THE BENT-ARM PLANCHE PROGRESSION LADDER

Set out to fly on the Bent-Arm Planche, you'll transform your ams and shoulders and never struggle with basic Push-Ups again.

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT...

This is a nice way to really test your strength without any equipment needed. It looks like a Push-Up, but it's a static hold with elbows tucked into your body and as much weight shifted forward as you can handle.

TO MASTER THE BENT-ARM PLANCHE PROGRESSION LADDER -- you'll practice The Bent-Arm Planche itself two months out of four in The Strength Sessions Programme, then also get big carry over from the Push-Ups, and the other gymnastic stuff, especially the Bent-Arm Handstand.

PROGRESSION 1: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: HANDS, HEAD & KNEES DOWN

CRITERIA: 

–> Hands must be level with the bottom of your chest
–> Neck must not hurt!
–> Arms must be bent 90 degrees or more
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or very close to it)

WAFFLE

This may look like an easy start, but if you’re not used to it, and you seek the tension (which you should), just by putting yourself in this position — even with your feet and your head down — you should feel a lot of stress in your shoulders and triceps. That said, it shouldn’t be too long before you are ready for the next progression.

PROGRESSION 2: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: HANDS AND KNEES DOWN

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Head must be off the floor

–> Hands must be level with the bottom of your chest
–> Arms must be bent 90 degrees or more
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or very close to it)

Here we simply setup the perfect shoulder and arm position and then increase the challenge slightly by lifting the head. This is one of those exercises that should feel difficult — even for strong folk — even on the early progressions. So concentrate on feeling, but controlling the stress through the arms and shoulders, hit your time and then move onto the next level.

PROGRESSION 3: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: HANDS AND ONE FOOT

CRITERIA: 

–> One knee must be off the floor, the foot dug in (like in a push up)
–> Hands must be level with the bottom of your chest
–> Arms must be bent 90 degrees or more
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or very close to it)

WAFFLE

Next we have the same arm position, but we start to get some of the weight out of our knees, so we have fewer points of contact with the floor and therefore a higher strength challenge. We also now need the skill (and strength) to tuck the pelvis so we don’t arch our backs.

PROGRESSION 4: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: HANDS AND FEET

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Pelvis must be slightly in PPT
–> Both knees must be off the floor, the feet dug in (like in a push up)
–> Hands must be level with the bottom of your chest
–> Arms must be bent 90 degrees or more
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or very close to it)

Now it’s simply time to lift the other knee. Keep your weight forwards and learn to contol that. Once you got that it’s time to figure out how to start lifting those feet.

PROGRESSION 5: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: HANDS AND ONE FOOT

CRITERIA: 

–> One foot must be off the floor, with your weight shifted further forwards than on the previous progression.
–> Pelvis must be slightly in PPT
–> Both knees must be off the floor, grounded foot dug in (like in a push up)
–> Hands must be level with the bottom of your chest
–> Arms must be bent 90 degrees or more
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or very close to it)

WAFFLE

This position doesn’t have to be that much more difficult to the previous, but it’s a mindset thing: if you’re going to master this, you’re going to take all of your weight in your hands. So, to make the most of this, lift one foot and take it really wide before shifting as much weight forward as you can…THAT SHIFT is what make this a progression. Lifting the foot makes no real difference if you don't edge forward. Once you’ve done that really well, you’re finally ready for takeoff.

PROGRESSION 6: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: PARTIAL RANGE

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Both feet must be held off the floor for the required time
–> Arms must be flexed at least 20 degrees
–> Torso must be close to parrallel to the floor
–> Must land safely

This is the first progression where we don’t insist on the ‘perfect’ arm position. I just find that it’s a lot more enjoyable and rewarding to move to this step and actually be able to get airborn quicker. So just flex your arms and learn to get those feet up for the required time. Once you’ve mastered this, we try to get the arms back to the more flexed position.

PROGRESSION 7: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: MEDIUM RANGE

CRITERIA: 

–> Both feet must be off the floor for the required period of time.
–> Arms must be flexed at least 40 degrees
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or close to it)
–> Must land under control

WAFFLE

This step starts out exactly the same as the last step, but now you have to have the strength to bend those arms a little more while keeping your feet off the floor.

PROGRESSION 8: BENT-ARM PLANCHE: FULL RANGE

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Both feet must be off the floor for the required time
–> Chest must be close to the floor but not hit
–> Legs must be extended behind you
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or close to it)
–> One must land safely without bloodying ones nose

This is still a big jump up from the last step. You need way more strength in the arms and shoulders in order to lower to a fully flexed arm position, plus you need the lower back and glutes to be able hold your legs up the other end. But once you can, then you can proudly claim to be able to Bent-Arm Planche, very nice if that’s what you’re into. The next two steps are just to be a showoff arsehole really…

PROGRESSION 9: FROG STAND TO BENT-ARM PLANCHE

CRITERIA: 

–> Move must start in straight-body Bent-Arm Handstand
–> Legs must remain locked throughout
–> Without touching the floor you must move to a full Bent-Arm Planche, all criteria from above apply

WAFFLE

If you can hold the Bent-Arm Planche, you should be able to hold the Bent-Arm Handstand. If you can hold these two postions, you should be able to smoothly move from the handstand to the planche with a little practice. Right?...

PROGRESSION 10: STRAIGHT HANDSTAND TO BENT-PLANCHE

THESE ARE THE CRITERIA:

–> Move must start in a full straight handstand
–> Legs must remain locked throughout
–> Without touching the floor you must move to a full Bent-Arm Planche, all criteria from above apply

–> Both feet must be off the floor for the required time
–> Chest must be close to the floor but not hit
–> Legs must be extended behind you
–> Torso must be parrallel to the floor (or close to it)
–> One must land safely without bloodying ones nose

This is the final step in the ladder, you’ll need a little more strength to control your way down into the position, and you’ll need a LOT more balance. If you’re not into handstands then you might want to ignore this last step, but you might as well master it right?…Gives you another thing to train for...

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