How to hold the Human Flag?

Human flag is one of the most impressive static skills in calisthenics world. It requires extreme whole body strength, looks impressive and can be done almost everywhere.

To hold the mighty Human Flag one must have shoulders, back and abs of steel and great overall body control. Now, there are plenty of variations of this position. However, the most popular one, and probably the most impressive one is the press flag.

How to get your first human flag?

First, of don’t try to do if pull-ups and wall supported handstand is still hard for you. Sorry for the harsh truth but in order to achieve the human flag you got to put some effort in.

Okay, now that you’re aware of the fact that you need to have your basics in check let’s see what can be done to give you a flag needed strength.

Try clutch flagreceived_1097101090379000_2

This is a variation that many of intermediates may be able to do. And it is a great place to start your flag training and give you a feeling of being in that position. It requires less back and shoulder strength and engages chest and biceps a bit more than the press flag but works wonders for strengthening your core. If it is too hard to perform try tucking your legs, or do one leg straight one tucked, or straddle clutch flag. Try to get a nice and stable hold before going further.


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When it comes to getting some heavy moves in bodyweight training, negatives should be your bread and butter. If you can hold a clutch flag for 30sec and more then you can start working on your press flag. While the clutch flag can be done only on the pole, press flag can be done using many different support points. Just remember that the hand at the bottom needs to press as hard as you can and the top one pulls. Get a good grip and jump to a vertical flag position, try to hold it and lower as slowly as you can. To make it even easier you can try manipulating your leg positioning. Tucked, one-leg tucked( bicycle flag), straddle etc. Always train both sides starting from the one that feels weaker. And don’t get discouraged if you can’t hold it for more than 2 sec it takes time to build static strength but it’s worth it.

Strengthening the obliques

While there is a lot of abs exercises, there are two specific ones that will give you the core strength you need for the press flag and tone your obliques.

1.Saxon’s Side bent

This is one is an absolute killer when it comes to obliques and lower back. And you don’t even need a  lot of weight to make it hard and effective. If you’re lacking the core strength for the Human Flag, do this exercise 3sets of five-six reps on both sides at the end of your workout and you will get the results faster than you think. I’ve mentioned this one before in my ABS article so check it out.

2. Supported hang leg raises

This one is a bit tricky to do. Find yourself a pull-up bar that is montaged to a wall or ideally the ladder. Hang from the pull-up bar on one hand and place the other on the ladder/wall. Now lift your legs as high as you can using only your core strength. The closer your hands are the harder it gets. Can’t lift straight legs? Again try tucked, straddle etc.

What to do after I get the Human Flag?

Human Crucifix

“-Do it better” That’s what my idol and absolute calisthenic beast Danny Kavadlo says.

And I agree 100% with that. If you can do it that’s awesome, now it is time to work on your form, the time of the hold, maybe change the grip or try other variations such us crucifix flag(on the photo) get creative, progress and grow.

B. Strong& Healthy!


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