The back (rear) lever is a popular isometric hold in calisthenics and street workout. It’s primarily a back and shoulder exercise which is much easier than the front lever but nevertheless requires a lot of discipline and hard work. Below are what I consider the five most important progressions for learning the back lever.
BACK LEVER PREREQUISITES
push ups, pull ups, dips, skin the cat
BACK LEVER PROGRESSIONS
HOW TO TRAIN FOR BACK LEVER
Before you begin training for the back lever, make sure you can comfortably do pull ups, tricep dips and skin the cat. Once you meet the prerequisites, start working on the static hold progressions suggested above. Ideally, you should hold each progression for 10 to 15 seconds. If you get stuck with a progression, focus on descending down to straddle or full back lever from inverted support position in a slow and controlled way as shown in the video tutorial at the bottom of the article. Don’t worry if your body doesn’t become parallel with the ground, perform this exercise for at least 3 months. It helped me a lot. In the beginning, you may also feel that your chest gets so tight that you struggle to breathe properly. That’s normal and won’t ever happen once your shoulders and back muscles get strong enough to perform a full rear lever for 10 to 15 seconds.
BACK LEVER FORM TIPS
Look at the ground, retract shoulder blades, grip tightly, engage the core, squeeze the glutes, press legs together, lock knees out, point the toes, body parallel to the ground, hips align with the shoulders.