“If there’s a clear and evident way to show you have complete control of your body from head to toe, the human flag is it,” says Arlen Guerrero, area PT manager in South Florida. “You can say that you’re defying gravity. It’s also the ultimate progression of that side plank you’ve been doing for years." Here, how to build up to it, per Guerrero:
1. To cultivate the prerequisite upper-body strength for the move, try this: Start standing on a low box, then inch worm out to a high plank position, push up, then reverse to return to start. Do 5 sets of 20 seconds.
2. When you’re in a side plank on your hand, scoot your hand up (towards the top of your head) a few inches to the side to mimic the way you would be holding the fixed object in the human flag. Practice doing 5 sets of 45-second holds.
3. Work on grip strength and total-body control by hanging with one arm from a pull-up bar with your legs stacked to one side of your body (squeeze those obliques). You’re essentially mimicking what you would be feeling horizontally in a human flag—but vertically. Do 3 to 4 sets of 5-second holds on each side.
This recipe comes from Hancock St., a new neighborhood restaurant in New York’s West Village. Featuring rainbow carrots, a bright curry oil and earthy tahini sauce, it makes an elevated side for burgers and fish skewers and doesn’t take up grill space.
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