Levers are king in the world of men’s gymnastics. Athletes spend years refining their technique and bolstering the strength of their upper bodies to inhuman levels to perform feats of strength that appear to completely defy the laws of gravity.

Pound for pound gymnasts are the strongest athletes in the world with the ability to leverage their own body weight with completely straight arms. These skills are referred to as levers for that reason. Levers are not mere feats of strength but of skill, balance, control and dedication as well. Training to develop levers develops abilities and skills you will never come even close to with any other type of training. The isometric nature of levers means that training this way puts strain on your tendons and in turn strengthens them to unheard of levels. They also build immense amounts of strength in the torso musculature. And these are just a few from tons of benefits. I strongly encourage you to explore what levers can do for you and build strength you never thought of

What makes all this training worth it?

Why are levers such a key ability in the gymnast’s skill set?

How can a calisthenics athlete or even an average person benefit from straight arm strength training?

Let’s take a look.

levers

Back levers

Source: Gymnasticswod

1. Builds a bulletproof rotator cuff

Leveraging your body with straight arms utilizes the shoulder muscles to a large degree. Your body will recruit the smaller stabilizing muscles in the shoulder girdle in order to keep the scapula in the proper position to facilitate the movement. Any bending of the arms in a lever movement will transfer some portion of the load to the upper arm muscles therefore decreasing the work the shoulders are required to perform. This kind of strength training will transform your shoulders into a solid rack upon which weight can safely be borne, whether it be internal or external.

2. Strengthens the back and core, enhancing midline stability

You will build exceptional strength in the back muscles such as the lats, rhomboids and spinal erectors, as well as in your abdomen. All of these muscles working together support your spine and maintain posture. This effect has a tremendous carryover to different athletic endeavors such as weightlifting when you perform a squat, because your entire torso functions collectively as a solid foundation rather than twisting and collapsing under pressure.

3. Enhances control and awareness during upper body movements

Training to master the various lever skills requires that you pay close attention to body position in space. All of the pieces of your body must be working in unison and must be coordinated by your mind as such. This is a meditative practice as much as it is a physical one. Focus must be entirely set on performing the movement to the best of your ability. Only through practice with body awareness will you become the strongest you can be.

BONUS

That’s all pretty incredible when you think about it.

But there is a lot more to it like SKILL TRANSFER like in this guy

Today, I decided to do some muscleups for a change of pace and was amazed at how easy they were, in spite of the fact that I haven’t done any in months. What really surprised me was how smooth and slowly I was able to do them. In the past, I would have to put some explosiveness into them to get thru the transition, while today I was able to pull up and thru the transition with far less effort than before. A nice, unexpected carryover !

Now that you know all the benefits, its time  to get training.

Check out these FRONT LEVER Resources:

7 Days Front Lever Killer Workout,

Front Lever Progression

[FREE 7 WEEKS-LEVER TRAINING VIDEO COURSE ] (SIGNUP its coming soon)

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Alex Dutchak is a fitness trainer and athlete currently based out of Fairfax, Virginia. Since finding his passion in fitness, Alex has experimented with gymnastics, distance running, olympic weightlifting, cycling, rock climbing, crossfit, kettlebell training and much more. He will begin his college career at VCU in Richmond in August, 2015 in the pursuit of an exercise science degree. He is certified for personal fitness training by NASM and has a Progressive Calisthenics Certification.

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