Challenging to perform and intimidating to look at, the planche has a well-earned reputation as an advanced move.

Yes, this impressive trick comes with a long list of requirements in strength, endurance, and control, that is certain to turn away many.

Those interested and willing to climb this mountain however, will learn that it has plenty to offer, including and beyond mere bragging rights.

All the side-stops on that path, leading from the basic tuck planche to the full straddle planche, are all amazing ways of improving strength and balance.

The journey may be a difficult one, but by the end you’ll see yourself in a new, better light.

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The Many Benefits of Planche Training

Planche training, if done correctly, will lead to an immense increase of upper body strength—and a more subdued improvement when it comes to the rest of your body.
Your shoulders, arms, and especially wrists, will all benefit greatly.
This holds true even for beginner-level exercises, and the effect only becomes more pronounced as you advance.

These effects will also be felt on a large number of other exercises; from the many variants of push and
pull-up, to the more exotic hand balancing exercises like back levers, press to handstand, and the like.

But be careful—injuring yourself is easy, and (especially in terms of planche progress) will set you back significantly.
Be patient and persistent, and you will eventually fight your way to the top of the mountain!

The Tuck Planche: Preparing for the Big Thing

Planche mastery can be broken down into four tiers:

  • No experience/Unable to do a tuck planche
  • Can perform a tuck planche (also known as the “floating crane” to those who speak yoga)
  • Capable of a full straddle planche
  • Can pull off exercises derived from the straddle planche (eg.
    Planche pushups)

Thus, in order for us to reach the straddle planche (and beyond), we will need to perfect our tuck planche.
We will achieve this through a series of progressively more difficult steps.

The base position

It consists of the following:

  • Elbows facing backward (towards your feet)
  • Torso leaning forward with shoulders pulled down
  • Arms locked out and pushing toward the ground

Fingers and palms can be pointed anywhere for as long as you can maintain balance.

All of these are ideally performed in five 15-to-20 second sets.

As always, don’t forget to warm up and stretch beforehand, and always give yourself a minute or two between sets!

Step One:

Keep your legs extended back, feet positioned so they rest on your toes.

Step Two:

Your toes should stay on the ground.

Step Three:

Step Four:

As you lean forward, bend your legs up.

Step Five:

This is called a “suspended crane.”

Step Six:

crane pose!

Step Seven:

Step Eight:

The below video gives a good idea of how the tucked planche looks like in real life and in good form:

And there we are!

The Straddle Planche

The straddle planche on the other hand, can’t be so cleanly segmented into steps.

Focus on the ones that work best for you, and you will keep improving.

All of these will assume that you start in the tuck planche.

Exercise One:

This is called an open tuck planche, and is great for improving hand balance.

Exercise Two:

Alternatively, do this without holding, in repetitions.

Exercise Three:

Exercise Four:

Similar to exercise two, his can be maintained as a static exercise, or done in repetitions.

Do these as you would the ones leading to the full tuck planche: 15-20 second instances of 5 reps.

Osvaldo Lugones gives a great overview of this exercise below:

Going Beyond: The Planche Push-up

Still here, huh?

The planche push-up!

The name says it all, and it’s a real killer!

But if you got that far, why not go farther?

has no summit

Final Thoughts

And that’s about it.

Keep in mind that this exercise is very advanced and requires a lot of strength, as well as a
balanced diet

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