Back Lever with Resistance Bands

At a Glance

Exercise Muscle

Back, Core, Shoulders

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The back lever not only looks cool but has many associated benefits; It’s a full body exercise that builds strength across your arms, back, core and shoulders. The back lever is a highly attainable exercise that is often described as a stepping stone for the front lever. Leave no doubt that a correct back lever requires a strong foundation and an understanding of bodyweight training fundamentals and shoulder stability.

Exercise resistance bands are a valuable bodyweight training tool for back levers as they allow for natural progressions in strength and training variability. You can combine exercise bands to offer more assistance when needed, such as when your muscles begin to fatigue. Alternatively, you can use a lighter bands as your strength increases and you need less assistance.

  • Drape the exercise band over the center of the bar so there are two ends hanging down or grasp either end in in each hand if you are using rings.
  • Grasp the pull-up bar [or rings] and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Pull your knees all the way up and pass them through the band in the space between your head and the bar as you ‘skin the cat’.
  • Carefully extend your legs backward as you keep your upper body muscles engaged. You should be parallel to the ground in the end position.
  • Instead of dropping off the bar when tired, try and bring your legs through the bands in the reverse direction to return to starting position.


  1. Place the exercise band ends together just below your knees for maximum support.
  2. Maintain a ‘hollow body’ by keeping your lats, shoulders, chest arms, core engaged with glutes and legs all clinched tightly.
  3. Make sure your shoulders are warmed up in advance to protect your rotator cuffs.
  4. Try and use a slow and controlled dismount instead of dropping off the bar to avoid injury.
  5. Step one foot out of the exercise band and then hold the band with both hands while taking the other foot out to avoid snapping back.

Target Muscles: Primary Muscle: Abdominals (primary) - Deltoids, Back, Chest (secondary)

Recommended Bands: Medium Resistance Band (minimal assistance), Heavy Resistance Band (medium assistance), Robust Resistance Band (maximum assistance)

Force: Static isometric pull

Position: Prone

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