Back Lever Anatomy: Back Lever is a stronghold, you would have seen a gymnast performing. It is a basic gymnastics strength hold and a good starting point for beginners in gymnastics. Back Lever forms the basis of more advanced gymnastic moves such as Planche.
Back Lever is performed on a horizontal bar by extending the arms backward, holding the bar and lifting the body parallel to the ground and the performer being faced towards the floor.
Back Lever, despite being rated an ‘A’ value skill on the Code of Point (a scale from A to F with A being the easiest), requires a high degree of upper body strength for making the body stay horizontal. Performing it without strength in the respective muscles can cause serious shoulder injury.
This article will enable you to know all about the muscles involved in executing a Back Lever. So, let’s start the anatomy behind the Back Hold.
Recommended: Front Lever
Back Lever Anatomy: Upper Body Muscles Contracting
During the Back Lever, you need your fingers to provide you maximum grip force so that you can hold to the horizontal bar. Finger Flexors help in forming that grip around the bar. The stronger these muscle are, the better will be the grip.
The action of Wrist Flexors is to flex the hand at the wrist joint. They will act to lift the upper body a little towards the bar.
Biceps will be one of the major muscles required to resist gravity and hold the body at that horizontal position. Its strength will be a limiting factor in Back Lever execution.
The brachialis is also a flexor of the elbow just like Biceps and it will perform the same function as the Biceps and that is to defy gravity and hold the body in position.
Another flexor of the elbow. Working with the other two elbow flexors, it will help the body to stay parallel to the ground.
Anterior fibers of the Deltoid flex the arm at the shoulder joint. So, during the Back Lever, it will also resist gravity by pulling the body towards the extended arms.
Pectoralis Major is an extensor of the arm and just like the Anterior Deltoid, it will help in lifting the body against gravity and holding it.
Its major function here is to protract and stabilize the scapula as the whole-body weight is being transmitted on it.
Serratus Anterior also protracts the scapula and will also be a resisting factor for the gravity. Thus, its strength is also very important.
To make sure the whole body remains in line, the Cervical Extensors will play their role by extending the neck up against the gravity.
Spinal Extensors Back Lever Anatomy :
Spinal Extensors will be very important as it will be pulling trunk, defying gravity by extending the spine. Without their strength, the body can’t stay straight.
Gluteus Maximus Back Lever Anatomy :
Gluteus Maximus is the extensor of the hip. So, it will be also work against the line of gravity in lifting the legs up so that they can be in line with the rest of the body.
Hamstrings Back Lever Anatomy :
Hamstrings are the prime extensors of the thighs at the hip joint. Thus, working with the Gluteus Maximus, they will also lift up the legs and hold them parallel to the ground.
Calf Muscles Back Lever Anatomy :
Calf Muscles are the plantar flexors of the foot. They also flex the knee. By doing both these actions, they bring the lower leg in line with the rest of the body and resist the pull of gravity like other muscles involved in the Back Lever.