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Tuck to Advanced Tuck Planche

I received the following question from Gary regarding moving from the tuck to advanced tuck planche.

Thanks for all your good advice and tutorials.
Can you help me as I am trying at the moment to go from tuck planche to advanced tuck planche, (sure you have had this question a few times.) I am really struggling with any progress and wondered if there was any tips you knew that may help me along.

This video here describes tips on how to this step of planche training.

The tuck planche involves straight arms and holding your body aloft.

The next step involves making it one step closer to the advanced tuck planche. I originally learned of this as one step in planche progressions from Coach Sommer in this article here. Check it out for more ideas. This includes:

1. Bringing your Shoulders Forward

Bringing your shoulders forward places additional stress on them as the leveraged position is harder to hold. As you progress in teh various planche moves you’re moving more and more forward, requiring more and more strength.

2. Straighten the Back

This one is closely tied into the next one. In fact all three of these are tied together. Straightening the back tends to make you need to raise the hips and move the shoulders forward. A back that is straight (even arched a little) and parallel to the floor is the position you’ll be holding for all future planche progressions.

3. Raise the Hips

The hips should be raised up to shoulder level. In the regular tuck planche the hips are low but this is the main point in moving to the advanced tuck planche. As you raise the hips its natural for the legs to start to untuck. When starting out make sure to keep them tucked but as you improve levering them out is the next step.

I didn’t make it completely clear in the video. Think of these three areas as places you can focus on and start the movement from, but recognize that they are all related.

The planche is a truly difficult move and will take a long time to master. With these moves be content to add a second here, or a slightly better position there. Small improvements over time lead to amazing moves.

For much more on planching as well as all forms of hand balancing consult the Hand Balancing Mastery Course.

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Parallette Training Foundation for Full-Body Power

Ryan Hurst from Gold Medal Bodies is here to show you how to build a training foundation with parallettes. This is the first of a three part series.


If you’ve ever seen a gymnast perform skills like the planche, you’ve probably wished you could too. Maybe you even got right down on the floor and tried one. Then looked around to make sure nobody was watching after you landed on your face.

Most of the classic bodyweight feats of strength are really damn hard (that’s why they’re called “feats of strength”), but with the right foundation, there’s no reason they can’t be achievable. But how do you build that foundation? Surely, if it were as simple as doing more bench presses, you’d see a lot more people who could perform a planche.

There’s a right tool for every job, and the tool gymnasts use to build upper-body strength for floor work is a set of parallettes.

Parallettes are great for a number of reasons. Not only do they allow greater stability and leverage than our hands have on the floor (which makes it easier to practice many skills), they’re small, light, and easy to build for yourself.

Everyone knows that pushing exercises are key for practical upper body strength, but what you may not know is how basic pressing can lay the foundation for more sophisticated, full-body movements, and parallettes are an ideal tool to help bridge that gap.

In recent years, parallettes have been adopted primarily by CrossFitters, owing primarily to their portability and cost. Unfortunately, the information on the web about parallette training is limited and simplistic. A quick check on YouTube shows tons of videos of people performing maybe three or four different parallette exercises, usually with poor form.

So let’s start there – by learning one high-leverage exercise with perfect form.

Enter The Parallette Push-Up

“Just a push-up?”

When you focus on your form and pay attention to finer details of the movement, you’ll find that doing correct push-ups on parallettes can be much more challenging than you’d expect.

As a reminder:
• Keep your elbows tight in to your side, with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Shoulders stay over your hands and don’t let them drop below the level of the bar on the bottom of the repetition.
• Push and drive your elbow pits facing forward.
• A three second hold on the bottom and top position, with a locked down core, tight butt and legs will create a whole body tension, and make this into a full body exercise.

This exercise can be performed daily if repetitions are kept low (not more than 5 repetitions in a set).

We’ll have another video in a couple of days that builds on this foundation and really tightens up your core strength for more dynamic movements.

Until then, give these a shot and be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you like ‘em. Do you still think they’re “just push-ups?”

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

Gold Medal Bodies has a full blown course on Parallette Training.

