Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
The Static Frog with Back Extension is a killer exercise for strength, stability, and balance
Hand balancing is an incredible practice and a huge part of bodyweight training. Not only is the work great for increasing your shoulder girdle stabilization, but it can also be a killer way to challenge your entire body and improve your neuromuscular connectivity. And, way beyond your basic handstands, the opportunities to challenge your strength, balance and coordination while balancing on your hands are endless!

One of my favorite aspects of hand balancing is how it uses and improves your “proprioception,” which refers to your unconscious perception of how your body’s movement and position in space, arising from stimuli within your body itself. Maintaining your balance on your hands while moving other parts of your body through space requires that just about every muscle be on and active. As you move your limbs, your center of gravity is constantly changing , which requires your central nervous system to constantly send and receive messages to your muscles, making minor adjustments which keep you in balance. Now that’s a great exercise!

Benefits of the Hand Balancing Back Extension:

Unfortunately, many people concentrate on spinal “flexion” exercises like crunches, but neglect extension or spinal stabilization exercises. This overemphasis on flexion exercises can further exacerbate the flexed “computer posture” that so many people are stuck in for the majority of the day. This can lead to imbalances and may eventually result in back dysfunction.

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Concentrate on initiating the hip and back extension with your lower back muscles
The Reverse Hyperextension, where the upper body is fixed and the lower body is moving the spine from flexion to extension, is a great exercise even in its traditional form (i.e. as frequently done while lying on a bench or stability ball). Performing the hand balancing version of the back extension brings in even more benefits. The Static Frog with Back Extension will improve your shoulder and trunk stabilization at the same time, while dynamically improving the strength of your spinal extensors.

Practicing Your Hand Balancing

The Static Frog with Back Extension demonstrated in this video is an advanced progression from the basic static frog. As you practice, it’s particularly important to lock in the upper body position and practice total body tension. This will help with your other hand balancing exercises. Note how the body is held tight and controlled throughout the entire exercise:

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Begin in the traditional static frog position
Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Slowly raise your legs, keeping your heels close to your glutes
Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Pause and maintain balance when your back is fully extended

I encourage everyone to practice hand balancing variations, especially those that involve moving the limbs or body while holding the balance. They do require lots of time, dedication and discipline, so try not to get frustrated as you’re learning. You can expect to fall a lot – I still do all the time! So, make sure you know how to fall out if you start to lose your balance. Overcome your fear, but remember that safety is key!

It’s very important to build a solid foundation and properly progress before attempting the more advanced movements. You can check out our other lead up videos, Jumping and Static Frog Combination and Advanced Frog Stand Variations, at the end of this post.

You can also check out these previous videos on frog stand variations, and a back extension variation:

Published by Mike Fitch

Mike is the founder of Global Bodyweight Training. He has more than 12 years as a fitness professional encompassing a wide range of disciplines which he draws upon to create the GBT system.

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi Mike,

    I love the video’s please keep it up! really inspiring!

    I’ve been working on my advanced frog variations for a couple of weeks, still find it quite challenging to get more then 1 leg up at the same time. But I do see improvements so I’ll get there.

    I was hoping if you could provide some workout suggestions like advanced frog which could help me to get to full planche pushups.

    Many thanks! Michiel

    1. Hey Michiel, thanks for the comment! Just like you said, continue to practice with consistency and you’ll get there. The planche takes a LOT of discipline and dedication but most importantly, proper progression. You’ll really want to condition your “forward shoulder load” position, which basically means if you were in a push up position, your shoulders would line up in front of your wrists, rather than over top of them. We will eventually have videos, but in the mean time see if you can find tutorials for a pseudo planche push up and a tuck planche. The pseudo planche push up will help you build strength in the forward shoulder load position, while the tuck planche is a static hold that will help with your endurance and stability. Good luck and keep your practice consistent

  2. Great tutorial. This has started me on a new journey to be able to do some of the great stuff you do here starting with the frog stand and hopefully moving onto the planche too. Looking forward to working through some of the progressions

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