Planche Push Up Drills for Ultimate Strength and Control

In a planche push up, you balance on just your hands. Learn the principles and progressions to get you there.

We pursue high-level gymnastics skills because they are enviable badges of strength and control. Few movements are more impressive and technically challenging than the planche push up.

Knowing how to hold a freestanding handstand and being comfortable with just your hands on the ground will speed up your learning process. And, as always, strength helps tremendously.

Start with skill-specific drills:

  • Decline or handstand push ups resemble the planche position. Push ups with your hands next to your hips will also get your body familiar with the motor patterns.
  • Do a modified crow stand. Start by kneeling with your hands just outside your knees. Then, lean forward and push hard to lift your legs off the ground. Eventually, try to kick your legs back into the planche position. They may hit the ground several times during these steps, but keep practicing until you can hold them in the air for a few seconds.

Work on reaching the planche position from above (from a handstand) and below (from the ground). When doing the latter, it's okay to turn your fingertips slightly out to the sides.

When you feel ready, it's time to try the real thing. Maintain tension and control throughout the movement, and build up to sets of multiple reps. If your fingers are already strong, you can try planche push ups on your fingertips, which gives you more control.

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