New on ROK: “Completing the Front Lever”

I have a new article on the venerable Return of Kings, my last article dealing with the fundamental gymnastic poses (unless I get around to learning how to do the human flag).

In learning the fundamental gymnastic holds, you have already learned the complete progression of the back lever, and half of the front lever progression. And now, you will learn to complete the front lever. As usual, the progressive steps will involve gradually lengthening the legs until you have fully extended in the manner of the featured image.

And so without further ado…the last three steps.

Recalling that the last step you should have mastered was the one leg front lever (in which one leg was straight and fully extended from the hip and the other leg was tucked to the torso), this similar  step involves extending the “tucked” leg a little bit further.

So, begin with the inverted straight hang, and lower yourself down as you did with the previous step. Extend one leg fully, straightening out the hip as you did before. However, instead of tucking the back leg as far back as it can possibly go, place the foot parallel with the extended leg’s knee, and then lower yourself into the hold position. I find it helpful to actually put the back foot on the knee, but be sure not to force that extended leg and hip downwards!

Of course, you alternate legs, and when you can do both legs for 10 seconds, move on…

If you will recall the back lever progression, there was an optional step you could do called the straddle lever, in which you took some of the pressure off your muscles by splitting the legs as wide as possible while doing the back lever.

This is similar, but unlike the back lever I feel the front lever is benefited more with a straddle step. As usual, hit the inverted straight hang (perhaps you’re noticing how important it is for all these progressions), but then split your legs as wide as you possibly can, and lower yourself into it. You will feel that there is more strain upon you than the previous step, but the straddle posture reduces some of the stress, and thus it is a good intermediate for the more difficult steps…

You can read the article here