For a legendary set of abs, check out this killer move named after the most powerful of mythic beasts, the dragon. It’s called the dragon flag. After you try the workout, you might not be breathing flames — but your core will definitely feel like it’s on fire.
Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., uses dragon flags to challenge his midsection and shake up his ab work on his less regimented workout days. You can use the move to play a tough game with yourself, which Samuel calls “20 ticks of dragon flag hell.”
“This one is totally just for fun,” says Samuel, “although it will fry your core pretty effectively.”
To play the dragon flag game, all you need is a sturdy weight bench to support your frame.
Get in dragon flag position by following these steps:
- Laying with your back flat on the bench.
- Reach your hands behind your head to support yourself, then lift your legs and lower back straight up.
- Keep your shoulders down on the bench and creating a straight line with your body, from the base of your neck to your toes.
- Squeeze your abs to keep your posture in line.
That’s just the start of the fun. You’ll need to do more than just hold your position for the game. To play, get in dragon position, then get ready for flutter kicks:
- Perform 1 controlled flutter kick, then a 1-second dragon flag hold.
- Perform 2 controlled flutter kicks, then a 2-second hold.
- Perform 3 controlled flutter kicks, then a 3-second hold.
- Continue ascending the ladder until you can’t hold the position anymore.
We might be calling this workout a game, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. “This KOs me around 4 or 5 on the count-up,” Samuel admits. “It’s trickier than it looks too; you’ll face a big challenge resetting your dragon flag coming off those flutters every time.”
Try 3 sets of the game until failure at the end of your workout — if you dare to face the dragon.
By Brett Williams