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Now that you know what a front lever is, you might ask how to perform it.
For our strength-beast gymnast friends and advanced calisthenics athletes, they can easily lift their body to a front lever position starting from a dead hang.
For us, we’ll have to do it first in two (not-so-easy) steps.
👉Step 1: Vertical position to lower down
This is our starting position for our front lever. Notice the form as shown by the image above.
You’re probably wondering why do we need to start in this position rather than the dead hang compared to the advanced athletes?
It’s because it’s a lot easier to do the negative work of the exercise compared to the positive work. This is in relation to the work done against gravity.
In the front lever’s case, negative work pertains to the lowering movement towards front lever and positive work pertains to moving towards a front lever from a dead hang.
Your muscles are strongest during negative muscle work so it will be easier for you to get to the front lever.
👉Step 2: The front lever hold
From the starting vertical hang position, it’s time to lower down to the front lever static hold.
Keep in mind the proper form :
- ✔️ Over or underhand grip – Once you get comfortable, you can experiment with a variety of grips and equipment to hold on to.
- ✔️ Legs straight – Point your toes for additional body tension.
- ✔️ Tense core, biceps, and shoulders – This helps you hold your self up. Your upper body does the major work for you.
- ✔️ Tense thigh – Lower body tension keeps your full body straight.
- ✔️ Body parallel to the floor – This is the proper form of front lever.
- ✔️ Upper back slightly rounded – Gravity will pull you down that’s why you’ll end up with a rounded back but you need to retract your scapula as much as you can.
- ✔️ Arms straight – That’s just the proper form of the exercise. It will feel very uncomfortable for people new in calisthenics, but you have to get used to it. Straight arm strength is an essential component of much of the calisthenics skills.
📌DIFFERENT ENTRY POINTS
There are endless possibilities for entering the front lever. You can combine it with any move that you have mastered.
But for now, let’s only focus on the two basic entry points.
- Lower down – From a vertical hang, you’ll lower down into a front lever. This is the most basic one since it’s basically a negative exercise, meaning you’re much stronger into the position.
- Pull up – This entry starts from a dead hang. What you need to do is pull your way straight up to a front lever from your dead hang. It’s a lot more difficult since you’ll have to fight up your way against gravity. This entry requires you to put more effort into your entry to front lever.
Other entries are actually more like transitions. For example, planche on rings to front lever or bar handstand to front lever.
Getting to the position is already a difficult task. Holding it beholds much more of a challenge.
But not to worry! 👆
As long as you train with the proper progressions with
consistency and effort, you’ll master the front lever for