As part of my overall training program, I have certain strength “skills” that I aim to train at least once per week. By focusing on these skills and “progressively overloading” the resistance/difficulty, I’m able to realize strength gains. AND, I’m able to do this without lifting weights. These skills are bodyweight skills, and I use the ability to manipulate my body in space to make the movement easier or harder. Bodyweight training is a great way to build functional fitness, and you can do it virtually anywhere without equipment.
Today is front tuck lever day.
I really didn’t feel like getting a session in today. The rain threw me off. I was going to mow the yard this AM, but, alas…stupid rain. It kind of mucked up my day. But, when the kid went down for a late morning/early afternoon siesta, I decided to get some activity in.
The front lever is an amazing move.
That is a crazy amount core strength, and also grip, shoulder, bicep, and back. Programming it in can be tricky when your workouts are as eclectic as mine. I make sure that I don’t do it the day after a pull up day (since I’m doing static holds from a bar). You don’t understand how physically taxing it is until you actually try it. Early on, you will feel soreness in your elbow/forearm tendons. Having your arms locked out, and then hanging at an angle puts your joints in a very mechanically disadvantageous position. You really are hanging on with every fiber of your being.
The key is to get your back parallel to the ground, and get your thighs to 90 degrees. When you get to that position, you’ll know you are doing it right because you will start shaking. It’s easy to cheat early on and keep your thighs close to your chest, and over rotate your hips so that your back is at 45 degrees to the ground. You won’t be working your core nearly as much, and you are defeating the purpose of the progression step. Focus on getting your back parallel to the ground.
As with most advanced bodyweight calisthenic moves, there are recommended progressions. I’m not specifically following the THENX plan, but some of the progressions I’m doing mirror their progressions. If you ever want to have your mind blow, watch some of the THENX videos – these guys can do AMAZING things with their bodies in space. I’m currently working on the front tuck lever hold. My goal is to get 2 sets of 60 count holds before I try and start doing the front lever with one leg sticking out. Here is what my current step looks like…
Here is what today looked like:
5/20/18 – Front Lever training
- 3 minutes jump rope
- 2 minutes jumping jack
- Skill work – front tuck lever
- Front tuck lever static hold – 40 count
- Rest 3 min
- Front tuck lever static hold – 30 count
- Rest 2 min
- Skin the cat – 8 reps
- Rest 2 minutes
- Metabolic circuit – 15 minute AMRAP (ring dips, inverted rows, power jacks)
- 5 x ring dips
- 5 x inverted row (note – did 6 reps of rows for last 6 sets)
- 10 x power jacks
- 13 rounds in 15 minutes (the ring dips are kind of challenging and slowed me down a little bit).
- Flappy arm swinging
- Light side lunges
- Light runners stretch
The whole thing clocked in around 34 minutes.
Calorie burn clocked in around 193 C.
You can seen some nice activity in the heart rate chart once I started the AMRAP circuit. Otherwise, my tracker didn’t pick up heart rate spikes during my static holds.
Post workout, I enjoyed a great egg scramble with cruciferous greens, cheese, and pesto. If you’ve never made eggs with pesto before, you are missing out big time!
Do you have any favorite home workouts that you’ve put together? Do you also train the front lever? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please click “like” and share!