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Tex728 06-15-2004 04:51 PM

I recently read the article about building an Olympic body with bodyweight exercises only. I was amazed about that gymnast who maxed out the Deadlift at 400 lb. The article said that bodyweight exercises could be used to build amazing strength. Today during my warmup while practicing the Tuck Planche on my parralletes (sp?) I decided to try a pushup too. I couldn't complete full ROM but I was curious about whether this exercise would build substantial strength to compliment pushups?

Graham Hayes 06-15-2004 04:56 PM

Yes it will build monster strength. Consider how cripplingly difficult planche's are, once mastered with their dynamic components; pushups will not be good enough to warm you up!

Tex728 06-15-2004 04:59 PM

Thanks Graham. I don't know if I have a lazy/poor work ethic but Im always trying to find something that will build up the same kind of strength/endurance that takes less time and is more interesting than just hundreds of pushups.

Tex728 06-15-2004 05:01 PM

Oh also, sorry I forgot, I was also curious. While doing them I felt as if I was crossing a fine line between dips and a pushup. I don't know if my form was just bad, or if it was a natural occurence from using parrallel bars.

Graham Hayes 06-16-2004 04:31 AM

Well I'm not too sure what you mean, maybe your hips are no longer level with your shoulders as you tire. Their isn't much difference in what a push up or dip hits. Think of the planche press up as a horizontal dip, or a push up with no leg support.

Mark Roughton 06-16-2004 05:56 AM

Any thoughts on the transition between the frog and the tuck planche? I can hold a frog for about a minute, but I can't hold on to the tuck planche at all. I'm thinking incline bench presses and HSPUs might help strengthen the shoulder girdle/upper chest, but can anyone recommend other good assistance exercises?

Graham Hayes 06-16-2004 06:09 AM

Mark, it is a really difficult transition. I don't think the problem is your upper body, the main reason I fail on either the planche progressions or lever progressions is a lack of sufficient trunk strength. With the arms straight you should be able to hold yourself up using mostly your bones. The best way I can think of to progress is to do like the article says and go for 60 seconds air time even if that means holding for 1 second at a time, and use L-sits and other gymnastic ab-strength excersises.

Ross Hunt 06-16-2004 07:01 AM

Hey Mark,

Coach Sommer has a few answers in the response to this message:


I wish I could offer you some personal experience but I never got farther than a straight-armed frog sit.

Mark Roughton 06-16-2004 07:38 AM

Thanks Graham and Ross. I just tried Coach Somer's suggestion about pressing up from the floor. That worked...I couldn't straighten my arms, but I was able to get up off the ground for about five seconds. It's a start!

Pat Janes 06-17-2004 01:08 AM


I saw Coach Sommer's post to the dragon door forum a while back and did exactly what he was suggesting. Even when I could only hold myself off the ground straight arms for 2 secs at a time, that's what I did.

After a couple of weeks, 2secs turned into about 15-20 secs; and 1 inch off the ground turned into 6 inches... basically I think that eventually you just have to "give it a go" no matter how far away the end result seems.

The same goes for the press-to-handstand ideas in the January 2004 Crossfit Journal. It tells you just to keep practicing pressing - no jumping or bouncing into it. A couple of days ago my feet rose off the ground for the 1st time, when it didn't seem like they were ever going to.

Still got a long way to go myself with these things, but the idea of just working at it, and trying things even when it doesn't "feel" like you're getting anywhere has worked for me.

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