Human Flag Tutorial
The Human Flag is an incredible feat of bodyweight strength. It requires you to grab on to a pole, or similar objects, and lift your body up horizontally, with straight arms. Needless to say this requires a lot of core, and stabilizer strength. Let’s get to it!
First off, you need to have good base strength. I would say you should have at least 15 full ROM (range of motion) pull ups, before attempting. Core strength is a MUST. Especially with the obliques, which help keep you horizontal. Shoulder strength is another must, since the bottom arm will be constantly pressing. Handstand pushups seem to be one of the best exercises for this. One last thing, that is often overlooked, is grip strength. Ok, you don’t have to have a vice grip in order to do a Human Flag, just strong enough to hang on to the pole(or whatever you’re using) long enough.
ok now lets get to the actual human flag training. Stand next to a pole (or whatever you are using) take your hands spread them out almost as far as you would for wide grip pull ups, but not quite. Not far out, or too far in or you wont be able to hold yourself. Place your top hand facing away from you. (Pull up grip) it has to be over your head as well. Your bottom hand is a different story. There are a few different hand positions you can use. One way is to face your bottom hand away from you or you can face it towards you (pull up or chin up grip). It never mattered to me (all depends on personal preference). The bottom hand should be placed around below your hip. Remember not too far down, or too high. Experiment with grip width to see what is comfortable.
Ok once you have your hand placement, it is time for pre-tensing your entire body. Make sure you zip it down. What I mean is, start tensing though your hands and work the tension down toward your feet. Also progressively keep pushing with your lower arm (kind of like a giant isometric) if you are new to human flag training you will have to kick off in order to get your self up in the flag position. If your experienced you can eventually just lift your body. Ok so kick off and bring your legs together, and hold as long as you can.
There a several different progressions for learning and gaining the strength to do the human flag as well.
1. The elbow flag, where you wrap one arm around the a and hold the bar with the other while that arm is in your gut.(kind of like an elbow lever) then you lift.(some people call this a cheating human flag. but it works)
2. The human flag hang. Where you get in the human flag position but instead of kicking up you just hang there. Pushing out with your bottom arm at all times.
3. The vertical flag. Kick up as high as you can and pull yourself up until you are as vertical as possible. Work on getting completely straight.
4. Flag negatives. Kick up into the vertical flag, and lower yourself with a straight body as slow as you can.
5. The 90-degree flag. Kick up into a vertical flag, lower your torso to horizontal while keeping your legs as vertical as possible.
6. The tucked flag. Kick up into the human flag with legs tucked.
7. The straddle flag.
8. One leg tucked flag.
9. Finally, The Human Flag.
Remember your arms have to be straight. Your legs together and not bent.
If you have any questions please let me know. The key to the Human Flag is PRACTICE. Strength is a skill. Always practice, and remember, HAVE FUN!! Enjoy I hope this helps you.