You CAN Human Flag. Here’s How.

This complete human flag workout with calisthenics beginner to advanced progressions will help you build the strength needed to achieve a human flag.

How to Train for the Human Flag

If you want to get good at human flags, do this workout 2x per week, along with performing the activation drills 3x per week. Doing so will increase your core strength and scapular control, which will benefit you in all other calisthenics skills like handstand push-ups and muscle-ups.

Self-Taught Calisthenics Girl

Welcome, my name is Summerfunfitness. I am a self-taught calisthenics woman with no gymnastics background. When I started calisthenics, I couldn’t even do one pull-up.

Now, I’m on a mission to help other adults learn how to easily incorporate calisthenics so they can be fit and mobile regardless of their ability to access a gym.

Focus on the Basics

80% of my training is focused on improving my fundamental calisthenics strength such as core control, scapular mobility/stability, dips, pull-ups, push-ups and squats. This training style has allowed me to maintain a decent human flag without directly training for it.

Working on the basics will tremendously improve your human flag skills (and all calisthenics skills).

How to Train for the Human Flag without a Pole

To improve your human flag without directly working on it (say you don’t have access to a pole or a ladder), focus on training your shoulder mobility, core control and straight arm pushing/pulling strength.

Swap between the following activation drills and my muscle-up warm-up routine at least 5 days per week.

Complete Human Flag Workout

summerfunfitness human flag on bars

Part 1: Human Flag Activation Drills

If time allows, I recommend starting with 5-10 minutes of cardio to elevate your body temperature and get you focused on the workout.

1. Scap Push Ups, 12 reps

scap push ups

2. Hollow Body Rocks, 12 reps x 2 sets

hollow body rocks

3. Arch Body Rocks, 12 reps x 2 sets

arch body rocks

4. Arch to Hollow Lifts, Omit if Beginner, 8 reps

arch to hollow lifts

5. Arch to Hollow Body Rolls, Return to stomach for 10 reps

arch to hollow lifts

6. Scap Pulls, 12 reps
7. Hanging Scap Rotations, 8 reps

arch to hollow lifts

8. Scap Shrugs, 12 reps

scap shrugs

9. Flag Plank, 90 sec total, in as few sets as possible

flag plank

Part 2: Human Flag Strength Training

Exercise 1.
Upright Flag Push Outs with Rotation
6 reps, 60 seconds rest, 4 sets

flag plank

Intermediate Modification:
Upright Flag Push Outs

6 reps, 60 seconds rest, 4 sets

flag plank

Beginner Modification:
Upright Flag Hold
6 sets of 30 seconds, 90sec of rest

flag plank

Exercise 2.
Vertical Flag Holds
Find a stable position, then hold for 10-20 seconds, 4 sets, 90 sec rest

flag plank

How to Get into a Human Flag 

Advanced: Lift into it from an upright flag hold
Intermediate: Kick into it
Beginner: Climb into it, then lower slowly to build up strength

scap push ups

Exercise 3.
Human Flag Holds

Choose the hardest leg variation you can perform for the first few sets. As you get tired, regress to an easier variation. Example: Full flag to straddle flag or straddle to tuck

Omit if beginner.8 holds (both sides), aim for 5-8 seconds, rest 2 minutes

flag plank
flag plank

Exercise 4.
Slow Negatives
Aim for 10 seconds; if you can’t make the full 10 seconds moving, then hold at the bottom position for the remainder of the time. 5 sets, rest as needed (at least 90 seconds)

flag plank

Part 3: Core Workout for Human Flags

Part 4: Cool Down

Cool Down: Stretch out your upper body for at least 10 minutes.

flag plank
flag plank
Gymnastics Shoulder Stretch

I must say that filming this video was quite fun (albeit painful). It showed me that I have some significant imbalances from side to side. Going into the future, I will incorporate this human flag workout weekly to fix the imbalances between my right and left sides. 

Now that you have the tools to learn how to human flag, it’s time to get started. Schedule in this workout 2x per week for the next 5 weeks. You got this! Don’t forget to download the workout for easy reference. I can’t wait to see your progress!

Would you like to see a broken-down explanation of how to complete these drills? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll make a follow-up tutorial. In the meantime, check out Fitness Faq’s How to Human Flag video.