Training to do a Planche

Planche with bent armsJan. 2011 Update: Check out my new strategy for training the planche

The planche, like the human flag, is an advanced body-weight challenge that requires strength, balance and stability.

While it’s commonly seen in competitive gymnastics, few people are familiar with the planche and even fewer have thought to try it themselves. I’m hoping to change that!

The textbook planche position is almost the same as the push-up position–except your feet are not touching the ground.

There are several positions to practice while building up towards this, such as headstands, handstands and the crow (aka frogstand). It’s also helpful to practice planche variations with your legs bent or in a straddle position, as these are typically easier.

Before working on the planche, you should establish a solid foundation of core strength as well as upper body strength, through doing exercises like planks, push-ups, and dips.

The full planche is still a work in progress for me but after months of practicing, I can get my body mostly straight when my arms are bent.

I recommend learning a planche by practicing on parallel bars. You can easily (and inexpensively) build an apparatus to practice on using PVC pipe.

Watch the video below to see more:

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  • http://www.fitdeckmobile.com/ FitDeck Mobile

    When you say advanced, you're not kidding! Awesome vid!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Thanks! No matter how fit you get, there is always a new challenge out there.

  • Kartik

    I noticed you took your home made apparatus with you. I only used it for pushups, but have a vast array of other pushup excercises I can do too.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Yeah there are an infinite number of ways to vary the push-up.

    Besides you can always build your own push-up bars–all you need is some PVC pipe and some plumbers glue.

  • Kartik

    I noticed you took your home made apparatus with you. I only used it for pushups, but have a vast array of other pushup excercises I can do too.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Yeah there are an infinite number of ways to vary the push-up.

    Besides you can always build your own push-up bars–all you need is some PVC pipe and some plumbers glue.

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  • iawia003

    can i ask you a question ? which one is easier comparatively, on PVC pipe or on the ground? Since i haven't got a pvc pipe or what, i practiced it just on the floor.I suppose that with a pvc pipe ,maybe you can hold something ,and that will generate more strength on your performance. I don't know for sure,apparently. Could you give me any advices based on your own experience? thanks, i dont know if you will see this comment ,or maybe u won't understand my clumsy expression. But,still,thanks,dude!

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    For me, it's easier with the PVC pipe (parallettes). The grip seems to allow for better control but I don't think it makes a huge difference. Practice any way you can!

  • vida001

    i have been doing pseudo planches and frogstands at the moment (my planche training), but every time i finish my wrists would hurt like hell! is this a bad thing?

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Well it's sure not a good thing if your wrists hurt! It could be something about your technique that needs to be tweaked or maybe you need to back off a bit and give your wrists more recovery time.

  • Jonahbw123

    how long with this training regime would it take to get to the stage your at ??

  • James123

    how long would it take to get to the satge your at with the planche ??

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    It depends where you are starting from. If you’re already fit, you could get there in a few weeks or months. If you’re starting from scratch, it could take a couple of years.

  • Jimsdoodles

    I’m starting to work on planche right now. So far, I’ve been getting good at doing pushups with my hands at hips level. I’ve even started using a weight vest since being able to do 70 of them consecutively.
    I think my next step is going to have to be pressing up into a tucked planche, and getting comfortable there.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Sounds good, Jim.  Let me know if you get it – the full planche is still something I’ve yet to achieve myself.

  • Patrick Kevin

    I like your blogs but this one is totally wrong. The move you’re performing has nothing to do with planches: planches are supposed to be performed with straight arms, which is a TOTALLY different type of strength, so this kind of training is almost useless for that purpose. Plus, and obviously, planches are way more difficult than the move you’re performing.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    You like my blogs but you’ve never bothered to post any nice comments, just this obnoxious one.  Great.  Since you clearly didn’t bother to look, I guess I should point out that I added an update at the top of this post almost a year ago acknowledging that this is not the most effective way to train this move.  By the way, I’d love to see a video of you performing a full planche.

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  • Etienne

    Where is your video Patrick?

  • Gilestro

    This looks like the bottom position of a planche push up, maybe it’s not a full planche but it’s still a hell of an impressive move. Nice work Al.

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  • SigmaNoob

    Unless you’re a gymnast or have been working on this, I don’t think you have any idea of the persistence it takes to do a close legged planche, let alone a straddle planche too. Also, let’s see you do a straight armed planche. Better have good muscle to mass ratio.

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