Dragon Flags

INTRODUCTION

The bulk of our abdominal muscle training should come in the form of core stabilization exercises. While you should minimize the amount of movement from your spine while training abs, the exercise we will discuss today is an exception. 

Popularized by Bruce Lee, Dragon Flags are an amazing core exercise that teaches ultimate stability. It also looks really cool.

The Dragon Flag is the most advanced version of the Reverse Crunch. The video above will show a progression of exercises that you can do before attempting the Dragon Flag 

 

BENEFITS OF THE DRAGON FLAG

  • Trains the lower abdominal muscles for extreme stability 

  • Helps prevent spinal extension under load, which is critical to low back health 

  • Teaches how to maintain total body tension 

 

PERFORMING THE DRAGON FLAG PROGRESSIONS

  • Lay completely flat on a bench

  • Reach overhead and grab the both sides of the bench for support

  • Straighten out your legs until your body achieves a position parallel to the bench

  • Begin the movement by bending at the hips and knees and so that your knees make contact with your elbows

  • Once they make contact, slowly reverse the movement back to the starting positions with your legs straightened out

  • Ensure that you keep your core muscles tight and engaged throughout the entire movement

  • It is important to perform this exercise in a controlled manner 

 

  • For a more advanced variation, completely straighten your legs at the halfway point in the movement, directly overhead after making contact with your elbows

  • Your body will be perpendicular to the bench

  • Hold this position for a 1 count

  • Slowly reverse the position by bringing your knees back down to your elbows

  • Then return your legs back to the straightened starting position

  • Again keep your core activated at all times

 

  • For the most advanced variation, you will lower your legs back down to the starting position from the perpendicular position without bending your knees

  • It is critical to maintain absolute control your body position throughout this movement. 

  • Do not attempt this variation until you have mastered the previous two

 

COMMON MISTAKES

BENDING AT THE HIPS

This is a common mistake and usually happens when the trainee is not yet ready for the most advanced variation. Otherwise keep your glutes and your core as activated as possible

 

MOVING TOO QUICKLY

This movement is best done is a nice controlled manner for optimal effect. Do not rush through the exercise 

 

Check out a full list of our other exercises here

 

Alex & Brittany Robles are the founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and wellness of busy individuals. Learn more about them here and connect with them on instagram and Twitter. Feel free to send them a message here