Back lever is a static hold move performed on the pull-up or more commonly on rings. It is rated as an excellent strength training gymnastics skill.

  • Bodyweight
  • Compound
  • Pull-up Bar

Besides looking awesome, the back lever comes with many benefits. It is a whole-body exercise with emphasis on the shoulder, back, and core. It also requires significant strength and flexibility in the shoulders and arms. Variations of this static hold exercise like front lever are widely done in the calisthenics and bodyweight movement to increase the strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Similar Exercises to Try

Equipment Required

Benefits of Back Lever

  • Besides strengthening the core, back lever targets both sides of the shoulder and enhance their strength and flexibility.
  • They will also improve your squat and deadlift.
  • Pulling strength gets significantly increased with back lever exercises, your chin and pull ups numbers will grow without doing one pull-up!
  • Back Levers are essential calisthenic strength movements, and working toward them provides incredible stimulation for total body strength.
  • They also provide the excellent wrist strength to perform advanced grip hold exercises.

Muscle Worked

Anterior (Front)

  • Abdominal External Oblique
  • Deltoid (Front & Back)
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Rectus Abdominis

Posterior (Back)

  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Trapezius
  • Triceps Brachii

How to Do a Back Lever

  1. Grab the bar with an overhand grip. Jump into a ball pulling yourself in a skin-the-cat (hanging using the rings and rotating the entire body through) manner.
  2. As a starting position, get your legs over to the other side of the bar.
  3. Straighten the whole body so that you are hanging almost completely upside down with your legs above the bar and your torso below.
  4. Now start to lower yourself carefully one inch at a time while pitching your chest forward. The key point is to get your body parallel to the floor with your hips directly under the bar.
  5. Remember to contract your lower back, abs, glutes, and hamstrings while performing this move. Your arms make only one small part of the equation.
  6. Return to original position and do 3-5 reps.