Isometrics & Training for the Human Flag

The Human FlagEditors note: I recently added a series of articles with loads more info on Human Flag Training.

Several weeks ago I made this post about fun body weight challenges that I have been practicing, including the human flag.

Since then I have continued practicing the human flag and training to improve at it. Along the way, some people have inquired about how to work towards performing this feat of strength.

While the human flag requires a ton of upper body strength, the most important thing to have in order to perform a flag is core strength–the obliques, abs, and lower back play the biggest role in being able to hold the pose.

The plank is a classic isometric exercise.

The plank is a classic isometric exercise.

The flag falls into a category of exercises called isometrics. Isometric exercises involve contracting your muscles while holding a fixed position for an extended period of time. Planks, side planks, and other variations on these isometric exercises are a great way to start building the core stability required to perform a human flag.

The flag is one of the most advanced core exercises I’ve ever seen, so being someone who loves a challenge, I am drawn towards it and kept humble by it. If you expect to get it right away you will likely be disappointed.

It takes time to prepare your body for such a skill, but we’ve all got the time. If you can read this, then you’ve got a few spare minutes. It’s just a question of what’s important to you. You could be doing some isometrics right now! Stop making excuses and start working out.

Watch the video below for more details:

17 thoughts on “Isometrics & Training for the Human Flag

  • By kim -

    very cool! something to aspire to…

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Kim. But don't just aspire–take action!

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  • By Dude -

    That chick doing the plank is hot

  • By Dude -

    That chick doing the plank is hot

  • By marcusbondi -

    Way to go man! Try tucking your knees in to your chest – then go to horizontal – then slowly extend one leg at a time. If you like, put 1kg ankle weights on too! Best train hard – best cheers
    marcusbondi (youtube search 'marcusbondi')

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks for the tip, Marcus! I'm not ready for the ankle weights just yet but it's something to work towards…

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  • By Robby Taylor -

    Al, surprisingly I’m making progress on this move without specifically training for it. I think it has to do with the progress I’ve made with muscle ups, handstand push ups, and back levers. Although I can’t quite hold a full back lever, I’m getting close (only training with chin up grip). One isometric exercise that I have discovered on my own that I think is helping is a one arm plank with feet together. Basically the top of the “perfect” one arm push up position. This is the most difficult plank that I have tried that’s not super ridiculous (super ridiculous being flags and Lalanne push ups). It’s also much more practical than the clutch flag, which I stopped working on because I was getting bruises on my biceps! Yikes!

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Sounds good, Robby.  Getting stronger has carryover into anything.  And yeah I’ve bruised my arm a few times holding the clutch flag.

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