This month I have been doing my planche challenge, a race to the planche against some friends I do gymnastics with. You can get a bit more out on the planche challenge here.
In the last post I went over a few exercises that will help you with your planche progression. These are all exercises I am doing to train my planche.
I had a little progression check with my competition on Monday when I went for a bonus session at gymnastics, getting ready for the competition, and at the minute we are both at about the same place. This is not good enough, I need to train more and beat him!
Here is Part 2 of the Planche Progression Exercises
These planche exercises are more advanced than those in my previous post, I would recommend that you try out the Part 1 exercises before moving on to these ones.
Extended Tuck Planche
The extended tuck planche, or advanced tuck, is the next step after you have developed a solid tuck planche.
Doing the extension will help you develop the lower back strength to get your arse out and your back straight.
Tuck planche practice will often leave you with a rounded back, which is fine to develop the strength to lift your body up and hold, but you want to get those legs out don’t you?
From a standard tuck position, you will need to lean forward a little more and bring your knees out from under your body, beginning the extension into a full planche.
You will find doing this will do wonders for your wrist strength too, but remember to warm them up well and do a lot of stretching or you will likely hurt those wrists.
Single Leg Extensions
Single leg extensions are the follow on from an extended tuck. This however is probably not going to be executed really well until you have done a lot of planche work, so don’t worry about it, use it for balance and strength conditioning.
Get into the tuck planche and begin the extension out, when you get just under your furthest point, take one leg right out as straight as possible and squeeze it as solid as you can.
This will build a lot of strength up either side of your body, and help build the neural pathways to tighten it all in sync. It will also help build that shoulder and wrist strength.
Wall walks are another great exercise for planche training because you can use the wall to support your feet and maintain a planche position without a spotter, or risking the face plant.
To do wall walks find a solid wall with enough space to do a press up in front of it, feet to the wall. You can use any wall in your house that ticks this box, or a door even, if you are tight on space.
Get in your press up position in front of your wall, then lift up one foot onto the wall and step in with one hand. Take your next foot up on the wall and bring the other hand in slightly. Walk back on your hands, raising your feet further and further up the wall until you reach the top and you are in a solid handstand position.
You then want to keep your legs and core tight and walk back out with your hands only, keep your legs straight and just let them slide down the wall as you walk out.
As you approach the bottom, when you hit that perfect planche position, stop walking, keep everything tight and hold it to the death. Make sure your arms are locked out when you hold the planche position and keep breathing!
Another thing to remember is not to do this in your house with your shoes on, keep it to socks so you don’t mess up your walls.
Jump Straddle Negatives
Jump straddle negatives are like straddle planches, but you are jumping into position. They are great to build the stability to keep your body tight and in the right place.
Start on your hands and knees in a tuck position, as if you were going to get into a tuck planche. From here, push off the ground with your toes and kick your legs out as wide as possible.
As soon as you are out catch yourself in the straddle planche and tighten.
Instead of letting your legs drop or come back in underneath you, stay out, and do a negative push up to land on the floor flat , everything together.
The slower and more controlled this is the better, but make sure when you get up into the straddle you aren’t bending your arms. Only do this on your way down.
The bicycle planche is a variation of the single leg extension. This exercise will rip up your core and back and build solid strength in your shoulders and wrists.
Get into your tuck planche, make sure you have a cushion underneath you for this one. Get one leg out in a single leg extension, then bring it back in, and put the other one out.
You may have trouble getting this moving, but as with the single leg extension, don’t worry about perfect form at the start, just get used to the movement.
getting good at this will allow you to spend a lot of time up on your hands in the planche position, and this is ultimately what you want to get out of this exercise. Stability in the planche position and whilst in that position, coordination and correct muscle tension throughout your body.
Resting, Stretching And Looking After Your Wrists
When you are training the planche, you are really working your body. You will probably notice how fast you fatigue if you try and do a long session of pure planche training.
The simple way around this is not to do it! Don’t do an hour after work of planche training, split it up, do two or three sessions of 10-15 minutes in the evening or morning.
Resting is important too, let your body rest and recover, get a ot of good sleep, something I have been struggling with recently, and make sure you are eating well.
My last brief note is about your wrists. Stretch them, warm them up before you get into the planche exercises or you will strain them and you can very quickly injure yourself. Be smart, don’t hurt yourself.
There is one more post of progression exercises I am going to put up next week. The final steps, the advanced progressions that I am doing to get the planche down. Don’t forget to check it out then!
An Exciting Announcement
I also have some other news for you guys. From next week I am going to be offering online coaching calls, I have a few final details to iron out for you before I am ready for it, but if you are interested, send me over an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about it.