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.
Youâ€™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, Iâ€™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. 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 â€œturn downâ€ 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
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 â€œphysiologic rest positionâ€ 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
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!
- Want to see more exercise progressions that incorporate the Tuck? Check out my previous article and video on the Best Body Row Progressions for Total Back Development.