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Training for Planche Pushups

A planche pushup is a type of pushup that involves having the entire body off the ground and supporting your full weight in the hands and arms. Planche pushups are extremely difficult to do compared with regular pushups, but can be achieved by a dedicated athlete over many weeks of training. Many gymnasts and acrobats perform planche pushups as a means of using their body weight in place of free weights once regular pushups have become less challenging.

Your training to work up to planche pushups should begin with feeling comfortable with regular pushups. Practice regular pushups with your elbows tucked into your sides and aim to do at least 50 in a row before taking a break. Move your hands closer to your waist as you become more comfortable to imitate the position they will have to take in a planche. Begin to increase the difficulty of your pushups by slowly raising the angle of your feet off the floor. Start by placing your feet six inches off the ground, either using a wall or a yoga block, and increase the height as you develop the strength to keep doing pushups with your legs elevated. You can also ask a friend to hold your feet up to adjust the angle for you.

Another method of training for a planche pushup is to practice other types of pushups and static holds until you've built up the strength and balance for a planche. To perform a frog stand, take a squatted position with your knees to the outside of your elbows, then slowly lean forward until you can take your full weight in your arms. Hold this position for as long as possible, then return to your squat.

Once you've become comfortable in a frog stand, perform the move with your knees tucked inside your elbows and find the same point of balance. This is a tuck planche. Raise and lower your body in a pushup once you feel balanced in this position. Make your tuck planche more difficult by holding it with a straight back instead of curved, with your knees farther away from your elbows.

The straddle planche is another static move, like the frog stand, that prepares the body for a planche pushup. From a tuck planche position with a straight back, extend your legs out behind you. Counterbalance your legs by leaning forward into your arms and shoulders more. This is a very difficult position to hold, but once you're comfortable in it, you can raise and lower your body in a straddle planche pushup.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.