How to Master the Planche

The Planche is arguably the holy grail of calisthenics exercises. It is one of the hardest static holds to master, but unarguably one of the coolest looking. The Planche looks like a press up, but your feet are not on the ground and your arms carry your whole bodyweight. This will takes months to master, but using our Parallettes you will progress in no time.

Here is the ultimate guide on how to master the Planche – with weighted calisthenics champion Denton Conteh at Third Space’s The Yard in Canary Wharf.

Step 1 – Tuck Planche

To begin your progression to full Planche, first you must master the Tuck Planche. Grab hold of the Parallettes, these help elevate your body off the ground. Begin by simply lifting your bodyweight off the ground and holding for as long as possible. Make sure to protract (push forward) your shoulders, stretching your back. Make sure you don’t retract (pull back) your shoulder blades. Aim to hold this position for at least 20-30 seconds before attempting to advance to step 2.

Step 2 – Advanced Tuck Planche

The Advanced Tuck Planche places even more bodyweight and stress on the shoulders. Begin by extending your legs out behind you as far as you can, creating the gap between your knees and abs. This displaces weight away from the centre of gravity, making the exercise more challenging. Aim to hold this position for as long as possible, building up to a 20-30 second hold in this position before advancing. When beginning the Advanced Tuck Planche, hold your legs extended for as long as you can, even if this is only a few seconds, then continue in regular Tuck Planche for time.

Step 3 – Single Leg Extended Planche

The next progression is the Extended Single Leg Planche. This again displaces more of your bodyweight away from the centre of gravity, further increasing exercise difficulty. Keep one leg tucked and extend the other – making sure to alternate legs each set. When beginning the Extended Single Leg Planche, hold your leg extended for as long as you can, even if this is only a few seconds, then continue in advanced/regular Tuck Planche for time.

Step 4 – Straddle Planche

The Straddle Planche involves both legs being extended. The wider your legs are spread, the less difficult this exercise will be, as the weight is closer to the centre of gravity. Flexibility, and hip strength, are key to mastering this phase. When beginning the Straddle Planche, hold your legs extended for as long as you can, even if this is only a few seconds, then continue in single leg extended/advanced Tuck Planche for time.

Step 5 – Full Planche

Once you have Straddle Planche nailed, just bring those legs together and you have nailed the Full Planche.

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