Planche Training Update

January 31, 2011 // Al Kavadlo

It’s been over a year since I started training for the planche and progress has been slow. In fact, I took several months off last year to focus on other aspects of my training as I was getting frustrated with my lack of progress. It’s often been said that doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the definition of insanity. With that in mind, I have retooled my planche training strategy.

In hindsight, I was trying to get to the finish line too quickly. Rather than establishing a solid foundation with the tucked planche and other variations by performing them with straight arms, I rushed into trying to achieve a full planche with bent arms. By practicing with my arms bent, I was able to get my body closer to the full planche, so it seemed closer to the final objective, but in the process I put more stress on my shoulders than they were ready for.

Luckily I knew to back off before I crossed the line between discomfort and pain. Now after a hiatus, I’ve been back to practicing towards a full planche. This time, however, I am employing a different method, using kettlebells as parallettes and working on getting comfortable with extended tucked planche holds before I move onto the harder variations. I’m also working on transitioning back and forth from the tucked planche to the L-sit. I’m not certain that this method will guarantee me success, but my previous strategy wasn’t getting me very far, so it’s worth a shot!

I stand by the other techniques I demonstrate in my old planche training video and will continue to practice them, but I will not be doing bent arm planche holds. The goal is to get a straight arm planche, so I shall practice with straight arms! I’ve also been throwing in some weighted pistol squats in an attempt to increase my abdominal and lower back strength.

Watch the video below for more: