How To Do Dragon Flags

Dragon Flags (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Dragon Flags might just be the coolest-sounding core exercise there is. They also happen to be one of the toughest to do too!

Dragon Flags is an advanced core exercise that extremely challenges the lower abs.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Dragon Flags along with the muscles it works, its benefits and even a couple of alternative exercises in case you need them.

How To Do Dragon Flags

Equipment Needed

  • None

Muscles Worked

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Obliques
  • Hip Flexors
  • Erector Spinae (Low Back)
  • Shoulders, Forearms, Grip (for stabilizing the upper body)

Step by Step Instructions

  • Lie flat on your back on a bench or on a mat, with your hands grabbing something sturdy behind your head. This could be a pole, a bench, or a heavy piece of furniture.
  • Bring your legs up together, keeping them fully extended and lift your hips up off the bench, so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
  • Engaging your core, slowly lower your legs down towards the ground without allowing your lower back to arch or come off the ground/bench. It’s crucial to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt to protect your lower back.
  • Lower your legs as much as you can while maintaining a straight body line. Ideally, you should lower them until they are just slightly above the ground, but this will depend on your current strength level.
  • Now, using your core, lift your legs back up to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

Coaching Points

Here are a couple of important things to keep in mind when doing Dragon Flags.

Engage Your Core

Maintain a strong engagement in your core throughout the whole movement. This not only stabilizes your spine but ensures you are working the correct muscles effectively.

A good tip is to imagine pulling your belly button back toward your spine to maintain the correct engagement.

Control is Key

As you lower and raise your body, control is essential.

Avoid any sudden or jerky movements, especially on the way down. By controlling your motion, you not only target the right muscles but also prevent potential injuries.

Breathe Consistently

Don’t hold your breath!

I recommend inhaling as you drive your legs up, brace, and then slowly exhale as you lower your legs down.

Benefits of Dragon Flags

Dragon Flags are not just a show-stopping move, but they bring a host of benefits to your training program.

Here’s how they can enhance your performance:

Core Strengthening

Dragon Flags work your entire core, including the deep core muscles which are crucial for stability and power in various sports and daily activities.

Improved Body Control

This exercise enhances your ability to control your body in a coordinated manner, improving your performance in other exercises and sports.

Lower Back Health

By teaching you to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt and avoid lumbar arching, Dragon Flags can promote a healthier lower back.

Dragon Flag Alternatives

Not able to do Dragon Flags?

Here are a couple of alternatives that you may be able to try out instead:

Hollow Body Holds

How To Do Hollow Rocks

Like Dragon Flags, Hollow Body Holds emphasize core stability and control.

They help in building endurance in the abdominal muscles and improving your ability to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt, which is crucial for performing Dragon Flags.

Toes to Bar or Hanging Leg Raises

Both of these exercises demand a high level of core strength and control, similar to Dragon Flags.

Toes to Bar and Hanging Leg Raises not only target your abdominal muscles and hip flexors but also challenge your back, shoulders and grip. They’re actually one of my favorite ways to “sneak” grip work into a strength program.

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More Links and Info

If you’d like to check out additional core exercises, we have over 50 guides in our Exercise Library in our Core Section alone.

Each guide comes with step-by-step instructions along with a host of additional information like benefits and important coaching tips.

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