Want To Learn How To Front Lever

Learning the front lever takes time and dedication while requiring a good mind-muscle connection to use muscles throughout your body altogether. It is a static hold with the body in a horizontal position parallel to the ground, with the arms fully extended and the body straight. It may take weeks, months, or even years to achieve a full front lever, depending on your starting point and training consistency.

What Muscles Does The Front Lever Train?

The front lever  allows you to target these muscles and muscle groups:

  • Latissimus dorsi (lats)
  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Core

Level 1: Hollow Body Hold

Starting from an active hang pull yourself backward to activate your lats. Next, tighten your core and keeping your feet straight, bring them in front of you. From your hands down to your toes, your body should resemble a C Shape. Learn to hold this position for as long as you can.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 20 seconds

Level 2: Inverted Hang & Front Lever Negatives

The next step to learning the front lever is to master the inverted hang. Holding tightly onto the bar raise your legs above the bar and lean backward until you are completely upside down. Holding this position will strengthen your grip and forearms. Once you are able to hold this position, slowly lower yourself downward towards the full front lever position. You likely won’t be able to resist your body falling back down but if you can slow the fall you will make progress with this front lever negative. Over time you will grow the strength needed to hold a static front lever and do negatives for reps.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 3: Tuck Front Lever

Raising your knees up towards your chest and leaning backward hold your back parallel to the ground. It helps to record yourself during this progression to make sure you have proper form and your back is parallel to the floor. Holding this position will strengthen your core and lats during the front lever.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 30 seconds.

Level 4: Tuck Front Lever Pull Ups

This progression is optional but we find that many people struggling to perform the front lever lack the strength required in their lats. Start by holding a tuck front lever and begin to do pull ups raising yourself until your shins touch the bar or go past your gymnastics rings. This pull up variation places heavy emphasis on the lats to help you build the strength required to perform a proper front lever.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 5: Straddle Front Lever

You’re almost there! Start by doing a front lever raise and spreading your legs wide apart. The wider your spread your legs the easier the front lever will become. As you progress bring your legs closer until you are able to perform a full front lever.

Typical Routine: 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Level 6: Full Front Lever

Congratulations on unlocking the front lever! Let’s go over it 1 more time to make sure you have the proper form. Your body should be parallel to the ground with your chest and hips pointed straight to the sky. Your arms should be extended in front of you towards your hips and your legs should be together and extended straight ahead of you.

If you want to get back to the basics and master the standard pull up check out our pull up progressions guide.