How to Do a Planche Progression

by Dana Severson ; Updated September 28, 2017

Master the frog before progressing in the planche.

Otmar Winterleitner/iStock/Getty Images

Gymnasts and hard-core fitness enthusiasts alike tackle the planche progression to improve strength and increase their ability to balance. Starting with the Frog Stand -- a posture akin to the Crow or Crane pose in yoga -- during which your knees are resting on your elbows, your feet are off the floor and your whole body weight is being supported by your hands; the planche progresses with ever-increasing levels of difficulty, until you achieve the ultimate pose which is to balance on your hands, while your legs are extended straight behind you. It has been suggested that you spend at least six months conditioning your upper body and core with strength-training exercises before you attempt the planche progression.

Frog Stand

Start in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist, and your knees are positioned outside and against your bent elbows.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your hands and your knees. Your knees will be pressed against your bent elbows.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up by your hands and supporting your position with your elbow/knee connection.

Hold this position for 60 seconds.

Tuck Planche

After you’ve become familiar with the frog stand, you can move onto tuck. Again, start in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist. Instead of resting your knees against your elbows, press them into your chest.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your right and left hands. Your back will have a slight curvature as you move into position.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up only by your hands.

Hold this position for 60 seconds. Please note that you will most likely only be able to hold this position momentarily. As you work with the tuck planche, the time you are able to suspend your body will increase.

Advanced Tuck Planche

After you’re able to hold tuck planche for an extended period of time, move on to advanced tuck planche. Once again, start in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist, and press your knees lightly into your chest.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your right and left hands. Your back will have a slight curvature as you move into position.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up only by your hands.

Extend your hips back slowly until your back is flat and your hips are at about shoulder height.

Hold this position for 60 seconds.

Straddle Planche

After you’re able to hold advanced tuck planche for an extended period of time, move onto the straddle planche. Again, start off in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist, and press your knees lightly into your chest.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your right and left hands. Your back will have a slight curvature as you move into position.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up only by your hands.

Extend your hips back slowly until your back is flat and your hips are at about shoulder height.

Straighten your legs back until they are fully extended and parallel with the floor. As you straighten your legs, you will most likely need to lean forward a bit further.

Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Tuck Planche Pushup

After you’ve become familiar with the straddle planche, you can move onto the addition of the pushup. Again, start in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist. Instead of resting your knees against your elbows, press them into your chest.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your right and left hands. Your back will have a slight curvature as you move into position.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up only by your hands.

Bend your elbows, drawing your chest toward the ground. Then straighten your arms back to the original position.

Advanced Tuck Planche Pushup

After you’re able to do the tuck planche pushup, move on to the advanced form. Again, start in a full squatting position, placing your right hand directly in front of your right foot and your left hand directly in front of your left foot. Make sure the toes of both feet are touching the area where your palm meets your wrist, and press your knees lightly into your chest.

Lean forward so your weight is evenly distributed to both your right and left hands. Your back will have a slight curvature as you move into position.

Draw your feet off the ground, holding yourself up only by your hands.

Extend your hips back slowly until your back is flat and your hips are at about shoulder height.

Bend your elbows, drawing your chest toward the ground. Then straighten your arms back to the original position.

Tips

  • If you experience any sort of pain in the wrists while performing the planche progression, use a set of pushup bars to complete the exercise.

Photo Credits

  • Otmar Winterleitner/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.