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Front Lever: 8 tips to (finally) get it!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this new article! 😄

After writing an article on: How to successfully hold on to a Handstand? We are going to discuss another emblematic figure of Street Workout: the Front Lever.

The Front Lever, a figure that has had so many bodyweight strengthbuilders dreamed about, whose dream is easily nurtured when you try for the first time and realize how impossible it seems to be. Anyway, that's what happened to me. It was long and painful to get to where I am today. And I am making this article to you with my best advice in the hope that it can save you some time.

But without further ado, make way for 8 tips 💪:  


Tip 1: The correct position of the hands and shoulders for the Front Lever

For the hands and to hold a static position, I recommend using what is called a “strong grip”. This consists of keeping your wrists approximately at bar height, as well as choosing the width of grip that seems easiest to you and which will quite often be a little tighter than at shoulder width.  



Two additional important points: you are going to want to squeeze the bar as hard as you can and pull it out as much as possible. Be careful, you don't want to pull it straight down; but rather downwards and outwards at the same time, as if you wanted to tear the bar. Go straight ahead! The bar is in no danger. This last point will allow you to activate your back even more and use all the strength you are capable of. It's one of the same principles that explains why you'll lift more weight in the barbell bench press than the dumbbell bench press, because you can push the barbell outward while the dumbbells only push up.




 

Let's move on to your shoulders. Loosening them and having them too far forward is a bad idea, because it prevents you from contracting your back enough. And besides, it's not very pretty. On the contrary, pulling the shoulders too far back will require a lot more strength and is really not necessary to learn the Front Lever. A neutral or slightly forward position and above all that allows you to contract and lower the shoulder blades is the best and the one where you will feel the strongest, because it allows you to maximize the activation of the back muscles that will support a good part of the load while keeping a fairly aesthetic line.


Movement performed on a Levitate Bar

You can of course film yourself to get a better idea; If you're having trouble keeping your shoulders from rolling too far forward, you're probably still lacking in strength. 


Tip 2: Use isometric progressions

I show you here the list of my favorites in ascending order of difficulty. You will find an indication of the time that I advise you to hold before moving on to the next one.






You will notice that there is no Front Lever to one leg. Probably the progression to avoid and on which a lot of people get stuck. The big problem with this is that you often tend to want to pull your bent leg as close to your pecs as possible, which not only can make the exercise a lot easier than a more objective position like theAdvanced Tuck to one leg, but in addition, it tends to break the line of the forehead lifting to put the body in a spoon position, which we clearly want to avoid. And all this giving a false sense of progress, because if you bend your leg well, it can become easier thanAdvanced Tuck, when in fact, we fell into a trap. 



You understood it, so I advise against it. But if you feel like you're stuckAdvanced Tuck, that you are already holding a long time, but that you do not yet have the strength to hold the straddle or the semi front lift, then you can try to fill the gap between the two by opening your hips even more during your Advanced or by mixing the straddle and the semi in order to find an intermediate progression that you can already hold a little. 


These are the most important classical progressions, but there are other important and effective exercises that we will see shortly after 🔥




Tip 3: Work your back or abs more?

So far I have mostly talked about your back and advice numéro 3 is related to a small debate which sometimes revolves around the Front lift. Does it work more on the back or the abs?

keep the body straight. But clearly, it's the back that takes the majority of the work and will almost always limit you. So, as an accessory exercise for this figure, obviously mastering the hanging leg raises will be necessary; but anything pulling for the back, like pull-ups, of course, will definitely be even more effective. Someone who handles heavy weighted pull-ups or even one-armed pull-ups very well will usually already be able to more or less hold in Front Lever complete thanks to that. 
Where these people will have more problems on the other hand, which was the case for me; is that they will often find it difficult not to bend their arms too much.


Tip 4: work on raised and negative pull-ups 

 

And as luck would have it, I'll show you some ways to fix this in my fourth tip, which is to vary the types of exercises you train. We have seen isometric progressions, but adding more, like lifts and front-lift pull-ups, as well as negative reps, will go a long way in strengthening your weak points and avoiding stagnation. And as always in Street Workout, you can choose the progression and position of the body adapted to your level.

