In part I of this series of articles we explained how to work towards mastering the planche. There are several exercises you need to learn and be able to perform before you can master the planche. And these also prevent injury. In this second part we will continue towards the planche. Please make sure to follow the steps in our previous article before you continue.
What is the Planche
Just as a reminder. Mastering the planche menas being able to hold your body still above the ground and parallel to it. You support your body with hands on the ground or on paralletes. From your shoulders to your feet you’ll contract and hold your body still like a plank. It is the ultimate version of a regular plank hold.
Technique to Master the Planche
Before you can master the planche it is good to know the following exercises. Pseudo push-up, pseudo planche lean, frog stand, tuck planche stand, advanced tuck planche and straddle tuck planche. All these were discussed in part I of this series. We now continue with the next steps.
Step 4: Advanced Tuck Planche and Tuck Swing
Next is the advanced tuck planche. It can be tricky in the beginning. If it is too difficult at first you can put your knees against your elbows until you don’t need that support anymore. Or you can use a resistance band. Slowly extend your pelvis/hips until you are fully in position. You need to learn how to get into this position and learn to keep your balance. If you feel any weak points make sure to train them separately. And keep your form correct.
This is a big compound exercise so different body parts need to work together. Do not get frustrated if it is too hard at first. You can perform it against a wall first to increase your strength. And after some time do it without support to increase balance. This will really help you master the planche.
Tuck swings come in handy as well since you bring your position from the tuck planche to advanced tuck planche. This makes it more dynamic. Plus, it is a great strength exercise. Once you are able to do an advanced tuck planche on your own you can increase the time you can hold the position. Set a goal for 3 times 45 seconds for the advanced tuck planche and 3 times 10 reps for the tuck swing.
Step 5: One Leg Planche
Keep practicing and improving the previous exercises. Try out this next one with a resistance band. As you stand in the advanced position with the band around your ankles, stretch 1 leg in the band and keep the other in advanced position. If you can hold this position you can do the same with the tuck swing. We recommend performing both. The static position hold is more focused on the planche itself. And the dynamic one trains your muscles and balance more.
Another good practice is to have a planche lean form. Put one leg on a bench or high block and keep the rest of your body in advanced position. So a part of your weight is supported on your foot. By practicing you can put more weight on your hands. Do this for both legs.
At a certain point you won’t be needing the bands or support anymore. Of course, that requires more of your core stability. Increase the seconds you can hold one leg planche for both sides and make sure you contract your abdomen all the time. You can also do a dynamic variant by slowly switching left and right. So, now you are already 1 leg into the actual planche. You will master it before you know it! Set a goal for the static one leg planche of 3 times 15-20 seconds.
Additional Tips to Master the Planche
If your wrists can’t handle the pressure try it with two low paralletes. That way, your hand position will be different and it can reduce the pressure. It is also an option for step 6. Additionally, you can use two resistance bands of the same strength and put both legs in a different band. Then you can stretch them one at a time and switch.
Step 6: Straddled Planche
Now you are almost there. Just one more step to master the planche. Straddled just means with your legs wide. This position is slightly lighter as the planche itself but still difficult. After you completed step 5, you will need the resistance bands again. You can use one or two. See what fits for you. Now try to stretch both legs at a time when you’re in a advanced tuck planche position. If this is too difficult you can stop midway through. When you stretch your legs abduct them as well to make it to keep your balance. Just like in step 5 this can also be practiced with a bench and as you progress put more weight on your arms. Set a goal of 3 times 10 seconds.
Step 7: Master the Planche
Once you complete step 6, you are ready for the actual planche. The only difference is that your legs are closed. You could also try to go from advanced tuck planche position straight towards this position and maybe hold it for a couple of seconds. Use resistance bands if you need them. If your balance is out of control try with your feet tapping a wall. Keep at it and no doubt you will learn how to master the planche! Set a goal of 3 times 5 seconds. Remember, the world record is 18 seconds.
After You Master the Planche
If you can perform it on the floor, you could practice it with paralletes or on dip bars. The higher you go the higher the thrill, of course. There are people doing one arm planches so this could be a new goal as well after you master the planche. We hope these two articles will help you improve and master the planche. Feel free to ask us anything if you need something. If you need the resistance bands or parellettes we mentioned, click right here to get the ones we reviewed.