The Planche Challenge – Results And More Planche Training Tips

In September me and a friend from gymnastics set ourselves a challenge to get a straddle planche down.


This is no easy feat, the straddle planche is only slightly more achievable than a full planche, but it was a good target and would leave us with an easy test at the end of the month.


Planche Training


If you have been keeping up with my other posts you will likely have been overwhelmed with the amount of simple exercises you can do to train for the planche.


Luckily I am working on a training program to help assist you in the future with planche training.


I still haven’t mastered the planche, but I am taking loads of notes on my development and progression and will be slowly building it into a training product for the new year.


The Planche Challenge Results


So at the final gymnastics session before our competition, the month had passed and it was time to show our new planche skills.


Sadly because of the tight training schedule and the competition we had both been training for, I don’t think either of us put in as much training as we should have.


We both managed to get into the straddle position but neither of us could hold it longer than 2 seconds!


A pretty poor effort.


But, I like to think that was more because we tested each other after the session and not at the start – so we were already knackered 😉


But that is not the end, we still have 5 months to master the full planche, and now I think I could have a straddle by the end of November.


Moving Forward With Planche Training


Having spoken to many different people on the planche and planche training I have decided to switch up my training for it slightly.


I am going to start training hold time. I want to be able to do a tuck planche for a minute.


Yes that is a pretty long time, but it will help build up that isometric strength in my arms and shoulders, providing stability to my overall planche skills.


The way I see it is, if you can tuck for a minute, you will be able to do 30-40 seconds of bicycle planching solidly, you’ll become comfortable enough in the planche position that shaky arms and shoulder fatigue will not stop you early, like it does at the minute for me.


The other thing I need to really focus on is my locked arm strength. I am going to start doing more Single Bar L-sits and Planche exercises on the rings at gymnastics.


Other Training Methods


There are other ways of training the planche. One of my coaches suggested not doing any planche holds, but instead to train out of the planche.


This looks like a load of hanging leg raises, front lever progressions and maybe even shoulder weight training – lateral raises and shoulder presses, cable routines and more.


These are some great options to explore, I am trying to hit sets of 1 Arm Hanging Leg Raises at the minute – I can do about 5 per side in one set at the minute, but my form is terrible.


Another good one to try is Straddle handstand presses – not push ups but lever ups, locked arm raise from the shoulders. Doing this for reps, staying nice and still will do wonders for planche strength.


My last sneaky trick, and this is a good one, comes from a recent purchase I have made . . .


An exercise ball!


I originally bought the exercise ball to replace my desk chair at home. I spend quite a bit of time sitting at it in the evenings and on weekends, so I bought it to help maintain good posture. Well it turns out exercise balls also double up as great props for training the planche.


You can use it for planche leans and/or single leg straddle support.


There are actually a whole bunch of exercises you can do on them to help train your core and shoulder stability in the planche position.


. . . Ok there was one more . . .


My training buddy brought some resistance bands to one of our gymnastics sessions in September, we dropped the high bar and strapped the bands on along with some rings. Using the rings for hands placement and putting the resistance bands around your waist, you can work your planche in the planche position! Straddled or straight leg you really have to work to keep your body in place, but it would make a serious training aid for someone who wants to get the planche fast, I just need to get my hands on one.


The advantage of using these resistance bands is being able to drop one at a time as you progress, until you are supporting yourself with the assistance of just one band. then you just have to make the leap to unsupported planche mastery!


Ready To Take It Further?


Speaking of mastery, I am now offering a coaching to help you hit your goals. I want to help you overcome your training plateaus I want to spend one on one time with you so that you can get all of the information you need, to develop your body into its physical peak. Don’t struggle to progress, click here to find out more.




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