How To Front Lever: The Complete Beginner’s Guide – More Than Lifting

How To Front Lever: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

What Is The Front Lever?

The Front Lever is an awesome power move where you are holding yourself horizontal hanging from the bar. The difference between a front lever and a back lever is where you are facing.

Front lever is face up, back lever is face down.

How Long Does It Take To Learn The Front Lever?

Depending on where you are in your training, how strong and mobile you are already, it will take a good 6 months.

It takes a lot of core and shoulder strength which requires a lot of dedicated training.

If you have already been training for a while and your isometrics are on point, you could probably get it a bit faster. But if you havent got things like leg raises and German hangs down then it will take you longer.

So don't expect to get this in the first few sessions, it is a difficult skill so you will have to put the work in. But like all difficult skills it is very rewarding.

On This Page You Will Learn . . . 

  • How To Front Lever
  • Front Lever Progression Exercises
  • Tips On Front Lever Training And Technique
  • Variations Of Front Lever For You To Try
  • Front Lever Transitions That Will Challenge You In A Whole New Way
  • Plus Get Your FREE Front Lever Progression Workout To Get You Started Today!

How To Front Lever

3 Different Mounts To Get Into The Front Lever Position

The front lever is pretty simple in terms of instruction, but it is not nearly as easy as it sounds.

There are three basic 'mounts' or ways to get into the lever position, but ultimately you want to end up flat with your body horizontal.

Mount 1 - Lever Up

Levering straight up into position is probably the hardest, you dont see a lot of people doing it.

Start in the hanging position and engage your shoulders, keeping your arms straight.

Lift your body up flat levering from your shoulders and stabilizing with your core until you reach the horizontal position.

Mount 2 - Lever Down

Levering down is the opposite of levering up, you start at the top and come down into position.

Start in an inverted hang with your hips in front of the bar, rather than it being behind your back.

Holding everything stable, keeping your hips and feet in line, slowly lower yourself into the horizontal position.

This requires catching that lever as you get flat and squeezing even harder to stop yourself dropping out.

Mount 3 - Pull & Press

Hanging from the bar, pull up, tighten up your whole body and push back with your shoulders and up with your feet, keeping your body completely tense, your pivot point will be about your hips.

Another way to look at it is to bring your hips right up to the bar with your body flat, then slowly lower yourself into position by straightening your arms out

Lever from your elbows

This is probably the easiest of the three mounts and can be broken down into some great exercises to drill too.

Front Lever Progression Exercises

The 4 Front Lever Progression Exercises To Develop Strength In Position

The main way of progressing from nada to front lever is using various variations of the front lever with a shorter lever, starting in the smallest possible position building out into a full front lever.

This is a very simple progression timeline, but there are other skills and exercises you can use to help build the strength and isometric tension.

Progression 1 - Tuck Lever

Start with the smallest lever possible, in a tucked position. Although this doesn't look like it will challenge you, try it out!

Keep your shoulders and hips in line and horizontal to train your body into the right position.

Progression 2 - Advanced Tuck Lever

When you can hold the tuck lever for time, you can begin to open up a little.

This will bring you into the advanced tuck position, bringing your legs out slightly - still tucked - but aiming for a 90degree hip angle.

This will help straighten out your back and teach you to engage your muscles properly before you can straighten out more.

Remember keep those hips and shoulders in line.

Progression 3 - Single Leg Front Lever

Hanging from the bar, pull up, tighten up your whole body and push back with your shoulders and up with your feet, keeping your body completely tense, your pivot point will be about your hips.

Another way to look at it is to bring your hips right up to the bar with your body flat, then slowly lower yourself into position by straightening your arms out

Lever from your elbows

This is probably the easiest of the three mounts and can be broken down into some great exercises to drill too.

Progression 4 - Straddle

Straddle is just split leg position so the straddle front lever means your legs are fully extended but spread wider to shorten the lever slightly.

Over time you will begin to bring your legs together, but when you start this off, you are going to want to get your legs as wide as possible to make it easier.

Front Lever Variations

5 Front Lever Variations To Test Your Skills

The front lever is an isometric exercise that relies on specific positioning. Because of this, there aren't a lot of variations of the front lever.

