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Bruce-Lee-Dragon-FlagHey what’s up

In today’s post I wanted to go over the hardest core exercise that I’ve ever done. It’s called the Dragon Flag. Some of you have probably heard of this exercise and others probably haven’t. It’s not very common to see people at the gym doing this type of core exercise.

And for good reason… it’s hard as hell! When I first learned about Dragon Flags I was in my “Bruce Lee is fucking awesome” stage, I was around 16.

After watching some of his movies I was amazed at how strong he was and wanted to learn how such a thin guy could get that strong

So like any 16 year old trying to be like Lee would do, I hit the internet. I found the Dragon Flag exercise and tried it that day at the gym. To say that I failed at this exercise is an understatement. I could barely get to the top position, let alone lower my torso slowly. The next day was even worse.

My abs have never been that sore…

At the time I laid off the Dragon Flags for a while cause I knew I wasn’t ready for them. It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I started implementing the Dragon Flags again. But I did it right this time. I progressed up to being able to do this exercise. I noticed that the Dragon Flags worked on stabilizing the torso while working on the eccentric portion of the movement.

My selection of basic core exercises

So I started with the easiest core stabilization movements like the plank, then once that got easy I started doing the incline plank, after about 2 months of doing each of these exercises I felt a huge difference in my main lifts. I felt a lot stronger and solid.

The next stage in my progression was the ab wheel.

ab wheel

This little thing was a challenge and definitely hit my core harder than ever before. I stayed with the ab wheel for about 2 months and then started incorporating the Dragon Flag movement. This time I started with an easier variation. I used the Decline Ab Bench that you see in the video. I started at the highest height it had and progressively lowered the height as the exercise got easier.

Right now I’m on the last notch and it won’t go any lower.

So after about 2 to 3 weeks at this height I’ll start doing Dragon Flags on a flat bench, which is the hardest variation.  I’ve only been working on the negative portion of this exercise. Once my core develops the strength it needs to do Dragon Flags easily I will be lowering and returning to the top position without putting my feet down.

Why I do the Dragon Flag

I’m very big on doing exercises that help you in your everyday life.

Yes I wanna look good naked but I much rather not throw out my back picking up groceries.

That’s why I try to stay away from isolation exercises (I’m not saying that they’re bad, there’s just a time and place for everything, and plus…people over use isolation exercises).

The Dragon Flags work your entire torso, from your shoulders to your hip flexors.

They also transfer over to everyday life by helping you stabilize your core a lot better; it also develops strong thoracic muscles which protects your spine and increases your numbers on the ALL the main lifts including the bench and overhead press.

Recommended Parameters For Core exercise

If you’re a beginner you can follow exactly what I did, or if you’re an advanced lifter and can perform the Dragon Flag safely I recommend the following parameters;

week 1: 3×5

week 2: 4×4

week 3: 5×3

week 4: Don’t perform the Dragon Flag

You can either decrease the height of the decline bench or add weight (ankle weights) to make this exercises more challenging as you progress through the weeks.

If you’ve done dragon flags before let me know how YOU progressed to being able to do them on the flat bench or if you have any questions or comments drop them down below.

Talk to you next time,


p.s. I hope you enjoyed today’s post, if you did please share and like