The Ultimate Guide to Achieving the Perfect Human Flag – Calisthenic

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

The human flag is an iconic move in calisthenics, created and perfected by calisthenics practitioners.

A similar move has been found in pole dancing, however the variations are fairly distinct and it’s likely that calisthenics was the first to hone and popularize this impressive isometric strength hold.

In calisthenics, the human flag can be performed using a straight pole or a fitness ladder the latter of which being much easier as there is no risk of rotation.

The human flag is one of the toughest tests of upper body and core strength. Only dedicated men and women in sports like calisthenics, gymnastics, and pole dancing can do it.

how to do a human flag

What is the human flag?

The human flag is an impressive, yet deceptively difficult calisthenics move. It requires considerable strength and balance to successfully pull off, as the body must be held parallel to the ground while supported solely by the arms.

The legs are straight and locked out with toes pointed back towards the head, while the upper arm pulls hard and the lower arm pushes.

The human flag is a kind of calisthenics that is different from other acrobatic moves because it involves both pushing and pulling at the same time.

Simply put, anyone who is serious about bodyweight exercises will need to master this skill if they want to be the best they can be physically.

Requirements to perform The human flag

While calisthenics can offer an effective workout, it is important to begin with a strong foundation that includes mastering the fundamentals.

Those who neglect this stage and make the mistake of jumping into advanced training, such as the flag, can experience lower levels of efficiency, safety, enjoyment and may even be subjecting themselves to increased risk of injury.

By laying a strong groundwork first, those new to calisthenics can experience faster growth in strength, muscles, endurance and mobility while developing the skills required for more challenging exercises.

This method is much more effective and can help make sure that your path to becoming a calisthenics expert is both safe and fun.


The human flag is an impressive and difficult stunt that requires immense strength, balance and stability. Having strong core muscles is the most important thing you can do to get better at the human flag variation.

A powerful core not only provides you with the stability to hold yourself up but also allows for greater ease in the upper torso movements associated with executing it.

It’s a fundamental necessity to build solid chest, shoulder, core, arms and back muscles in order to support your own body weight during this stunt.

With these muscles well-trained, you can do well as you move through your training sequence and do exercises that get harder and harder.


Learning the correct motions and form when holding a flag position can be an intimidating task for beginners. It’s important to remember that mastering any of the complex motions starts with learning the basics.

Breaking down the movements into simpler components and training them separately is a great way to build a solid foundation.

Focus on getting each small step right, then slowly link them together until you’ve mastered using the right amount of push and pull forces to keep the shoulder joint stable.

This will not only help you get better at what you do, but it will also get you ready for more complicated technical issues in the future.

Mobility & Flexibility

Maintaining proper mobility and flexibility is key for successful strength-based movement.

For better performance in the flag position, you need to do overhead shoulder dislocates and other shoulder mobility drills to get strong shoulder mobility. You also need to take the time to build up lat mobility.

Additionally, having mobile hips to flexibly support the lower body in that same position is a great way to ensure that you will be secure in wherever you go with your flag work.

Mobility and flexibility are significant aids in building strength and dexterity, giving yourself an edge and improving your strength-based movement.

Human Flag Progression

The “human flag” exercise is an innovative take on bodyweight training which has been inspired by the popularity of free-running and parkour street Training.

This exercise requires a great amount of core strength, so prior preparation with core exercises is recommended. Also, this progression has both pushing and pulling movements in the arms, which means that you need to have great muscle coordination to do this exercise well.

As such, it is essential to familiarize oneself with how best to approach the human flag to gain the most beneficial effects from this exercise.

Step by Step way to do the perfect human flag

The human flag is one of the most impressive feats of strength and stamina. It requires great upper body strength, as well as core stability and endurance.

While it may look impossible at first, with some practice, anyone can learn how to do the perfect human flag.

Here is a step by step guide:

1. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. Reach up and grab a firm hold on a vertical pole or bar.

2. Bend your knees and lower your body down into a squatting position. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the move.

3. From the squatting position, extend your legs out in front of you and prop yourself up on your toes. Keep your grip on the pole or bar firmly as you begin to inch your way forward.

4. Once you are in a horizontal position, keep your body straight and begin to raise your legs up towards the sky. Remember to keep breathing throughout the move and maintain a strong grip on the bar or pole.

5. Hold the human flag position for as long as you can before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat the move several times to build up strength and endurance.

Human Flag tips for beginners

Practicing the flag with bent legs will help you get the strength and skill you need to eventually do a full flag, but it can still be hard to stay balanced in this position.

If attempting the bent leg flag is too difficult at your current level, make sure you are training consistently although keep sessions short so as not to tire yourself out too much.

Several key exercises should be incorporated into your training routine such as pull-ups, handstands, and handstand push-ups that focus on shoulder shrugs and extensions.

Dedication and regular practice are paramount in achieving success with this advanced hold.

The Top 10 Calisthenics Exercises for a Total Body Workout

Previous Post

The Top 10 Calisthenics Exercises for a Total Body Workout

Next Post

The best home workout for abs: calisthenics

The best home workout for abs: calisthenics