But, there are little things that you can do to work it as a more intense exercise, or as a rep based movement. This means you are holding the front lever and then doing reps like pull ups.

Variation 1 - Bicycle Kicks

Once you can do a single leg front lever you can turn it into a dynamic exercise with bicycle kicks.

Bicycle kicks are simply switching legs during the lever. You are continually switching left extension, right extension as if pedaling a bike.

Variation 2 - Flutter Kicks

Flutter Kicks are another dynamic variation of the front lever. Instead of doing bicycle movements, you keep both legs straight and kick your legs up and down as if swimming.

Variation 3 - Position Changes

Position changes within the front lever mean switching fbetween variations of any degree.

You could do it as a regressive movement - from the hardest to easiest - kinda like a drop set but for time rather than reps.

This will help build your hold time massively.

Variation 4 - Front Lever Pull Ups

Front lever pull ups are exactly what they sound like - fucking hard. In the fron lever, you are just going to pull yourself up to the bar and return to straight arm for reps.

That's all. Simple right?

Variation 1 - Parallel Grip

A Parallel grip is going to be done at a dipping station down the gym, or on the Pbars. It is a front lever with a different grip variation.

This will change the dynamic of the exercise slightly because of the change of arm positioning, holding on to parallel bars instead of a single bar is quite different.

Front Lever Training Tips

Tips & Techniques To Master The Front Lever

When training the front lever, like with every exercise, there are a few tips and techniques you can learn to help you progress faster and really own it exercise.

These are the main points to get you going.

Tip 1 - Grip

Your grip will make a big difference at first. On the bar try and maintain a false grip or over hand grip.

This means your palms are on top of the bar rather than just your fingers. This way your wrists and forearms will help hold the position better and improve your ability to press down with your shoulders towards your hips.

Tip 2 - Shoulders

With the front lever, your shoulders are the pivot point. Like with all of the power moves your shoulders are put under a lot of stress.

Make sure that they are warmed up wel, do scapula exercises and other strength and mobility work to avoid injury.

Tip 3 - Straighten those arms

Your arms should be fully extended in the front lever, not bent. This is difficult to do because it forces the load onto your shoulders rather than taking some of the weight on your arms.

This is something you will progress into over time, but you should keep it in mind while you are training so you are always moving towards it.

Tip 4 - Hollow Body

Your trunk should be in the hollow body position. You dont want your hips pointing up, or your chest sticking out.

Your shoulders should be slightly in front of your body rather than pulled right back behind you.

Front Lever Transitions

Take Your Front Lever To The Next Level With These Transition Exercises

Once you have a front lever you are going to want to take it up a level right?

Achieving this skill is just the beginning and you unlock a whole bunch of transitions and variations you can do with the front lever.

Luckily you can mix it into more complex exercises and transitions to take your training to a whole new level.

Transition 1 - Lever Muscle Up

The lever muscle up is a transition to get you back on top of the bars after a front lever.

From the front lever position you will pull your shoulders up the the bar leaving your hips and feet in place. This will get you to the transitional point of the muscle up. Then all you have to do is the dips.

Transition 2 - Front To Back (Rings)

You can only really make the Front to Back lever transition on the rings, because you need to curl up under the bar to get through.

Starting in either front or back lever, the indea is to press from one position to the other, through an inverted hang. You rotate between lever positions like a clock from 9-3 clockwise (or 3-9 anti clockwise).

Transition 3 - Lever Raises

The lever raise is similar to a leg raise. Instead of levering from your hips you lever from your shoulders keeping your body flat.

You lever up into the front lever, but keep going straight through to an inverted hang. Then return to the bottom by doing the negative back through the front lever to dead hang.

FREE Front Lever Training Workout

Get Started Training For The Front Lever Today With This FREE Progression Workout

It's all good reading this page to get you started on your path to front lever mastery, but if you want to actually get the front lever, you need to go training.

I have put together a simple workout you can do Today! That will help you work your progressions and supporting exercises into one session.

Get Your FREE Front Lever Progression Workout!

Pop in your best email and take your Front Lever to the next level with this simple progression workout