Parallettes One

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Fingertip Planche

This came into today and I thought it was worth sharing.

Hey logan i was just able to check out the amazing feat video and i have to say thanks for sharing that with all of us, i love how the monks train and the one and two finger zen are always legendary. I wanted to tell you to keep up all your hard work man! yourself and jim are great motivators and i loved the teleseminar you guys posted out awhile back. I can not do a one handed handstand pushup yet, but ive always had strong fingers and i recently not too long ago was able to do (Not Perfect Form) but a three finger planche and since i read the Feats message i wanted to share the picture with you i hope you receive it, its not the best at all man but im training and having fun hoping to promote others to exercise and keep healthy. Im alittle late on the video since you sended it but i just got to the message now. I always try my best to catch any new information that you give out.

Never stop training,
Alejandro

Fingertip Planche

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Entcho Hand Balancing

This is one of my favorite hand balancing videos by Entcho Keryazov from Bulgaria. Simply amazing.

I stumbled across this awhile ago, and many people have pointed it out to me, but this is the first time I’ve featured it here.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Some of my personal favorites:

  • The back lever at 1:00
  • Hopping from one hand handstand to another at 1:59
  • Handstand on the stacked blocks and throwing them away at 3:14
  • The smooth muscle up on the stands at 4:24
  • No to mention his dismount and how he comes across as knowing just how good he is.

I don’t know about you but I’m inspired to practice right now.

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Planche Progression Video

The planche is one of hand balancing’s most advanced moves. In this video you’ll discover one tip on planche progression.

This is just one of four methods that is included in the Hand Balancing Mastery Course. Be sure to check that out for many more details on not just planche progression but so much more.


Planche Progression Video

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Even beginners can get started working on the tuck planche. Once that’s stable its just a matter of opening up the hips more and more each time.

But don’t think you’ll master this skill overnight. It takes tremendous strength all across the body.

For more details on this be sure to check out this other post on planche progression.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Planche Progression

Here you’ll find tips on planche progression.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

“I’m 21 years ( physically strong ) I do need to get into Planche. Can you advice me on something to start with ???”
Kenji

I have not built myself up to doing the planche. Haven’t really worked on it much.

But I can give you a variety of drills and methods to build it up, proven by a number of other people who have had success. The basic planche progression is to increase the leverage of the movement little bit by little bit.

That is going from a tucked position to a straddle and finally a complete planche. When you get good at one position, building the strength and skill to do it, you move onto the next.

I first learned about this method from Coach Sommer. In his article below you’ll get many more details on this planche progression. Plus it also covers the front lever.

Check it out here.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Advanced Progression

A One Hand Balance

A One Hand Balance in the Old Style

Here’s a question from Matthew on the difficulties and progression of advanced hand balancing skills.

“What would say is the difficulty of a planche vs a handstand, one handed handstand, 2 man planche, how should I be progressing if I am fairly competent in all of these skills?”

Each skill is very different from the next. The skill and strength it takes to do a planche is very different from that it takes to do a one handed handstand. Some people will find certain skills harder then others and to give them arbitrary difficulties wouldn’t really help.

But as a basic idea so you can know what you’re getting yourself into I would say the one hand handstand (and the planche too) are about 100 times as difficult as the two hand handstand.

How should you be progressing? The same as everyone else. Whether you are working on a basic handstand or and advanced skill like the one arm handstand you can progress by adding a second at a time.

If you are competent at the skills you listed, first off, congratulations. You are doing great. If you want to know where to go from that point there is a wide variety of options.

You can work on a one handed planche. You can learn to hop on one hand. How about a tiger bend? And if that’s easy try it on one arm!

(By the way, all these skills are found in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.)

The sky is the limit. Just keep progressing. It’s the name of the game.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher.

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Planche Pushups Training

This question from Paul concerns planche pushups training.

“From a beginners perspective, what exercises would you recommend to working into a full planche pushup?”

That depends entirely on how much of a beginner you are. If you are really just starting out there is going to be a ton of work before you get to the planche and finally a planche pushup.

Suffice to say, you’ll need a strong planche before you can approach doing planche pushups.

