of such elements by analyzing them from the view of beam theory for 2D cases. A modified version of the Timoshenko beam theory is presented which incorporates extension and Poisson's effects. The utility and validity of the new approach are demonstrated by comparing against Euler–Bernoulli beam theory, Timoshenko beam theory, and finite-element analysis (FEA). The results from this are then used to study the performance of pseudo-rigid-body models (PRBMs) for the analysis of low aspect ratio soft compliant joints for 2D quasi-static applications. A parallel-guiding mechanism comprised of similar compliant elements is analyzed using the new results to validate the contribution of this work.