The Dragon Flag is arguably the best ab exercise and probably the most difficult one you can do. If you can do these in “good” form, you have core strength without a doubt. Popularized by Bruce Lee and sometimes referred to as the Rocky Ab Workout, this is one of the top three best ab bodyweight exercises you can do (the other two being the full hanging leg raise and the abs wheel roll out).
This should not be attempted by somebody who is just beginning. This is an advanced core exercise. If you want to start building your ab core strength slowly, I suggest the classic abdominal plank which is the simpliest type of ab exercise to master or the reverse crunch.
Your shoulders and head should be in contact with the bench (floor) at all times. Notice in some clips, mine is not! There is always room for improvement and it’s why I advise my clients and myself to video yourself so you can see what you are doing and adjust as necessary. My form is good not perfect and I can do better!
Dragon Flag Cheat Sheet:
- usually performed face up
- point your toes (it helps keep you in alignment)
- grip that bench for support
- keep your head on the bench
- keep your body straight
- avoid bending at the hips
- do not take this exercise to failure (form is critical)
While the Dragon Flag emphasizes the abs, it really is a total body workout.
If there is such a thing as a perfect form Dragon Flag it would include no piking, no loss of shoulders or head with the bench, smooth and controlled.
If you desire to do this exercise, start off slowly by doing easier core exercises to build up your strength. You can start with a leg lift or hip lift from the floor and move up to dragon flag negatives. Eventually moving to a few repetitions and then sets. This is one of the very few exercises you don’t want to jump into without a solid strong abdominal core.
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Be Fit, Stay Strong!
Marc David – CPT
PS – If you can do a Dragon Flag, send me the link to your video so I can add it!