The Progressions Planche frog stand

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Begin this position by assuming a full squat and placing your hands on the ground directly in front of your feet. By directly, I mean right next to your toes. Arrange yourself so that your knees are resting against your bent elbows. Now gradually lean forward taking your weight both unto your hands and also unto your knees by leaning them on your elbows. Using your knees on your elbows will allow your legs to help your shoulders bear the load of your bodyweight. As you continue leaning forward you will eventually be able to remove your feet completely from the floor and hold yourself up with only your hands on the floor and your knees on your elbows for support.

Balance is also a key to this exercise. As you first begin to learn how to lean forward in this position, you will often probably overextend and fall forward. Don't worry, have fun with it and enjoy some new training. Some pillows placed in front of you will help to cushion any crash landings.

Notice that this is the only static position in our planche progressions with bent elbows.

Notice that this is the only static position in our planche progressions with bent elbows.

Frog Stand Planche

Planche - advanced frog stand

For many trainees, advanced frog stands are a necessary intermediate step to the prior to beginning to successfully train the tuck planche. Initially frog stands are much easier than tuck planches due to the fact that utilizing the knees on bent-arms allowed the legs to support a great deal of the body's weight. With the future tuck planche, the majority of the stress will go directly to the shoulder girdle. For many non-gymnasts, the jump in intensity between these two exercises can be extreme. Advanced frog stands help to ease this transition considerably.

In an advanced frog stand the knees continue to be braced on the arms;

however the elbows have progressed from a bent to a straight-arm position. In this position the amount of help that the knees can provide is minimized as you are simply leaning on the straight-arm rather than being propped up by the bent elbow. Utilizing the advanced frog stand also allows the increase of intensity on the shoulder girdle to be more gradual.

It is important to emphasize keeping the arms completely straight during the advanced frog stand. Allowing the elbows to bend removes stress from the shoulder girdle & elbow joint, which is exactly where it needs to be in order to continue making progress through the planche progression.

Difficulty rating: Planche - tuck

The main difference between an advanced frog stand and the tuck planche is that your weight will now be borne solely by your arms and shoulder girdle; the knees are no longer allowed to provide additional support. Once again begin in a full squat and place your hands next to your toes. Now, as in the frog stand, lean forward taking all of your weight on your arms and shoulders alone. Do not use your knees on your elbows for assistance. Holding the knees tightly to the chest will make this exercise easier. At first you may only be able to briefly rise off the ground. Do not be overly concerned. It will pass with time and continued persistent training.

It bears re-mentioning however, that a correct tuck planche is executed with the hips shoulder high. Depending on your initial strength levels, it may take quite some time to reach this level of development. Simply continue working the position, striving to lift your hips to shoulder high. With consistent practice it is possible to increase your strength in static positions relatively quickly.

Difficulty rating:

Planche - flat tuck

Once you feel comfortable with the tuck planche, you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by progressing on to the flat tuck planche. The primary difference between the tuck and flat tuck planche is the position of the back. Note that in the tuck planche the back is curved, while in the flat tuck planche the back appears flat. While holding your hips shoulder high, try to extend your hips back behind you until your back is flat. This "flattening" will greatly increase the intensity of the tuck planche. In fact, I think you will be extremely surprised at how much harder such a small movement can make the tuck planche.

Difficulty rating:

Difficulty rating:

Planche - straddle

Once you have mastered the flat tuck planche position you are ready to work on the straddle planche. Finally! After months of hard consistent work the end is now in sight. As with the other planche variations, while learning the straddle planche, it is also beneficial to practice tuck planche push-ups at the same time; one will build upon the other.

From the flat tuck planche position, begin to extend your knees behind you from their position on your chest. Balance is critical here. As you extend your legs farther behind, you will also have to lean a little farther forward to compensate. The wider your legs are, the easier the straddle planche will be. However for those planning to progress to the straight planche in the future, as you get stronger in the straddle planche, you should increase the difficulty by bringing your legs closer together.

Make small adjustments from workout to workout trying to either increase the length of your static hold or the extension of your position. Do not try to increase both at the same workout. BE PREPARED - just a small movement will greatly lessen your leverage on this exercise and make the movement much harder.

Advanced athletes may enter the straddle planche either from a straddle L or lowering from a handstand.

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