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Front Lever for Complete Back Development

Hi there,
Do you think that high volume front lever work on bar and rings (including full front lever holds, front lever raises, ice-cream makers, front lever pull-ups) done with different grip width is enough for a complete upper back and lats development.

Is there any possibility for it to overdevelop my lats in comparison with my middle back muscles? Take into account that I will use both retracted and protracted positions of the scapulae when working on the front lever. My concerns are primarily on the structural balance.

My upper body training consists of calisthenics only - handstand hold and HSPU, Planche work (insane biceps contractions here), Front and back lever work, deadhang muscle ups on bar and ab-wheel. I don’t do any push ups, pull-ups and dips anymore. My lower body training is more of a maintenance training - high rep KB lunges, gironda sissy squat (fav quad builder), KB swings and cleans.

I have been training for several years almost all body weight exercises, 170cm, 70kg (154lbs), low bf. I have been eating low carb high fat for about 2 years (poliquin style).

Thanks in advance and sry for bad English.


thats a cute pic.


I think it can really help back development, but in most cases it won’t be enough.

The front lever and the iron cross have certainly helped my back, especially my lats, but since I’ve added some more traditional back work back to my training (straight arm pulldowns, seated cable rows, both done with moderate weight, 8-12 for maximum pump, quite a bit away from failure) I’ve seen even more growth and found traditional back work to be much more effective in stimulating the muscles.

Traditional back work = good
Lever work = good, especially for those with poor mind-muscle connection
Traditional back work + lever work = awesome

HOWEVER if someone isn’t planning to put on a significant amount of muscle mass (lean 200 lbs plus), MAYBE ring work only might be sufficient. Yes, this is the bodybuilding forum, but we all know there are also people here with slightly different goals.


Ice cream makers?

I Scream

U Scream

We all scream

For yogurt

So you posted a pic of your front and then asked a question about your back?

I am new to the forum and I wanted to introduce myself. I’ll post some pictures of my back soon.

And back to my topic. Lats which are internal rotators are extremely involved in any front lever work, planche taxes serratus anterior (protractor) heavily, so maybe it will be a good idea to balance my back with some high rep weight/band training. Band Face-pull with external rotation is the first thing I can think of. However, FL with wide, almost snatch grip seems to recruit the middle back a lot (like the snatch grip deadlift).

The other thing is inverted rows on ring with retraction and 5 sec hold. But I think this one can be very taxing and mess up with my recovery. So any ideas of how to keep good structural balance of my back without taxing my nervous system with additional heavy weight training will be welcome.

Ring work is great for the lats but I do feel you need some other work to round out your training for complete back development. Especially for the upper back.

I think the band work is a good idea as well as the rows. I’ve done plenty of them (with the holds as well) and it didn’t mess with recovery.

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:

I think the band work is a good idea as well as the rows. I’ve done plenty of them (with the holds as well) and it didn’t mess with recovery.[/quote]

x2 (about bands).
I cut off db rowz (used for last 3 years)and replaced with high bands rows (gironda)and bands row,all in the 10/12 reps range,holding the pek,1’rest,multiple sets (added in sumo pulls,1x20 with moderate weight),well the pump is incredible and had some new grow…