How to do tuck front lever | form & progressions

Tuck front lever is a fundamental exercise for learning front lever. It will Build necessary strength and teach you proper body position – especially shoulders and scapula.

In this article, you will learn what a tuck front lever is, how to perform it, proper form, and progressions

What is the tuck front lever?

Tuck front lever is a static calisthenics skill. It’s a progression toward the front lever.

The tuck front lever consists of holding a horizontal facing upwards position, parallel to the ground while hanging on the bar. Your body should be squeezed like a ball – get your knees to your chest and heels to your buttocks as close as possible.

Tuck front lever form cues

Scapula position

The most important aspect of the front lever form is the scapula position. We need to retract the scapula – draw the shoulder blades down and together. Imagine that there’s a coin between your midback, and try to squeeze it as tight as possible.

Straight arms

While bending your arms you unnecessarily involve your biceps and triceps to work, while the movement should rely on the work of your back and core.

Bend the bar

Press on the bar as if you want to bend it. This way you generate more power from your shoulders.

Muscles worked during the tuck front lever

Tuck front lever works most of the muscles in our body.

The primary muscles worked in the tuck front lever are:

  1. latissimus dorsi
  2. deltoids
  3. pectoralis major and minor
  4. core muscles

Additional secondary muscles worked include:

  1. biceps brachii
  2. teres minor
  3. rhomboids
  4. forearms

How to perform tuck front lever

  1. Grab the pull up bar with a shoulders width grip
  2. Retract your scapula
  3. Get your knees to your chest and heels to your buttocks as close as possible
  4. Raise your body to a horizontal facing upwards position, parallel to the ground
  5. Hold that position as long as you can
  6. Slowly lower yourself down


3 progression to help you master the tuck front lever.

Scapular pull ups

The scapula position is a key element of the front lever. Scapular pull ups will build strength and awareness in the proper scapula position.

Start from a dead hang and by retracting the scapula lift your chest as high as you can. Learn more about scapular pull ups in this article.

Active l-sit hang

Active l-sit hang is a great exercise to combine core and scapula work. It works the main muscles for the tuck front lever.

Hold an l-sit position with a retracted scapula

Band assisted tuck front lever

Training with band assistance is great because the movement is identical to that of a real tuck front lever hold, but it requires significantly less strength.

Attach the band to the bar and in the tuck front lever position, keep it at the bum or feet.

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