Key exercises to unlock the straddle planche

One step before the almighty full-planche is the straddle planche. An already extremely tough skill, which a lot of people will never able to perform. This move demonstrates the amazing things your body can do. Training for it will take a whole lot of exercise, consistency, and patience. However, achieving the straddle planche is definitely worth it. I speak from experience.


In this post, I will give some key-exercises that helped me achieve the straddle planche. Implement these exercises and I guarantee you, you will see results.

Understanding the straddle planche

After you have completed the advanced-tuck planche, you can start training for the straddle planche. This insanely tough calishtenics and gymnastic skill require a whole lot of strength. Accomplishing this move will take a lot of effort and dedication. It will probably take you about a year before you can hold a clean straddle planche for a few seconds.

The planche requires a lot of different muscles, but the main-used muscles are your shoulders and abdominals. 

Your goal is to hold yourself up in a straight horizontal line. Because you lean forward, you can lift your legs off the ground. Your arms need to be straight and elbows locked out. Engage your core and glutes to maintain this straight horizontal line. 

Straddle planche requirements

Before you start with straddle planche training, there are a few conditions. You need to be able to hold a clean advanced-tuck planche for 5 seconds and be comfortable with push exercises like push-ups and dips. I also recommend you learn the handstand push-up. If you want to achieve a clean straddle planche, it is essential to have a solid push-strength foundation. 

Wrist mobility

The planche is a move that applies a lot of pressure on your wrists. Therefore, I suggest you work on some wrist mobility work. It will make it much easier when you are practicing the planche on the floor. The earlier you concentrate on mobility work, the better your results will be.

Warm-up

Before your planche training, you should always do your warm-up. Stretch your wrists and shoulders. Let that blood flow, and let’s go!

Planche attempts

The best planche exercise is to attempt it over and over. It does not matter if your form is bad or your hold time is low. By trying and trying, you will improve your hold over time. However, I suggest you only train like this if you can hold a solid advanced-tuck planche. By this, I mean proper form and at least five seconds.

This is what your advanced tuck planche should look like.

If you notice that attempting the straddle planche is hopeless, Try the tuck planche first. Do sets of at least 5 seconds and get as comfortable as possible with it. Move on to the straddle planche when you are ready.

Swing to straddle planche

Entering a straddle as a beginner can be a real challenge. However, by using momentum, you can make it more bearable. You do need a set of dip bars to execute this exercise. Swing yourself back and forth. Use the moment to enter the straddle planche position. Try to hold this position for a couple of seconds. All this is one repetition. Repeat this process for a couple of sets and reps.

Tuck planche push-ups

The tuck planche push-up is a great exercise to increase your pushing strength. You start in a tuck-planche position and lower and push yourself up while maintaining the tuck planche position. In the beginning, this exercise can be quite hard, but it will definitely improve your planche-game.

Straddle negatives

If you have trouble holding the straddle planche, try to lower yourself into the planche from a handstand. Entering a planche with a negative motion will make it easier to hold it. Start by jumping into a handstand and slowly transition to the straddle planche. Move controllably and keep your hands straight. Eventually, you will notice the straddle planche will get easier, a great way to increase your hold time.

Assisted straddle planche

For this exercise, you have to own a resistance band. This exercise is basically the same as attempting the straddle planche. However, you make it a lot more duable with the use of a resistance band. The band lets you do harder progressions. This way, you get to know the movement, and it improves your technique. You probably need a strong resistance band at first. But, over time, you can decrease the load until you can do without a band.

Handstand push-ups

When I was still learning for the straddle planche, I did a ton of handstand push-ups. The handstand push up is, in my opinion, the best shoulder exercise. Therefore, great for learning the straddle planche.

If you cannot perform a free-handstanding push-up, try it against a wall. It is much easier. If you cannot do a handstand push up at all. You should not be training for the planche in the first place. I recommend you master the handstand push up first.

Core exercises

Besides all the pressure the planche is applying on your shoulders, the planche is also an enormous challenge for your core. Therefore, training your core frequently will benefit you in the planche.

Tips and tricks

Floor and parallettes

there are two ways to practice the planche. On parellettes or the floor. Most people will find the planche on parallettes easier. On the ground, it is harder to balance, and you use fewer muscles in your wrist. However, in the end, it does not matter. It is all personal preference. Just make sure you train both.

Basics

Doing the calisthenics basics are a crucial part of your training, do not neglect these. Exercises such as the push-up, dip and, pull-up help you build and maintain a solid foundation, which you need for the hard calisthenics skills like the planche. So besides doing the exercises mentioned above, do your basics!

Frequency

The planche is a really intensive move. You should train it often and consistently. However, do not overtrain it. Rest is besides working out a major part of your training. Therefore, I suggest you plan three planche workouts a week. It is possible to do four, only if you are not feeling sore.