Stall bars are a great way to build up your strength and flexibility, but you have to know how to use them properly before you actually manage to do so! Which is why we decided to dedicate a whole section for the use of wall bars, or Swedish ladders, however, you decide to call them.
Swedish ladder is widely used by fitness enthusiasts of all kinds, and they are even used for rehab. Stalls are a great tool for posture correction and body alignment improvement, so if you have spine issues you will gain a lot of benefits by using them!
The very first thing you can try out is front support. By doing front support on the stalls you effectively gain straight arm strength. This exercise is done by attempting to hold up your own body weight on your arms alone, and nothing else! This can be extremely difficult in the beginning though, and it’s likely that you will struggle. You can fix this by mixing up one of your legs as added support, so you can do it easily.
Then try to use as much strength of your arms as you can, and gradually decrease the amount of support from your leg, until you are left with nothing but your arm strength! This exercise alone will work on your elbow tendon strength, and of course on the size of your forearms and shoulders. This is a very tough exercise, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t manage to do it on your first try!
Then you have the even harder version of this exercise! The back support. It’s just the same as the front support, yet here you have your back against the stall, as opposed to having to face the Swedish ladders. Again, if this is a way to difficult for you, help yourself with one of your legs. You will find maintaining that position difficult, because of the lack of support. Do not give up! Experiment with different types of grip, either over or underhand, and you will figure out what works the best for you in no time.
The human flag is also one of the most popular exercises. If you always wanted to be a human flag, yet you had a lack of strength or a lack of room to practice this move, then this is just what you’re looking for. The rungs are usually quite comfy, and there’s no need to worry that you will lose your grip because of discomfort.
But you have to progress slowly and learn different techniques before you actually attempt to hold yourself up this way. You can progress by gradually turning your body sideways while maintaining your grip, and then try to lift your legs up, inch by inch. If you find you lack the strength to support your body, no matter how much you experiment with the grip, then you probably need to work on your overall strength and flexibility before you attempt to do the human flag. There are variations of this exercise as well – the tuck human flag and human flag jumps.
Your abs can also feel the burn when you use the stall bar. The difficulty is easily adjusted, and you won’t need to be a pro to attempt this.
A great exercise for beginners is the hanging knee raise. These build exceptional ab and core strength. You need to keep your back as close to the ladder as you can because this way you will work on your abs the most. And then just lift up your knees towards your chest, and slowly lower them. This is an easy exercise, and if you feel like this is too hard for you, then you need more reps of basic abdominal exercises, like the sit-up or crunch!
Then there’s the more advanced version of knee raises – hanging leg raises. Here you will attempt to lift up your legs all the way up while they are fully extended. You must remember to keep your legs straight! You can’t cheat when you do leg raises here – there’s no possibility of leaning, as the stall bar will have your back, and you will absolutely have to keep it straight, giving you a serious boost in ab strength and hip flexibility.
The most advanced ab workout is the dragon flag. With a name that cool it simply cannot be a beginner exercise! This exercise is a serious feat, and it will make your abs burn until they can burn no more. You begin by laying down on your mat, while you grab the second or third rung with your arms. Then you lift your whole body up (while keeping your head and shoulders on the ground) until it’s at a 45-degree angle, and hold it that way. The next step is to lift yourself up until you are parallel with the rungs, and then go down in the 45-degree angle again. You can cheat by tucking your knees, but if this is too hard for you as well, go back to the less advanced ab exercises, and attempt the dragon flag when you are completely sure you can do it!
And last but not least, tricep extensions. You can really isolate the triceps when you work on them by using it, so they will progress quite fast here, even if you only use your own bodyweight.
Start by grabbing the lower rungs, and set yourself at a 45-degree angle. Keep your core firm, and start with your arms straight and your elbows locked. Lower your body until your head meets your elbows, and then go back up, and that one rep! You can make this exercise harder or easier by moving your arms up and down the rungs.
As you can see, wall bars are a very versatile tool, and they will definitely keep you in shape and give you a challenging routine!