I'm wondering how one can progess into an iron cross. My shoulders are strong enough for stuff like handstands, muscle-ups and human flag, but this movement is very different.

I'm wondering what kind of movements I should do to strengthen the muscles I need to hold myself up like this.

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1 Answer 1


Overcoming Gravity recommends the following progression:

  1. Rings Strap Handstand Pushups
  2. L-sit / Straddle-L Straight-Arm Press Handstands
  3. Full Back Level (With Supinated Hands)
  4. 1/2 Layout / 1 Leg Extended Front Lever
  5. Rings Advanced Tuck Planche
  6. Rings Dips (Deep & With Rings Turned Out to 75 Degrees Past Parallel)

For the actual movement itself, if you can't quite hold it yet, Dr. Low recommends training with either a partner to hold your legs, or with elastic bands such as Therabands pushing against your feet. In either case, the load should be managed so that you're exhibiting maximal effort to hold yourself aloft in the cross position.

  • Thanks for the answer, but it isn't really what I'm looking for. Most of these exercises I can already do, yet I seem to have a hard time even doing assisted iron cross (when my partner holds my legs). With a planche for example, you could say first you do frog stance > tuck planche > stradle planche > full planche. That's the kind of plan I'm hoping to find for iron cross :)
    – MJB
    Aug 16, 2017 at 5:41

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