There are two drills that come to mind to help on the pushup portion. Even if you can’t do the planche yet you will be able to do this planche pushup training and get started.

One involves having a friend hold onto your feet. Now, you don’t merely want to do pushups in this position. That would make this nothing more then an elevated pushup. Instead, lean far forward in advanced of your hands, that is to assume a planche position.

With your partner holding your feet you won’t have to support all your weight, but the goal is to do as much as you can on your own.

From this position you do your assisted planche pushups. The key is to do low reps and really maximize the effort that goes into each one.

The second drill is similar though it doesn’t require a partner. This is to do what are known as pseudo-planche pushups. You get on the ground and get into a normal pushup position.

Like before, you will lean forward so your shoulders are forward of your hands. Your feet are on the ground but you will be working in a similar planche position.

There are other methods but these will help you out big time. Along with them you’ll really need to be training your planche and making it strong.

Much more on the planche can be found in The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon
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Planche and Hand Position

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post.

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Planche on Bars
Or completely on the fingertips.

Top Planche on Fingertips
Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

Top Planche in High Hand to Hand Balance
But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that.

And if you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

A few comments were raised about the hand position in Rafael Guerrero’s planche in a previous post. (If you missed that you can find it at https://lostartofhandbalancing.com/blog/the-true-planche/.)

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Why was he up on the fingertips? Is this necessary to do a planche in good form?

Unless you have hyper-flexible wrists you won’t be able to do a planche with the fingers pointing forwards and flat on the ground. Most people turn their wrists out to the sides to alleviate this sort of strain or come up on the fingers.

But there are other ways to do a planche with the hands not taking as much stress as these other pictures by Rafael show. You can do it on some sort of parallel bars.

Or completely on the fingertips.

Even in a hand-to-hand balance.

But if you do have the wrist flexibility you can do it on flat ground with the palms flat on the ground and facing forward. In the True Art and Science of Hand Balancing the chapter on planches showcases W.H. Mering doing just that. Check out the book for more.

If you’re seeking to build incredible strength like these planches show I have an important announcement later this week. Stay tuned!

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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The True Planche

An older hand balancer recently sent me a CD full of pictures of himself and others hand balancing. There are some amazing pictures and I thought I’d start off with one of the best. And there will be many more coming posted up here. Without further adieu meet Rafael Guerrero.

A Planche in the best form.

What most people don’t realize is how to do the planche correctly. While any semblance of a planche is a great display of strength and skill, when you can pull it off in this form its that much better. Of course to do it like this being a much smaller size is a plus!

Here’s a small section from The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing talking about the correct form of the skill.

“As exemplified by Paulinetti, the planche on two hand’s finds the body straight, flat and horizontal from throat to toes, and especially from throat to pelvis. Since the chest is thicker than the waist, this means that the shoulders are decidedly humped, corresponding very much to the hips. The position is much as if the performer were lying on a bench with chin and toes extended over either end–there is no arch in the back, and the hips are NOT flexed at all. This is where much of the trouble comes in, just as in doing the straight handstand with the head between the arms. Usually the performer gets the chest fairly well positioned, but instead of leaving the hips straight and then flexing the waist area of the spine slightly, he leaves his arch in the back and jack-knifes the legs forward (pretty much as in Figure 6) in order to get the feet down into line with the trunk. Again, in trying the planche–especially if endeavoring to get the flat chest effect–he neglects to thrust the chin forward and as a result has his face looking right at the floor instead of raised about 45 degrees and looking straight ahead.

“All in all, the correct position is decidedly not a normal one to attain, especially to a balancer accustomed to arching his back, and nine out of ten aspirants never even approach it. They usually wind up in nothing other than a “horizontal handstand” position–back arched, head up, and latissimus muscles hooked against the triceps. Understand, this is much of an accomplishment in its own right…but it is not the true planche.”

Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups
Ultimate Guide to Handstand Pushups on Amazon

If you want to find out much more on the planche the read the full chapter in the book for the full details. But now you know some of the specifics for what it takes to do a true planche.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s still time to take the short survey so I can find out exactly what you want. Click here.

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