How to Learn the Planche: A Detailed, Step-by-Step Guide


Learning the planche, an advanced bodyweight skill known for its intense strength requirements can seem daunting. However, with the right techniques and progressive training, it’s achievable. Here’s your comprehensive guide to mastering the planche, starting from the very basics to the more advanced positions.

Are You Ready for the Planche?

Before diving into planche training, it’s crucial to assess your strength. The planche demands considerable muscle power, and a good starting point involves being able to perform 15 pull-ups, 30 dips, and 40 push-ups. These exercises ensure you have the foundational strength needed for the more advanced planche techniques.

Fundamental Techniques for Planche Success
  1. Hand Position: Place your hands on the ground with fingers spread wide and rotated slightly outward (about 45 degrees). This positioning is vital for wrist health and proper force distribution.
  1. Elbow and Shoulder Positioning: Keep your elbows slightly forward, not straight, to engage your biceps and front deltoids effectively. Shoulders should be pressed down away from your ears, promoting a long, strong back.
  1. Scapula Engagement: Protraction of the scapula is essential—think about pushing your back upwards and squeezing your chest forward. This movement is not just about moving your spine but engaging your upper back to support your body in the planche position.
  1. Hip and Lower Back Alignment: Your lower back should remain neutral with your abs tight and glutes engaged. This helps in stabilizing your core, which is crucial for maintaining the planche position.
Progressive Training for Planche Development

Training for the planche involves several progressive exercises that build your strength and technique over time.

Here are some key exercises to include in your planche training regimen:

  1. Straight Arm Scapula Push-up: Start in a plank position and work on moving the scapula in and out of protraction, strengthening your back muscles and improving your hold.
  1. Planche Lean: From a hands and knees position, lean forward slowly while keeping your back straight and scapula protracted. This exercise increases your shoulder strength and stability.
  1. Dynamic Planche Lean: Similar to the Planche Lean but includes a dynamic component of moving back and forth, which helps build control and muscular endurance.
  1. Tuck Planche with Resistance Band: Utilizing a resistance band, practice the tuck planche to reduce some bodyweight load, allowing you to focus on form and build strength gradually.
  1. Frog Stand to Tuck Planche Press: Transition from a frog stand to a tuck planche, focusing on using your shoulders to press up, which builds significant strength in your upper body.
Monitoring Your Progress

Planche training is highly structured. Beginners might start with holding a tuck planche for a few seconds, progressing through stages of increased duration and complexity. Regular practice and gradual progression are key. Set small, achievable goals, such as increasing hold time by a few seconds each week.

Next Steps in Your Training

Once you’ve mastered the basics and can hold a tuck planche, consider the next levels of training outlined in the video, which include various durations and more advanced planche positions like the straddle planche.

Let’s summarise this beginner planche tutorial real quick:

Training for the planche is challenging but rewarding. With consistent effort, adherence to proper techniques, and gradual progression, you can achieve this impressive skill. Remember, it’s not just about training hard but also training smart. Adjust your routine as you gain strength and always listen to your body to avoid injuries.

If you read through all of this and found it helpful, but still would like that extra help – an exact path to follow – then for sure my app will be of invaluable use to you. In it, there is a 9-level planche training system to follow of increasing difficulty with entire workout sessions in each. 

The programs are designed to last 12 weeks and each day is planned for you. Specific exercises, sets, and reps are already laid out for you. Each exercise within a session has a video description as well as form cues, leaving no guesswork. If you are truly committed to learning calisthenics, then getting started on one of these programs is for you. 

Happy planche training! Leave a comment below 🙂

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