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If you missed my last post breaking down the anatomy and strength requirements of the half flag – scurry back over there and check it out! The suggestions in this post will make a lot more sense if you understand the logic behind my exercise selections!

>>Click here to read the flag anatomy breakdown: How to human flag, pole dance style!<<

Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the version of the human flag we’re working towards with these exercises.

Human flag pole dance

Some call it the ‘half flag’ because the ‘flag grip’ used here isn’t the full version (with both arms straight and only the hands gripping the pole). It probably has a million other names, because… pole.

If you read my last post, you’ll know how crucial core strength is for the flag, and in particular, isometric strength in our lateral spinal flexors. That’s why I’ve focused on this area in my exercise selections below.

Prepare to laugh in the face of gravity. Pah!

Exercise #1: Side plank with hip abduction

I couldn’t in all good conscience write a post about lateral core strength without including a side plank variation. I’ve chosen this one with the top leg lift because as well as working that isometric lateral flexion resistance in the side plank position, adding in that leg lift not only makes this a lot more challenging in general, but it also adds some hip abductor work for the top leg, making it hella flagtastic.

Exercise #2: Half kneeling rotation with lateral resistance

Any exercises that focus on creating, controlling and resisting spinal rotation and lateral resistance are gonna be useful for your flag mission. There are SO MANY to choose from – and if you’ve got access to a cable machine, you’ll be spoilt for choice! I’ve picked this one to share with you, because it can be done using only a resistance band and a weight.

Exercise #3 Unilateral weighted carry

If you’ve got access to some nice heavy kettlebells or dumbbells, one-sided carries are a great way to train lateral flexion resistance. Bonus points on this one for hip stability, shoulder stability, grip strength annnd of course being able to get all your shopping in from the car in one go! Seriously, who’s making two trips?

While this exercise should be heavy to get the most out of it, as always with lifting: start lighter and build up to it gradually!

Happy human flagging!

Working on the core strength and stability demands of the flag OFF the pole with these kinds of exercises can really help speed-up your progress, alongside your skill work progressions on the pole!

Wanna know more about how to programme these kinds of exercises to build strength for pole? Check out my book, Strength and Conditioning for Pole – available now in paper copy or digital download!

Let’s get stronnnng for pole!

Content on this website is provided for educational/informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should consult your Doctor or Health Care Professional before doing any exercises or fitness programs to determine if they are right for your needs.


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