How to Do the Dragon Flag

Bruce Lee made the Dragon Flag one of his signature moves, and it’s now part of fitness pop culture. Sylvester Stallone also helped to popularise the dragon flag exercise when he performed in the film Rocky IV. It is one of the hardest Ab exercises there is. If you want to give it a crack, here’s how to do it:

How to do the dragon flag

1 ) Lie on your back on the bench and grip the sides  of the bench by your ears with both hands.

2 ) Brace your core and raise your legs until your toes are pointed at the ceiling. Only your head and upper back should be touching the bench, and your body should form a straight line from your toes to your chest.

3 ) Pause at the top of the move, then lower your legs slowly, keeping them extended and making sure that your back doesn’t arch. It won’t take many reps to feel the burn in your abs, and if you’re managing to complete five or more dragon flags then give yourself a big pat on the back. If you’re struggling, go back to easier core exercises to gradually build strength. Start with the reverse crunch and standard leg raises, then move on to hanging leg raises. Once you’ve mastered those moves, return to the bench and attempt the dragon flag again.

What are the benefits of the dragon flag exercise?

Your whole torso is worked, so it’s important you have a lot of core strength. Your hip flexors, glutes, and lower back are also being worked. You use your stabiliser muscles to maintain tension over your entire body. The dragon flag exercise helps you to build up shoulder strength and muscle mass.

Do 5 sets of 5 repetitions.


To add more of a challenge to the exercise, try:

  • pointing your toes
  • wearing ankle weights or heavy shoes

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