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Intermediate – Advanced
To master planche
About this Progression
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One Arm Pushup Progression Exercises List
Step 1: Pseudo Planche Push-ups
A very easy first step of this progression, pseudo push-ups give you the sensation of performing push-ups in a planche-like position. Support your legs on a raised platform (e.g. table, chair etc.) and place your hands on the floor or some bars shoulder-width apart. While in a push-up position, lean forward so that your shoulders are in front of your hands instead of above them. Perform push-ups at a steady pace by controlling the motion up and down. Maintain a straight body line similar to regular push-ups and with protracted scapula.
Step 2: Frog Stand (or Crow Stand)
The first step was a delicate introduction to a planche scenario with no balance involved. This step adds difficulty by bringing the sensation of balance to the progression, balance on your hands by resting your knees on your elbows. Be sure to hold this position comfortably before your move on to the next exercises of the progression as they act of balancing becomes more difficult.
Step 3: Tuck Planche
The entry point to the actual planche position with straight arms and legs floating. Adopt a position with your hands on the floor and your knees together between your hands. Begin to balance on your hands and move your knees away from your hands until you are balancing with your knees together in the air about the same height as your elbows. The best way to go the this position is by starting to check key points first: straight arms, protracted scapula, depressed shoulders and posterior pelvic tilt. When everything’s in check, lean forward until your knees lift themselves of the ground.
Step 4: Advanced Tuck Planche
As the name might suggest, this is a more difficult version of step 3. Adopt the same tuck planche position but allow your knees to come apart and touch the backs of your elbows while balancing on your hands. This means your body will have to work harder to support and balance your weight which is distributed fully on a much narrower base. You have to lean more on your wrist and you have to straighten your back. Your hips should align with your shoulders and do not let your lower back arch. Be warned that the jump from tucked planche to advanced tucked is not something to underestimate.
Step 5: Straddle Planche
Congratulations if you’ve reached this point of the progression. This move is no joke already. Balance on your hands but this time allow your backside to face the floor and extend your legs out either side of your arms. This will make it much more difficult to balance and will demand much more strength and stability from your core which will now be working much harder to maintain this position. You have to lean even further and you legs and hips are now aligned with your upper body. You can also add a progression of piking your straddle first then, overtime, lessen the angle of the pike until everything is aligned.
Step 6: Full Planche
The full planche involves balancing on your hands and holding your body steady in the position described in the last step but with your legs out straight behind you. Similar concepts apply from the straddle planche.
Additional Supplementary Exercises:
1. Band-assisted Planche – This works on every progression of the planche. You need a resistance band that will spot your attempts and lessen the load on your lever. This is best for getting strength and getting the feeling of the harder progression. 2. Planche Leans – This exercise is similar to step 1 with the exception of placing your feet on the floor. This exercise focuses on strengthening your scapula, anterior delts, chest, and most importantly, your wrists. Planche leans helps you lean further which is required if you want to move on the steps. 3. Hollow body holds – This is your main core exercise. The hold mimics the similar form you’ll be holding during a planche. If you have worked your way through this progression then we congratulate you on your effort and thank you for attempting the purely gymnastic view of bodyweight training! Good luck with your planche journey. We hope to see you soon on your progress.
We have more calisthenics progressions for you to attempt.
But what if I can’t do some of these exercises?
Then we need to adjust your training, But before that let me tell you something:
WHY USING A COOKIE-CUTTER TRAINING ROUTINES (like the one above) WILL HINDER YOUR PROGRESS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Create an optimal training routine just for you
This is a problem a lot of us run into. We’re given routines – usually based on a standardized level – beginner, intermediate, advanced. The Movement Athlete used to do that too – because it’s very hard to create a personalized training for each and every person unless we spend a significant amount of time with them.
There was just one problem with this approach (actually there are a lot of problems with it) – it hindered our athletes’ progress. We’ve written extensively on the matter in the blog post, The end of beginner/intermediate/advanced – that is hurting your training.
Lack of personalization is hurting your training.
Imagine if some of these exercises above were too hard for you. Your body will try to compensate with poor form, movement dysfunction and possibly risk injury if it’s too challenging.
If some of these exercises were too easy they wouldn’t challenge your muscles to grow – you’d simply be wasting your time.
This is why we created The Movement Athlete: to offer a fully personalized training program reflecting exactly where your level is for optimal performance.
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