Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
The Tuck Front Lever is excellent for progressing to the Fully Extended Front Lever

The Tuck Front Lever is more than just a great static or isometric exercise – it is also the starting point for progressing towards the Fully Extended Front Lever with its impressive show of strength and endurance.

You’ll find that the Tuck Front Lever is an incredible exercise for a lot of different muscle groups, including the trunk, shoulders, lats, rotator cuff, grip and entire flexion chain. So, I’m excited to be using it as our first tutorial on static training!

Why Train with Statics?

At the Global Bodyweight Training gym we put serious emphasis on developing static strength and have seen the benefits carry over into multiple areas of performance.

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
The full Front Lever is a great gymnastics move requiring strength and endurance.
Statics are usually held in a position that is mechanically disadvantaged for timed sets. This is a process that requires a very planned progression that starts in a manageable position, and then moves to progressively harder positions as you gain endurance. Bodyweight training is all about leverage and with statics we are basically decreasing your leverage over time.

This is perfect for increasing the tendon and ligament strength, which plays a major role in developing overall maximal strength. Remember, the more stable the connective tissue is at a joint, the more force the neuromuscular system will allow to pass through that joint. The body will always protect itself and will automatically “turn down” the available power. So, strong joints equal strong lifts.

With the Tuck Front Lever static, we are challenging multiple areas of the body. Not only must the muscles crossing the shoulder joint, like the long head of the tricep, rotator cuff, posterior delts, lats and teres major be fully active, but also the scapulothoracic muscles like the rhomboids and mid traps. This is also a killer exercise for the entire trunk musculature and hip flexors.

Practicing Perfect Form

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Like many static holds, the Tuck Front Lever activates many muscle groups at the same time
As I always say, learning and maintaining good form is absolutely essential in bodyweight training. This is particularly true when practicing static forms. Several points are important with the Tuck Front Lever:

  • The hips should be kept at the same level as the shoulders and head. Practicing in front of a mirror is a good way to keep an eye on your positioning in this area.
  • Be sure to keep your focus straight up to the ceiling with the jaw closed and the tongue on the roof of the mouth. This is called the “physiologic rest position” and plays a role in stabilizing the neck.
  • Think about pulling the hands down toward the hips. This will keep the lats and shoulder extensors active. The movement is similar to a straight arm lat pulldown and uses the same muscles.

Progressing to the Fully Extended Front Lever

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Achieving the Fully Extended Front Lever is a great goal to set!
Our goal is to eventually get to a fully extended Front Lever, but it takes a few steps to achieve that super challenging move. Starting with this Tuck version is a great way to begin your progression. Try to work your way up to holding it for at least thirty seconds before moving on to the next step, where you begin to use more leverage by moving your knees farther away from your head. Statics are an important practice and I highly recommend spending time with each step.

Check out the video below to get started on your Tuck Front Lever. And then keep checking back for our future videos covering the next progressions on our way to the fully extended Front Lever!

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.

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  1. Lookin’ good (you just need those tight, white gymnast pants so we can see your legs! LOL)
    I was playing on the rings at the gym the other night and did this, although pretty sure form was lacking! Maybe I’ll take video & send to you.

    1. Hey Ann! Im working on getting a set of those sweet pants! Please send us a video, we’ve got our first few entries and would love to have yours ASAP.

  2. I love it! I’m adding that to my repertoire!

    BTW where did you get that pullup bar? That’s awesome!

    1. Hey Jorma! You’re going to love the Tuck Front Lever. The pull up bar came from PowerTech

  3. Went to a park near my house that has some parallel bars, monkey bars, and some straight pull up bars. I was doing the tuck lever and working several other things you mention in your blog, like the jumping muscle up progression, with a slow eccentric into the muscle up dip.

    Did hand walks across the parallel bars and beginner progressions for the L-sit. Just basically playing around with some of the stuff you teach. It was fun and I plan to make Saturday a time for this. Monday’s I’ve been working on Handstand progressions and Wednesday is for Gymnastics Ring Training.

    Hope all is going well, Coach!


    1. That sounds awesome Brandon! it’s a good idea to have a “skills” day where you work on new movements and patterns that you want to focus on. Remember, it’s a practice and should be fun. keep training hard my man!

  4. hey mike ..just wanted to say what a great work you’re doing posting this vids ..
    theey look great and drives me to get out’ shut down pc and facebooknd and get it going!

    keep with what you do it is pure fun to watch and learn.

    btw it will be even better if you add to each vid a little pic with what exact muscles are primarly working. thank you!

    eran (israel)

    1. Hey Scott, I would recommend doing any new static holds at the beginning of a workout while you are fresh. let me know how it goes!

      1. What do you think of a “grease the groove” type approach? I have to pass the chin up bar on the way to the bathroom, might try and hold it as long as possible (the tuck not the…uh…other) several times throughout the day until I can get up to 30 seconds.

  5. Thanks for the positive feedback Eran! That’s a great recommendation. Keep checking back for more tutorials my friend

  6. hey mike, awesome…good job you are doing..
    i am very much in to weight training. after seeing your videos i added lots of body weight exercises in my weight training routine. its really working excellent for me.
    step by step demonstration in your video is helping me to learn correct form..
    thanks buddy..

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