Benefits of Back Lever Training - Why You Should Start Your Journey

Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athletespeople just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!

Let’s be honest!👊

The ultimate and first-ever reason why we want to learn the back lever is that it’s such a BADASS-looking calisthenics skill. You can leave people in awe after seemingly defy gravity with this calisthenics skill.🎯

Not only is this an aesthetically pleasing move, but it provides a ton of physical and mental benefits as well. The back lever train makes a great addition to any fitness routine for both beginners and advanced athletes alike. 💯

🌟Read on to learn about why mastering the back lever should be part of your journey, plus how you can safely get started with training this valuable skill!

🏆Benefits of Back Lever Training


Full Lever Hold (Back Lever)_Gif_Small_360x240_(9.23 MB)


The back lever benefits go beyond aesthetics and bad-ass content. The back lever training also offers valuable physical and mental improvements that can further transcend your bodyweight mastery. 

🔥Improves Shoulder Strength

 One noticeable improvement is specific shoulder strength in a wide range of motion. As you can see in the full back lever, the arms are in wide shoulder extension, and you need to push down into flexion to hold your body into position. 

Without the necessary shoulder strength, you will simply drop from the rings (or bar) because your shoulders can’t bear your full body weight in a disadvantageous position. 

We focus on shoulder strength, but remember that calisthenics exercises are a full-body workout. This means that the whole body (yes, including the lower body) is stimulated in the back lever. In addition, the straight arm component also puts special emphasis on the arms and the scapula. So it’s much more appropriate to rephrase the headline into “improves whole body strength.”

🔥Increases Shoulder Mobility 

Speaking of shoulder strength, as mentioned above, the back lever trains the shoulders in a wide range of motion. This means increase in mobility or the ability to move your muscles with control in a given range.

Let’s briefly differentiate mobility and flexibility. 

  • ⚡️Flexibility – End range of motion with assistance such as your other limbs, gravity, weights, bands, or someone pushing/pulling you
  • ⚡️Mobility – Active and controlled movement in a given range without assistance

🤔Which one is better?

Actually, both go hand in hand. You can improve your mobility by also supplementing your flexibility, so we’re going to incorporate both to make progress faster. But we place more emphasis on mobility since holding the back lever requires active strength in the specific range. 

Enhanced shoulder mobility has so many benefits on its own, which we’re also going to cover as the next benefit. In general, shoulder mobility allows you to enjoy more movements safely and removes aches and stiffness due to weakness.

🔥Better Shoulder Health

Better shoulder mobility means better shoulder health. If you have nagging shoulder pains and stiffness, improving your strength through a wider range of motion can address the issue.

How and why? It’s because pain and stiffness are often a result of weakness. If you lack shoulder mobility, your body compensates by using other muscles groups to facilitate the movements you are currently doing. As a result, your body slowly “forgets” the functions that you should have, and your brain sends pain signals to alert you that there’s something wrong with your body.

Although the back lever movement seems unnatural, the process of attaining the skill requires proper function of the shoulders. This means that if you want to achieve the back lever, you will eventually address weaknesses in this area. 

Read more here: 📍How to Treat Injuries with Calisthenics

🔥Reduces the Risk of Shoulder Injuries

And because of the increase in range of motion, capacity to train, increased strength and stability of the shoulders, your shoulders are prepared to move without any worries. 

A common cause of injury is the unpreparedness of the body to do a specific movement. The movement doesn’t have to be complex. Even simple movements can cause injuries if your body has weaknesses or if you suddenly move with a challenging intensity. 

Back lever training improves your baseline of strength, stability, and mobility of your shoulders so other movements tend to get safer.

Read more: 📍How to Avoid Training with Calisthenics

🔥Better Body Awareness

During the back lever journey, you need to train your mind and body to get used to the horizontal position of the lever. You will rely on self-videos to ensure you’re performing the movement correctly, but as you get more experience, you will be able to achieve the correct position even without assessing yourself in videos.

Each body part acts to hold the back lever position correctly.  

🔥Better Proprioception

On top of better body awareness, you also get to improve your awareness in space. This skill is called proprioception and transfers to all other movements in performance and daily life. At the beginning of the back lever journey, you might not feel the correct position, so you will heavily rely on taking a video of your training or having a separate coach to assess your body position and alignment. Once you improve your proprioception, you will easily know whether you’re maintaining a horizontal bodyline parallel to the floor or incorrectly holding the position. 

🔥Elevates Core Strength

The rectus abdominis, AKA abs, and the oblique work together to hold the correct straight bodyline posture of the back lever. It has a similar core position to other calisthenics skills such as the planche, plank, push-ups, handstand, and the like; This means that the core strength you develop in this exercise can also transfer to other calisthenics skills.  

🔥Unlocks More Advanced Calisthenics Combinations

Once you’ve mastered the back lever, the newly acquired strength and skill open up the possibilities for higher-level advanced calisthenics skills and combinations. 

One of the most popular, sought-after, and highly elusive is the back lever to Maltese or also known as the Zanetti in gymnastics

🔥Satisfying Personal Achievement

The fulfillment of achieving strength and muscle is one thing, but learning a new skill is another. The back lever training helps develop multiple aspects of fitness, which is why it feels more rewarding compared to performing repetitive reps of a simple movement. 

🔥Further Develops Discipline

Back lever requires committed, consistent training. You can master the skill overnight or even by training the move once a week only. The specific strength in the shoulder extended position takes some time to develop. General strengthening exercises can assist and facilitate progress but do not directly impact back lever training.

You need to stay disciplined in training specifically for the back lever by doing back lever work. You can’t jump from program to program or combine too many exercises and expect to learn the back lever at a fast rate. 

Motivation can get you started with your back lever, but disciplined training manifested through continually showing up and doing the specific work for the back lever will help you master the skill. 


There are multiple reasons why you would want to train the back lever. The back lever can serve a purpose not only for aesthetics and “showing off”, but it can also enhance the body’s capability to get stronger, more mobile, and more capable of movement and function.

Sure, targeting to achieve the back lever at first can be for the mere purpose of achieving the skill, which isn’t also a bad intention to set, but you will soon learn the process of acquiring the back lever could be better for your body.

If you’re ready to start your back lever journey, first check out the muscles used and requirements needed in order to progress through this skill safely:

Read here: 📍Back Lever Requirements: Muscles Used & Prerequisites


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