Some time ago, I finally reached the full planche. After 1,5 years of consistent training, I finally managed to unlock it. A big achievement! As you can see, I also started with the tuck planche.
I must say the planche is one of the hardest skills in calisthenics, and in my opinion, also the coolest-looking move. The planche requires an insane amount of strength and training. Reaching the full planche will depend on your body type, but it will usually take up to 1,5-2 years of hard and consistent training before achieving it.
You cannot just jump into a planche and hope that you will get it one day. We need to work with progressions and build our way up. The tuck planche is the first progression. And for a lot of people already, a very hard challenge. In order to achieve the tuck planche, you need to understand a number of things. That is why I divided this post into a couple of subjects. In this post, we will discuss:
Before we dive into this tutorial, you should know there are some requirements before you start training for the tuck planche. I suggest you have at least some base strength.
I suggest having:
- A minimum of 5 seconds frog stand, frog stand will help you to improve your balance. this in order to perform a decent tuck planche
- You should be able to do at least 15-20 pushups. The pushup is mainly for your chest and triceps. But, they also will increase your core and shoulder strength. Both are required for the tuck planche.
- At last, you should also have a decent plank hold. Having good core strength is very important in the tuck planche. You should have at least a 1-minute plank hold.
If you can do these two exercises, you are qualified for the tuck planche training!
Understanding the Tuck Planche
Okay, so you have all the requirements let’s go on.
Before you go on, it is important to know what you are going into. The planche is a really hard exercise that takes time to learn. The move uses and puts a lot of stress on many muscles at the same time. So there are a couple of things you need to know.
Warming-up, the tuck planche puts a lot of stress on the wrists and shoulders. Without a proper warming-up, you can injure yourself for sure. I say this because I always trained for the planche without doing a warm-up. Eventually, I got myself a wrist injury.
It is also crucial to have the right form. Otherwise, you cannot call it a tuck planche. The correct technique looks something like this:
- Arm straight (elbows locked out)
- Right scapula position
- Elbow pits facing forwards
It is essential to focus on good form. It will make a more challenging variation easier. Fixing the wrong technique at a later progression is very difficult to do.
How many times you should train
With the tuck planche, consistency is key. The more you train it, the faster it will come. But, keep in mind that the planche is an insanely difficult skill. It requires a lot of strength. You do not want to overtrain it. Rest is crucial. Start with three times a week. You can slowly build your way up to 4 times a week. But again, having some rest is also really crucial. If you are feeling sore, take a day off.
Training for the planche can also be quite beneficial. Besides, the planche is one of the most impressive and cool looking skills out there. There are a lot of other advantages in your journey to learn the planche. You will have developed insane shoulder strength as well as core strength. You will improve your wrist flexibility and balance. All this will make training for other skills easier. A good example is the handstand.
Exercises and progressions
You are currently reading this article because you cannot perform a tuck planche yet. To learn it, we need to work with progressions just like achieving the full planche. Build your way slowly up, and eventually, you will be able to do the tuck planche. Try and hold every progression for at least 10-15 seconds. We start off really basic:
The first progression is the planche lean. This exercise is great for preparing the shoulders and wrist for the harder levels. As shown in the image, in this planche drill, the purpose is to lean forward. You need to protract and depress your scapula while leaning forward. You will feel your shoulders burn. It is really important to focus on the protraction and the depressing of the scapulas. Good form of the planche cannot be done without the right scapula position. Look at the picture for the correct technique.
One-legged tuck planche
It is one progression before the tuck planche. Really simple to do. You perform the tuck planche except, for the fact that that you place one leg just like you would place them in the frog stand position, as shown in the picture. This way, you can feel a bit what the movement is like, besides it will improve your balance. This progression is needed to hold a tuck planche.
The tuck planche
The last progression is, of course, the tuck planche. You should now try and hold it for a longer period of time. Try aiming for the 15 seconds mark, correct your form, and progress further. The right form is shown in the picture.
Exercises to Reach the Tuck Planche
Now we know the progressions. Here are some exercises that will get you to the tuck planche quickly. You can implement these in your workouts.
I already explained this exercise. But a planche lean is excellent for improving shoulder strength and improving wrist mobility.
If you want to increase your scapula strength, you can start doing scapula push-ups. In this exercise, you lift your scapula up and down. Scapula push-ups are also great as a warm-up exercise.
Pike push-ups are a progression to the handstand push-ups. A really good shoulder exercises. Great for building shoulder strength needed for the tuck planche
Tuck planche with bands
With a resistance band, you can make every exercise easier. You can also implement resistance bands to your planche workout. This way, you get to know the movement. To progress, you slowly decrease the strength of the resistance band, till eventually, you can do it without any.
This exercise is very straightforward. Great for improving shoulder strength and balance, both needed for the tuck planche. If you have trouble with a free-standing handstand, start withholding a handstand against the wall.
This exercise can be hard to perform, but it is one of the best ones out there. In this exercise, you need basically do a push-up, but you need to lean forward. It is like a planche lean but then combined with a push-up. The more you lean forward, the harder the exercises get. This exercise is great if you try to achieve the planche push-ups, and overall a great shoulder exercise.
Floor vs parallettes
When training for the planche, there are two different ways of training. You can exercise on the floor or using parallette bars. At the beginning of your journey, it will be easier to perform the tuck planche on parallettes. This has something to do with your wrists. Your wrists need time to handle the pressure that you will get from practicing in the ground. You can fix this by focussing on wrist mobility and a good warming-up. But, getting good wrist mobility takes time. You could also use wrist wraps. These will stabilize your wrist and will prevent injuries.
Learning the tuck planche on P-bars is also easier because you are in a higher position. This way, you do not have to lift your legs up as high as you would when practicing on the ground. It is great for when you have just begun with training for the tuck planche because you will not be able to lift your legs up as high when you just started.
I made a video to summarize the whole subject. Here I will cover everything in a quick video.