Training to do a Planche

February 1, 2010 // Al Kavadlo

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: