I put up a new post at Breaking Muscle on building up to the front lever with six workouts that will help you achieve this move.
How to Build Up to the Front Lever
If you want strong lats and phenomenal core strength, then the front lever is an exercise for you. More than likely, if you can do a front lever you’ll have a great six-pack. This isn’t just because you’ll have strong abs, but the less bodyweight you have the easier this will be.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen an overweight person pull off this move! (Though it’s certainly not an impossibility.) But it’s not just how much you weigh, but how tall you are that plays into the difficulty of this movement. As a leverage exercise, one additional inch in height adds many foot-pounds of pressure that you must resist. Personally, at 6’2” and 185lbs, I’m not the standard gymnast size. But that’s no excuse for not being able to achieve this move if you’re willing to put in the work.
The front lever is somewhere around two to three times more difficult than the back lever, at least in my experience. It’s not just about holding your body out parallel to the ground, but also about using your lats to lock yourself into place. In the front lever the lats are at a much more disadvantageous position than in the back lever, making it significantly harder.
This is one of my favorite bodyweight exercises to progress to, and trying to train it with a weight vest adds a very interesting but difficult element to the exercise.