We only have a few elite calisthenics athletes and gymnasts around the world that can hold a planche like it’s nothing. These individuals have acquired general and very specific strength, mobility and skill in order to achieve planche; not through luck, but from hard work.

Today, planche experts will share with us the common mistakes to avoid and tips on how to improve in our planche journey in an efficient way.

We’re going to get top-notch information that can also be applied in other skills that we what to learn.


👊 Common mistakes to avoid

These common pitfalls hinders you from faster and proper progress. Avoid these mistakes to keep your training productive and achieve your goal in a safer, faster and more efficient manner.

1. 🤜 Doing too many exercises

A common mistake done by people is doing too many exercises in a given training session. This will prohibit you to build the volume needed for learning muscle memory and strength growth for the right muscle groups.

Stick to the most effective exercises in your main workout. There are far better, more efficient exercises that make better use of your time especially when learning a skill.

2. 🤜 Doing non-planche-specific exercises

Something similar to the mentioned above is doing too many non-planche specific exercises. This will slow your planche progress and could even lead you to over-fatigue.

Now, we’re not saying ditch every other exercise. Having a balanced body is still our goal. This means you will not let go of pulling exercises and your leg day, but you would just need to schedule your training better.

If your main goal is to planche, it’s best to stick to exercises that guide you towards your goal, while adding a regular, but moderate number of other exercises for an overall,, strong and balanced body.

3. 🤜 Too difficult progression

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE PLANCHE WORK. Usually this is the case when ego takes over. Choosing a difficult progression in which we cannot hold with perfect form for at least 8 seconds will only train us to form bad habits.

Dial down the ego and keep on working what you can do. Not only will it prevent any injuries, it will also help you progress faster and keep the process enjoyable.

4. 🤜 Arms not straight

When doing too difficult progressions, a common breaking point of form is in the elbows. A bent arm is not a proper straight-arm planche. Duh!

If this happens, scale down to an easier exercise that allows you to keep your arms straight. Also focus on preparatory exercises that will build you stronger tendons.

Remember our joints are not accustomed to the straight arm loading. Keep your progress consistent no matter how slow you do. 

To give you a cue, push your elbow pits forward. Keep it straight!

5. 🤜 Not breathing

Holding your breath, for sure, helps you hold your planche much longer, but this does more harm than good. Not breathing when training a planche progression will hinder your body from getting comfortable with the position.

Although it seems much more difficult at first, also focus on breathing when training planche progressions. This will help you get comfortable holding the planche and make your progress better and stronger.

6. 🤜 Giving up too early

Not many people can planche. Why? Because most gave up within a slight sign of a plateau. 

Planche is such an advanced skill. That’s why there are also tons of exercises and progressions as seen in the article The Ultimate Planche Progression”. But this is not an excuse to give up if you really like to learn the move.

Aside from the natural steep learning curve for planche, if you feel you aren’t getting any progress, address your weak links.

Take a video of yourself performing the planche and analyze where you could possibly be weak. The usual weak links are: 

  • Anterior deltoid strength to hold forward lean
  • Wrist mobility
  • Hip mobility
  • Shoulder mobility
  • Straight-arm strength

Keep your determination and stay smart with your training as you will eventually learn this horizontal skill in time.

☝️☝️Tips on how to improve your planche

Now that you already know the mistakes to avoid and some of its solutions, here are the general guidelines for a better approach in training. 

These are reminders for your training journey that can also be used for other goals..

1. 👍 Body tension

There are specific muscle groups that will be working extra hard to keep you in the planche position. Sometimes, form tends to break them down which is why you might be too focused in these muscle groups.

While keeping the muscles in check, never forget about the rest of your body. Advanced calisthenics skills such as a planche demands a powerful, full-body tension. Keep everything tight to get the most out of your body.

2. 👍 Back to basics

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, no matter how advanced you are, the basics will always serve you well!

Solidifying and always going back to basics helps you address any weaknesses. It also secures your foundations as planche squeezes out every strength from you.

To give you a concrete example: wrist rocks seem to be an easy exercise that you can forget about once you get comfortable with it. The key is to always scale it for the exercise to become challenging. LEAN FORWARD EVEN FURTHER. This will add more resistance even to the most basics of exercises. 

Basics are your best friend. Basic doesn’t mean easy.

3. 👍 Enter with correct form

One way to ensure that you’re holding the correct form of planche is already preparing your body with the correct form before entering. Whichever progression you are in, make sure that you have the correct body line and posture before entering the planche. From your starting position, all you have to do is to lean forward until you have enough angle to lift towards the planche.

This way, you no longer have to worry about making adjustments with your form. Just maintain the correct bodyline and posture while moving towards the position.

4. 👍 Building good habits

Like for any other goals, the key to having good form is building good habits right from the very start of the journey.

Always make sure that you are in form when performing the planche. Stop and rest once your form starts to break. This teaches your body to maintain only the correct form.

Once your body has gotten used to this position, it will be difficult for you to even try out a bad form of planche.

5. 👍 Visualization

Even with the massive strength and mobility demands, planche is still a skill. When learning a skill, visualizing yourself performing the skill supports your progress.

You can even do this anywhere, anytime you like! Simply visualize yourself preparing, entering and holding the planche. A study even supports this that mental practices translates to positive effects in motor skills acquisition.


To Summarize:

Here again are the mistakes to avoid and tips to follow gathered from planche experts:

👊 Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Doing too many unnecessary exercises
  2. Doing too many non-planche specific exercises
  3. Practicing a progression too difficult for you
  4. Practicing actual planche progression with bent arms
  5. Not breathing with a relaxed manner during the planche hold
  6. Giving up too early in your journey


☝️Tips to follow:

  1. Full on body tension
  2. Scaling and training with basic movement patterns
  3. Entering planche position with already correct form
  4. Continuous building of good habits
  5. Mental practice of planche (visualizing)

These tips and mistakes to avoid from experts are vital for a safe, fast and efficient progress. Integrate this with discipline and a proper structured program such as the one we have on The Movement Athlete, then you’ll be floating towards planche in no time. 

The Ultimate Guide to Planche


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