What is the Dragon Flag?
The Dragon Flag is a popular core exercise among the calisthenics community. Both Bruce Lee and Sylvester Stallone were known advocates for this advanced exercise.
The Dragon Flag is an advanced core exercise that will work your whole body. It's essential that you master the Hollow Body Hold before moving on the Dragon Flag.
While this is primarily a core exercise, engaging your body in the correct position will ensure you work your glutes and hip flexors. You will need to hold on to a stable surface when performing the Dragon Flag. Doing so adds an element of isometric resistance for your triceps and shoulders.
For those that struggle with the concentric (lifting) phase of the exercise, you can perform the negative. You can also explore different leg positions, like the tuck and the straddle.
The Dragon Flag is an exercise that has crossover to other, more advanced calisthenics skills, like the Back Lever.
Note: The Dragon Flag and the Candlestick are exercise names that are interchangeable.
Dragon Flag demonstration
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How to perform the Dragon Flag
Begin by lying on a bench, or on the floor (preferably on a mat). Grab a stable and sturdy object behind your head with your hands. Engage your whole body into the Hollow Body position.
Engage your legs, and pull your hips upward. As you bring your legs higher, pull your torso so your body's weight rests on your shoulder.
As your body reaches vertical, ensure only your shoulders are in contact with the ground, and that the rest of your body remains in a straight line.
Lower your body back down, without curving your back. Aim for your heels to touch the floor first.