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For pull-ups, you will start by doing them in Tuck, then you can add a new progression before theAdvanced Tuck if you want with reverse L-Sit pull-ups. Regarding the position of your hands, you can keep the same if you want; but it will be easier if you use a false grip, just like using an even tighter grip. To train these pull-ups, I advise you to choose a progression for which you can do sets of at least 5 repetitions

Let's move on to the negatives which in my opinion will be more interesting once you can start to straighten your legs. The principle is simple, but the exercise is hard. You start vertically, then descend to the horizontal, controlling a descent as slow as possible. 

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This exercise hits the body and brain hard, so I recommend that you limit yourself to sets of 1 to 3 repetitions. We finish with the statements of Front Lever, and rather than doing them from a suspension and up to the horizontal, I ended up switching to readings from the horizontal to an inverted position, which I find more effective, especially allowing to better engage the muscles used during the forehead.

On the other hand, here, there is no momentum possible, which makes it much more difficult and will surely require a less advanced progression to be able to do sets of 3 or 4 repetitions at least, as I would advise. A little extra note for the readings, I personally had quite a bit of success using an elastic band, which will allow you to more quickly familiarize yourself with the final position of the Front Lever while offering more assistance in the most difficult position, ie horizontally.

The Resistance Bands  are of great help 
to learn the Front Lever 

Tip 5: Use elastic bands to get your Front Lever

And the use of the bands is the fifth tip. Elastic bands can be great allies, as often. But be careful, a good fundamental rule to respect is to use them only to oppose the natural force of the movement; that goes from your hands to the ground here. You don't want to put the band around your feet, because that will distort the motion; in addition to making the hips want to bend, but you want to put it in the same direction as this natural force, so that they come directly to oppose it and reduce it, but without changing anything else. One last note about bands! Be careful not to disengage your abs either in return for their help; which would be synonymous with a slightly too curved back. 

Tip 6: correct mobility & flexibility problems

And speaking of a curved back, some curvature issues could stem from a lack of mobility, which is the subject of this 6th tip.When we tend to bend at the hips or legs, which we will often see first in the positions in straddle et semi, it can come from a lack of mobility in the hips, buttocks and ischios. 

To solve this little problem, here are some good exercises that I recommend that can help you get back on the right track:

Tip 7: Use the GTG method 

You can do these small exercises regularly, a little when you want and without forcing too much. here is the seventh council.

What I mean by that is that you can apply the GTG method, which basically consists of doing a few low-intensity sets, one by one throughout your day, with plenty of rest between each. Of course, that will often involve having a barbell or something on hand at home. If you don't have one, I feel compelled to point to the one I finished designing myself; after many prototypes. It's wide, stable, and adjusts to four different heights for truly impressive versatility and exercise variety. It can support up to 120 kg load without losing stability. I'm very proud of it. In any case, and if it tempts you, it is available at this link in by clicking here


Tip 8: Create your Front Lever routine  

We go to 8th tip who is you doing and following a routine for the Front Lever. I would recommend that you put at least 2 or 3 exercises directly related to this figure by drawing from the different categories that we have seen, namely isometric exercises, pull-ups, readings and negatives.

Of course, the idea is to repeat this routine; to measure progress and make it evolve with the improvement of your times and repetitions. It would obviously be better to cram all that into a session drawn from the back and abs style, like that; you could also incorporate accessory exercises, such as pull-up variations or leg raises. Of course, the more Front Lever is a priority for you and the more predominant and regular it will be in your sessions and your weeks, the sooner you will have it, of course. But nothing prevents you from not giving it as much space if you have other objectives in parallel

Finally, to add some variety to your routines, here is a small selection of additional exercises. From what I've heard, not everyone consistently credits the same exercises as being the most effective for them, so maybe one or two of these will get you the best. little click that will be the key for you.



To conclude, I give you two more last mini tips that won't really help you strengthen yourself, but which will make you better immediately!

Having heavy legs will complicate the process, of course, as will doing your Front Lever only on a high bar, so if you want to test yourself on a position and maximize your score, take your shoes off and do it on a low bar, you can probably save a few seconds and that, clearly, is not bad. 

In any case, I wish you the best of luck in all of this. Hope you could find something useful in this article, to watch the video just click here

Take care of yourself ! ✌️

Eric flag