This progression of bodyweight exercises will show you how to gradually build up to the 'hanging dragon flag', a more achievable variation of the human flag, and a neat feat of strength.
In the process, you will also learn the 'dragon flag', an easier variation popularized by Bruce Lee.
It will help you develop a tight core and work the muscles in your stomach (the rectus abdominis and the obliques) through a series of isometric exercises.
Start a whichever point of the progression is relevant to you. Over time, add a few seconds (or a few reps in the case of the dragon flag) until you can reach the maximum number indicated, then move on to the next exercise. Perform these exercises 3 times a week.
If you find yourself not progressing any longer, take a few rest days, then resume training.
Note: because both the dragon flag and the hanging dragon flag place quite a lot of stress on your triceps, hip flexors, and a variety of other stabilizing muscles, it is recommended you train for these in conjonction with these 6 other bodyweight progressions, particularly the dips, push ups, handstand push ups, and abs and core progressions
Step 1: Kneeling Plank
(build up to 1 min) – performed on your knees, with thighs and spine in line.
Step 2: Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) - keep a tight core, and make sure your head, spine, and legs remain in line.
Step 3: Side Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – performed with your arm at your side, or in the air.
Step 4: Leg Lift Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – from the plank position, lift a leg straight behind you.
Step 5: Arm and Leg Lift Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – from the plank position, lift a leg and the opposite arm straight behind you.
Step 6: Decline Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – feet on a bench, back straight.
Step 7: Decline and March Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – from the decline plank, fold a leg under you slowly, then return to starting position. Alternate both legs as if marching.
Step 8: Wall Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min) – feet flat against a wall.
Step 9: Wall March Plank
(start with 30s, then build up to 1 min).
Step 10: Dragon Flag
(3 sets of 1-8 reps) – lying flat on a bench, hold yourself in position with your hands around head height. Come up on your shoulders with a straight back, and lower yourself until your feet almost touch the bench, then return to starting position. Be careful to keep your weight on your shoulders, so as not to apply pressure on your neck and cervical vertebraes, and to keep your core tight.
This is the famous 'dragon flag', as popularized by Bruce Lee, and given its name because your body resembles a flag fluttering in the wind.
The dragon flag also places a lot of stress on your triceps and hip flexors. For this reason, it is recommended you train it in conjunction with these 6 other bodyweight progressions.
Step 11: Hanging Dragon Flag
(start with 5s, and build up to 20s+) – performed with one shoulder braced against a pole, and your hands holding just above your head. Hold the horizontal position for as long as you can.
This variation of Bruce Lee's dragon flag was popularized by El Diablo @ Fitness666. It is part of one of the 6 progressions that constitute the 666 bodyweight home workout.