Training for the Planche

Up for a challenge?


Planche training.
The planche is an advanced body-weight challenge that requires strength, balance and stability.

While it's commonly seen in competitive gymnastics, few people are familiar with the planche and even fewer have thought to try it themselves. I'm hoping to change that!


The textbook planche position is almost the same as the push-up position - except your feet are not touching the ground!

There are several positions to practice while building up towards this, such as headstands, handstands and the crow (aka frogstand). It's also helpful to practice planche variations with bent arms and/or legs, as these are typically easier.

Before working on the planche, you should establish a solid foundation of core strength as well as upper body strength, through doing exercises like planks, push-ups, and dips.

The full planche is still a work in progress for me but after months of practicing, I can get my body mostly straight when my arms are bent.


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I recommend learning a planche by practicing on parallel bars. You can easily (and inexpensively) build an apparatus [.pdf] to practice on using PVC pipe.

Watch the video below to see more:




Al Kavadlo

Al Kavadlo is a personal trainer based in New York, New York; and the author of superb books such as We're Working Out: A Zen Approach to Everyday Fitness (review), Raising the Bar : The Definitive Guide to Bar Calisthenics and Pushing the Limits! Total Body Strength With No Equipment.

Swing by his blog for regular updates on bodyweight strength-training, conditioning, and nutrition. You'll also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Youtube and Google+. And, of course, in Gymchat 223 - Progressive Calisthenics. Fantastic conversation.



Like this? Check out :

Core Exercises That Really Work.Headstand with a twist.You heard this term over and over again; core exercises. Now what the heck is the core?
Life and Death at the Library.

Handstand pushups in the workplace? Yep.

Lift Weights? So What!.

Time to get serious.



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