Bodyweight Exercises- Front Lever Variations

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

Longtime readers know how much I have always loved and promoted bodyweight exercises. Renegade Strength Club members know how much I love gymnastic holds such as the front lever. I believe this should be part of everyone’s training arsenal and is an incredible lat exercise that is nearly unmatched.

The first, most basic progression of the front lever simply involves holding yourself parallel to the ground in a fetal position with your back rounded and your knees on your chest. Do that 3-6 times per week for 3 sets of 10-15 seconds until it becomes easy. Then move on to the next level which I have demonstrated below. The difference here is that you try to keep your back flatter and extend your knees away from your chest so that they are bent 90 degrees. The arms should be straight and you should be pushing down toward your feet like you were doing a straight arm pulldown. You will feel your lats like you never have before and will probably even notice a difference in the way they look within your first 4-6 weeks of using the front lever regularly. Take it slow and steady on these. Don’t be in any kind of rush to progress too fast.

Another cool variation of the front lever can be used to make inverted rows more challenging. If you’re dominating your inverted rows and don’t have any chains or a weight vest to throw on you could always try removing your legs from the ground entirely. Simply get into the front lever tuck position and row yourself up. The easier version is done on a straight bar and is demonstrated below by Jen. Obviously the drawback here is the limited range of motion. But it’s still a great exercise.

The harder version is done on rings which I have demonstrated in the second video. Start by leaning back closer to an upside down position and as they get easier flatten yourself out closer to parallel with the ground.

Let me know how it works out for you and if you have any questions drop them below.

For more on how to do front levers and every other cool pull up bar trick known to man be sure to check out Al Kavadlo’s Raising the Bar by clicking HERE now.


For my definitive guide on Body Weight Body Building, go HERE.