The bulk of our abdominal muscle training should come in the form of core stabilization exercises. While you should minimize the amount of movement from your spine while training abs, the exercise we will discuss today is an exception.
Popularized by Bruce Lee, Dragon Flags are an amazing core exercise that teaches ultimate stability. It also looks really cool.
The Dragon Flag is the most advanced version of the Reverse Crunch. The video above will show a progression of exercises that you can do before attempting the Dragon Flag
DRAGON FLAG FORM VIDEO
BENEFITS OF THE DRAGON FLAG
Trains the lower abdominal muscles for extreme stability
Helps prevent spinal extension under load, which is critical for low back health
Teaches how to maintain total body tension
MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE DRAGON FLAG
PERFORMING THE DRAGON FLAG PROGRESSIONS
Lay completely flat on a bench
Reach overhead and grab both sides of the bench for support
Straighten out your legs until your body achieves a position parallel to the bench
Begin the movement by bending at the hips and knees and so that your knees make contact with your elbows
Once they make contact, slowly reverse the movement back to the starting positions with your legs straightened out
Ensure that you keep your core muscles tight and engaged throughout the entire movement
It is important to perform this exercise in a controlled manner
For a more advanced variation, completely straighten your legs at the halfway point in the movement, directly overhead after making contact with your elbows
Your body will be perpendicular to the bench
Hold this position for a 1 count
Slowly reverse the position by bringing your knees back down to your elbows
Then return your legs back to the straightened starting position
Again keep your core activated at all times
For the most advanced variation, you will lower your legs back down to the starting position from the perpendicular position without bending your knees
It is critical to maintaining absolute control over your body position throughout the entire movement.
Do not attempt this variation until you have mastered the previous two
BENDING AT THE HIPS
This is a common mistake and usually happens when the trainee is not yet ready for the most advanced variation. Otherwise, keep your glutes and your core as activated as possible
MOVING TOO QUICKLY
This movement is best done is a nice controlled manner for optimal effect. Do not rush through the exercise
HOW CAN I INTEGRATE THE DRAGON FLAG INTO MY TRAINING?
Check out The WCT Best Workout Template For Busy Professionals to find a simple way to add the dragon flag and other great exercises into your routine.
DRAGON FLAG ALTERNATIVES