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Keep your elbows tucked in like this when doing pushups.
The planche is an impressive and advanced exercise in which the body is held parallel to the ground, with only the hands touching the floor or bars. Some people also perform planche pushups, essentially pushups with the feet lifted off the ground. This is a difficult exercise as it puts a lot of stress on the shoulders and wrists. It's important to progress gradually, rather than diving straight in.1.
Practice pushups. Put your hands alongside your chest and your elbows close to your body, as opposed to flaring out to the sides. When you can do 25 repetitions in one set move on.2.
Place a footstool on either side of you, and put your hands flat on top of them. Lift your feet off the ground, keeping your arms straight, and swing forward and backward. Practice this daily to improve your balance.3.
Get into a push-up position with your feet up on a chair. The chair needs to be lightweight, something that will tilt forward. Keep the arms straight and then lean your body forward and then push back to the starting point. Use your arms and shoulders to do this, not your legs. Again, you can do this daily. When it starts to get easy and you can lean forward quite far, move on.4.
Attempt the frog stand. You can do this and all other progression exercises with the hands on the floor or with parallel bars. If you don't have access to bars, push-up bars will do. Place your hands on the floor just in front of your feet. Then raise your knees up to rest against the elbows, with your arms straight. At first, you might only be able to hold this for a second or less, but build this up over time and aim to hold this pose for a full minute.5.
Learn the tuck planche. This is similar to the frog stand, except that your arms are straight and your legs are tucked into your chest. Your back will be curved but roughly parallel to the ground. Practice this until you can hold the position for a minute.6.
Practice the advanced tuck planche. This is the same as the normal tuck planche, except this time you keep the back straight. This makes the exercise considerably more difficult.7.
Move on to the straddle planche. Get into the advanced tuck planche position and then slowly extend your legs out. Spread your legs apart to increase your left-to right balance. At this point you'll find it much harder to keep your balance as the extension of the legs moves your center of mass backward. You'll have to lean forward somewhat to counteract this, and it may take some time before you develop the forearm strength necessary to hold you in place without tipping either way. Do this exercise in increments of 10 seconds.8.
Attempt the full planche. Get into the straddle planche and then try to close your legs together. When you can hold the planche position firmly, start trying planche push ups by bending from your elbow and then pushing back up.
- Two footstools