T Nation

Dragon Flags?

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with this exericse, it’s when your back is on a bench (upper back) and you hold yourself with your hands beside your head. At that point you lower your legs and then back up again (with just your upper back on the bench), it’s a pretty tough exericise, also called “beg for mercy lowering”

Anyways my question is I’ve started doing them and did 3 sets of 8, I went for a 4th set and my upper abs really seem to get strained hardcore, I can still do it, it’s just a lot of strain I was just wondering if this is unsafe and could lead to an injury? Tearing ab muscle, hernia? something? Thanks

[quote]dl- wrote:
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with this exericse, it’s when your back is on a bench (upper back) and you hold yourself with your hands beside your head. At that point you lower your legs and then back up again (with just your upper back on the bench), it’s a pretty tough exericise, also called “beg for mercy lowering”

Anyways my question is I’ve started doing them and did 3 sets of 8, I went for a 4th set and my upper abs really seem to get strained hardcore, I can still do it, it’s just a lot of strain I was just wondering if this is unsafe and could lead to an injury? Tearing ab muscle, hernia? something? Thanks[/quote]

Dragon flags are extremely tough to do with proper form. I do them twice a week. Right now I get about 3-5 reps for a few sets but I focus on form, keeping my legs straight as hell throughout and going as low as possible. Go to youtube and put in drag flags in quotes and you’ll see.

Work on your form. Form first, reps later. And take it easy, if you’re just starting out.

you shouldn’t worry aobut tearing something, especiall shouldn’t worrya bout a hernia in the upper ab area (hernias are typcially in the lower abs and groin, our lower ab wall is very thin and weak, a fatal falw in our ‘design’)

but yewah, if you are resting between your training days, as in not training your abs every day, you should be fine, the abs need to recover like any other muscle. when i put dragon flags in my training rotation they are done once or twice a week for a month (weighted ab exercise on max effort upper body days and circuit style ab training on DE/RE days)

Sure, you can hurt your abs like any other muscles. They’re tough, but not invincible. What sucks that is if you injure them, just about EVERY movement hurts - including taking a bowel movement. Rest them a bit.

ohh alright, yeah I train my core a lot! very hard, i do a variety of things, leg lifts with high reps, the wheel i get a few reps standing, dragon flags, ive started doing one arm deads, heavy side bends. I think I’ll stick to doing dragon flags once a week on my bench days and keep the other stuff (oblique work) I also do rotational work on bench days too. But yeah maybe I’m workin them too much. Thanks.