When you’re ready to take things to the next level with your bodyweight workout, the planche push-up is where it’s at!
This is considered one of the most difficult push-ups in all the calisthenics workouts and it requires a huge amount of control to execute.
Before you get to the full planche push-up, there are several progressions you’ll need to go through.
All of these build on top of each other to help your body adapt to the extreme pressure and control you’ll need to complete the full planche type push-up.
How-To Guide: How to Do a Planche Push-Up
Bodyweight exercises like these push-ups require your form to be on point every time to engage the muscles correctly and protect you from injury.
Your core should be supporting your body weight during the entirety of the move so keep it engaged from the moment you get into position.
Start by laying on your stomach with your arms in extension along your body with your palms facing up. Your hands should be by your hips and you’ll want to rotate your wrists so your fingers turn to the side.
Press your down and into your hands to then lift your body into a push-up position. Tilt your weight and yield it forward into your chest and shoulders, fully engaging them.
Engage your core and press your legs together as you raise your feet and legs off the ground. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground.
At this point, you’ll keep your lower body elevated and hold this position for a few seconds if possible. Straighten your elbows to return to the starting point and repeat for the necessary reps and sets.
Planche Push-Up Progression
No one wakes up and does a planche push-up after a good night’s rest and a Red Bull!
You need to work your way up to this move and there are a series of progressions you’ll need to learn and master before you get to this final form.
The key to any progression is to start slow and be consistent. Work your way up to this over a long period and don’t attempt it before you’re ready.
This can take years so be patient with yourself and your body as you learn, grow, and change in the progression.
Tuck Planche Push-Up
This is a simple progression that you work up to after you’ve mastered the traditional push-up and are ready to keep working toward the planche push-up.
Listen to your body’s signals as you work toward this full move and don’t push yourself more than you need to!
For a tuck planche push-up, you’ll start in a plank position and yield your body weight forward onto your shoulders and in front of your wrists.
You’ll then round your back to tuck your legs up and in toward your chest. You’ll raise your heels to push and yield your weight onto your curled toes.
Lift one or both feet than the balance in this position for up to 30 seconds. When you’re ready, lower yourself in control back to the starting position so you can repeat for another set if needed.
This gives you a lot of control and will help you learn how to control your body when you’re up off the ground. Your core is vital here and engaging it to help keep things under control is the key to doing the tuck planche push-up.
Modified Planche Push-Up
The modified planche push-up is a great way to start training your muscles so they respond correctly when you set out to learn the full planche push-up. You’ll need to continue focusing on your core, shoulders, and wrists.
Start in the planche push-up position and keep your feet on the floor as you go through a traditional push-up set.
Then put your hands closer to your shoulders when you get started again for the next set. Bring your hands down closer to your hips as you feel your body getting stronger with each set.
Keep working toward the full planche by relying on your upper body to start lifting your lower body off the ground into the full planche push-up.
The form is important here so if you feel like your form is off, go back and start again until it feels like you’re on track again.
Benefits of Planche Push-Ups
The first thing this planche push-up is going to teach you is how to keep your body under control.
Since this is an advanced calisthenics move, you’ll be busy working on your arms and shoulders and feeling them grow stronger with each progression.
The planche push-up is one of the most challenging and is a whole-body workout. The focus remains on your arms and upper body but the core, thighs, and lower legs are all worked when you do the planche version of this move.
Throughout the progression of this push-up, you’ll also be teaching your body how to remain in control.
Your muscles will be well-schooled from your core through your upper body and that control will serve you well in other progressions.
The primary muscles used in the planche push-up are the deltoids. Both the anterior and posterior deltoids are engaged in this move and require you to be strong enough to raise your whole body off the ground.
The triceps help out with this move and as they’re located along the back of your arm, they do a lot of the heavy lifting for your planche push-up.
Planche Push-Up Vs. Regular Push-Up
Just lifting your lower body off the ground may not seem like a big feat but when you start to practice and progress, you might just change your mind.
Moving from a regular push-up to a planche push-up can take several years to complete correctly but keep practicing and you’ll get it.
Regular push-ups focus on your upper body and use your lower body, specifically your toes on the ground, to help you balance and stay in a straight line.
The focus is entirely on your shoulders and your arms and regular push-ups help you learn some specific form. There are several modifications that you can use to make sure you’re doing them correctly and targeting the right area on your body.
Planche push-ups still focus on your upper body but instead of keeping your toes on the ground for more balance, you’ll work toward raising your leg and lower body off the ground.
Your hands will also be in a different position for the planche push-up which makes it more difficult to execute. Raising your lower body off the ground requires you to engage your core even more so you get a whole-body workout in the final progression of this push-up.
Why You May Not Be Able to Do a Planche Push-Up
The form is crucial to doing any bodyweight exercises and the planche push-up is no exception. Troubleshooting this push-up progression can help you make changes and get on track to complete the move in no time.
One of the first things that you may not have quite right is the position of your hands on the ground next to your hips.
You end up tipping and yielding a lot of your weight into your hands and without this positioning, you won’t have the correct balance.
Not working your way through the progressions for the planche push-up is another way you might not be getting it done when you’re working the planche push-up.
You’ll need to build up your strength and control before you get to the planche push-up. If you’re not quite strong enough to handle both the control and the weight you’ll put on your arms from the progressions, you may not be able to finish this level.
Instead of moving smoothly from the floor into an elevated position, you may be jerking your body around.
This can feel like getting a headstart when you’re trying to get things lined up but it can end up throwing your balance off and making it harder to finish the actual move and keep your body under control.
The best way to get to this point is to work your way through the progressions before you get to your planche push-up so you’re body is prepared for the final move!
Bodyweight exercises are some of the best for your body and building your muscles up without needing any equipment.
There are some difficult progressions and this is one of the most difficult for even bodyweight fanatics to complete.
The best thing you can do if you want to conquer this final form is to make your way through the progressions so you can build up a whole lot of muscle and control before attempting this move.
Take your time, start slow, and let your body give good signals for how things need to go.
Be consistent in your workout so you can impress your friends and family with this final push-up form!