1 Arm Side Front lever – 5 Progressions

1 Arm Side Front Lever

Video tutorial of 1 Arm Side Front lever here:   1305317738m


This is a great isometric exercise for back muscles, abs and forearms.



1. Lateral spine flexion 0.5
You can do this exercise until you are strong enough to do isometric exercises.

With knees bent, move the hips towards the trunk, keeping the maximal contraction for a  few seconds – this is the most effective to strengthen the obliques as you can’t cheat.

Don’t use momentum and keep the shoulder joint and scapula depressed (pull with straight arms until your torso moves upward).


2. One arm Isometric Lateral  Flexion – 0.5
Laterally flex the spine and try to hold it as long as you can. Repeat this with the other side.
Strongly contract your obliques so that hips stay in line with the rib cage.

This exercise mainly works: obliques, quadratus lumborum, lumbar part of errector spinae (iliocostalis, longissimus and spinalis), and finger flexor muscles.
Hamstrings will keep the knees bent.
Shoulder adductors are also hit, but less.


3. One arm Isometric Lateral Flexion – Full

With this exercise we will be focusing on obliques, lower back muscles and forearm muscles. Use an underhand grip this time.
Be sure to contract forcefully your obliques to prevent the hips from dropping down.
Don’t flex hips and elbows, legs and torso we will be on the same plane; point your toes
Switch hands and try to hold this for the same amount of time on each side.

In all these exercises depress the shoulder joint and scapula, thus hitting even more lats and also inferior fibers of trapezius.


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4. One arm Side Lever O.5

With bend knees and hips, pull strongly until your torso goes up.
Use an overhand grip – the shoulder internal rotation places the main adductors in mechanical advantage so they can exert more force and you can lift your body higher.

1 Arm Side Front lever

5. One arm Side Front Lever

1 Arm Side Front lever

This exercise mainly strengthens:
• Shoulder adductors: latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, teres major & minor, posterior deltoid and long head of triceps – they pull the trunk/scapula/ hips towards the arm (humerus)
• Spine lateral flexors: obliques, lumbar part of erector spinae and quadratus lumborum – they will keep the hips in line with the torso by contracting isometrically
• Finger flexors (forearm) – they contract isometrically to keep a firm grip.

Use an overhand grip, don’t bend your elbow and point your toes.

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