For this exercise, we’ll give a shout out to the guy with one of the best known six-packs in the biz – Bruce Lee. No one can deny his world-class physique. But unlike most guys, he was not only ripped, he was strong. And one of the reasons for his strength was some of the advanced body weight exercises he used in his training. One such exercise was the Dragon Flag.
Oh, you’re still not convinced? Let me throw in Rocky from Rocky IV (even though Rocky III was the best one!) Sly was at his peak and wanted to show how hard he was training to conquer the evil Russian. So again, the Dragon Flag was pulled out.
Dragon Flags are performed by bracing hard on a bench or hard surface, while locking your arms in a fixed position. The legs are driven up as if you are performing a reverse crunch. From there, the lifter will lower themselves down not allowing any part of their body to touch the bench except for their upper back. This is an important form cue. This makes the exercise so much harder. The lifter lowers their body until it is right above the bench. The other important coaching cue is to make sure when the lifter raises back up, they do NOT bend at the waist, but rather raise their entire body as it was lowered, in a straight line.
Why Are Dragon Flags Good?
Dragon Flags hit the entire torso. The entire torso is (and should be considered) the core. Isolated movements attempting to target one muscle group are not effective in the real world. More torso rigidity for squats, deads, bench press, clean & press, sporting events, athletes, power development, etc…you name it, is developed with Dragon Flags. Long duration tension (static and engaging strength training movement patterns) along with a full body engagement will always be preferred in the long run.