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Coach Sommer

Front Lever Pulls - A Conditioning Necessity

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Coach Sommer

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Front lever pulls are an upper body multi-plane pulling exercise that simultaneously combines pull-up, rowing and static strength elements. In my opinion this movement (and all its evil variations :D) is far superior to simple pull-ups and should be a staple in all gymnastic conditioning programs.

For someone who is in reasonable gymnastics shape, front lever pulls are primarily a core strength exercise; working every part of the core from the bottom of the sternum to the lowest low abs as well as the lower back. For everyone else, they seem to affect nearly every other part of the upper body as well. The arms cramp from being under constant tension in a bent arm position for most of the time. People with tight shoulders will especially dislike front lever pulls; however front lever pulls are often the very medicine to help address this issue for them. Their shoulder girdle, normally so strong during uni-directional movements like pull-ups, is now pushed far outside its comfort range and forced to be both strong and flexible at the same time.

To execute a front lever pull, begin at the top of a pull-up with your chin over the bar. The arms will obviously be fully bent with the body hanging and legs tightly extended. From this position, strive to push your shoulders far back behind your hands as you lift the hips to horizontal. As the body lifts up in the front, the head should be neutral and the back flat with no pike in the hips. The elbows must completely lock each time at the horizontal position. From the front lever position, return the chin over the bar by dropping the hips and pulling back up with the arms. Make sure to fully complete each rep by bringing the feet back directly under you at the end of each rep; do not allow the feet to remain forward when the chin is over the bar. For those who seeking to maximize this movement, it is especially beneficial to attempt to pull the feet slightly behind you at the end of each rep.

Rest, or pause, during the set only in the chin-over-the-bar position.

Many people will find it quite difficult to maintain a fully extended body, and will seek to allow the body to pike as they lean back into the front lever. This is incorrect and something that you should not permit; the body should remain completely straight and tight at all times. If you continue to have difficulty in maintaining a straight body, try performing the movement a little faster until you have built up the necessary strength.

The intensity of the exercise can be increased by either slowing down the movement or adding weight at the ankles. The best weighted front lever pulls I have seen are with an additional 25lb plate hanging on the ankles.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Edward Smith

coach, what about doing front lever pull ups like the adv tuck and straddle lever pull ups in your article or is this a variation/progression?

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Calbear

Coach,

First off, I just received your elite rings, great quality and customer service.

Second, Im a big guy ~210 but under 11%BF, still i couldnt possibly pull off a front lever pull right now as described. What is the best way to build up to one?

Would lying on the ground and mimicking a front pull movement with a bar and bands be similar?

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langdon0555

Coach Sommer's rings are the extreme rings.....isnt this also called an ice cream maker...coach? You could tuck your legs in to reduce the load but use the same motion until you build up your strength...then maybe extend one leg and keep one tucked as the next progression.

casey

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Calbear

I meant xtreme rings, my apologies. Still, the delivery and quality were great.

Even with the tuck variation this is a hard movement for me mainly in terms of stability.

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langdon0555

Yeah i bought a pair and got them in 2 days..excellent service. You could attach a resistance band to the bar and put your feet in it that could help assist with the body weight...you could then use a weaker resistance band as your strength improves.

casey

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Calbear

Good idea im going to try that ASAP Thanks

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langdon0555

No worries....i tried it after typing it in here and it works REALLY good actually.

casey

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pistol33

How should I break up my workouts, now I tend to be doing pulling exercises one day planche traing the next, then abs, then legs once a week and i keep this program up

is there a different more effective routine then this

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John Sapinoso

Second, Im a big guy ~210 but under 11%BF, still i couldnt possibly pull off a front lever pull right now as described. What is the best way to build up to one?

go to the main page, follow the link to articles, read all of those.

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Ricky Dawson

Just wanted to share...

I cant currently do a full front lever, i can hold a one leg extended front lever for about 5 secs but found it a challenge and great variation to perform the lever pulls while in the advance front tuck lever...

Can anyone enlighten me, is it beneficial to perform the tuck lever pull ups along with the lever pulls or does one preceede the other?

thanks,

Ricky, London, England

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Edward Smith

sorry ricky but I'm a little confused as to what you mean.

I quote:

'is it beneficial to perform the tuck lever pull ups along with the lever pulls or does one preceede the other?'

with the first, the tuck lever pull ups do you mean the ones coach describes in the article? and the second do you mean the ones coach suggested in this topic?

personally that's what i'm wondering about where do full front lever pull ups (like the ones coach describes in the article) fit in are they sort of the final step?

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Ricky Dawson

Ed X, i think we have the same question..

i missed your post, apologies. I was also wondering if coach could enlighten us, should we be performing both while also working on hititng the front lever... or only perform these pulls when we have the lever under our belt?!

thanks,

Ricky, London, England

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David Picó García

I tried this exercise on bar yesterday and it felt great. I did it before on rings which are more difficult because that movements tends the rings to start balancing forward and backward. I also find that i can hold the front lever during the exercise (just for a little fraction of a second :roll: ) but it seems that it's possible to achieve the FL!!! and also did at slow pace. today i feel the exercise in my sored muscles from abs to upper back :D

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David Picó García
i feel the exercise in my sored muscles from abs to upper back Very Happy

I said that three ago. My back has been really sored (i refear to stiff muscles, i dont know if this is the correct traslation of the spanish word 'agujetas') specially in the low portion of the trapecious. Great exercise, althouth :?

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jacob

To anybody who could possibly answer my question...sorry if this has already been asked.

Can this be done with a tuck/advanced tuck front lever. I just tried it out and it seemed to work, but I could be wrong.

Thanks.

Jacob

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Blairbob

Yes, if you cannot do it in a straight body, you can do it in tuck or straddle, single leg, etc.

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jacob

Alright, I'll start doing these as well in addition to what I'm doing.

Thanks blairbob.

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Bob Sanders

Can this b done on a door way pull up bar? Not the ones the screwed on but the one where you hook it on the top of the doorway?

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Gregor
Can this b done on a door way pull up bar? Not the ones the screwed on but the one where you hook it on the top of the doorway?

Yes, why not?...Just make it shure you wont hit with your head :D

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Blairbob

Yes, you can use it with an Iron Gym.

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Bob Sanders

Great! Cause I got like a Everlast pull up bar. I asked cause in the description is said to push away from the bar as you get into the front lever.

But this is way hard to do. I can't even do it with the straight legs.

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Erik Sjolin

The Coach said in the beginning that if you cannot do it properly, you should do it faster. Does this mean that there should be a hold for a few seconds at the bottom of each rep, or could it be smooth through the whole motion? I can do these in an adv. tuck will little difficulty for about 5x3, I'm wondering if the full one would be better in building the front lever strength as well. Pardon my poorly worded question.

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squibbs

what about doing practicing this on a set of rings? I don't have a pull up bar yet.

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Razz
what about doing practicing this on a set of rings? I don't have a pull up bar yet.

Of course you can do it on rings :)

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