In Coaching, Gymnastics/Tumbling, Videos

September 27, 2011

Video Article

Dusty Hyland, an instructor at DogTown CrossFit, and David St. Pierre, a former member of the U.S. Gymnastics Team, are back to teach more advanced gymnastics skills. Today’s focus is the planche. According to Hyland, developing planche strength translates to other skills.

“I think it’s got some really functional properties that are gonna be great down the road for CrossFitters,” Hyland says.

Hyland breaks down the movement and starts with an elbow plank. Once tight in this position, you can rock back and forth to develop a planche. A push-up position with hands rotated out is the next progression.

“We’re beginning to load the shoulder,” Hyland says.

“Starting to drill and play with planche strength is understanding the top position of this thing,” Hyland says. “If we don’t understand how to cue and stay tight, we’re nowhere.”

The next step is using parallettes—working a tuck position called a tuck-up, adding rotation, and holding that position. Finally, the parallette shoot-out transitions from a tuck-up to a plank by shooting the legs back to a bench or box.

Other assistance exercises to develop planche strength include using dumbbells. St. Pierre demonstrates how to drill dumbbell holds.

Hyland cautions against going beyond your strength limitations.

“With these gymnastics movements, you only want to work and go as far as your body will allow,” he says.

9min 57sec

Additional reading: The Russian’s Gymnastics Warm-Up by Leo Soubbotine, published Nov. 21, 2009.

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15 Comments on “Understanding Planche Strength”


wrote …

I think the proper title is "Understanding Plank Strength"


Wencil Stanek wrote …

Dusty is a beast!


wrote …

so sick


Alex Kourkoumelis wrote …

Just what I needed. Been working on the planche for a couple months. Now I have some new prerequisites.


wrote …

Laughable to show a 220 lb guy like me a exercice done by a 150 lb guy....:-)


wrote …

Thanks for a greatly informative video! These progressions will work wonders for clients who are nowhere near a full planche.


Iulian Musat wrote …

Thank you for this !!!
I'd love to see similar ideas for progressions toward an iron cross.


wrote …

Nice job Dusty... Very sweet strength progressions here and solid coaching as usual.

Jochen - it is all relative. We have seen several guys with various weights and strength levels play with these forms and do really well. Also seen several who were over 6 foot - who are controlling longer levers perform such. Don't let the weight of your body hold you back, ease into it...


wrote …

Dusty and David -- thanks for this excellent video! I always thought I had the strength to do a planche, but had no idea how to approach it or any coaching/cueing tips until watching this. After today's mainsite WOD (7x1 snatches) my shoulders and triceps were really warmed up, so I decided to try a P-bar planche -- and got it. Managed two solid efforts each time holding the position for 5 - 10 seconds. Something just clicked for me watching you guys, especially when Dusty demonstrated it at the beginning. Thanks again, and keep the gymnastics advice coming!


wrote …

I am very interested about the tansition between the tuck and stradle/full lay position... I would love to learn mor about that!


wrote …

That video rocked!


I think I may have just had a lightbulb moment.

Let me ask this

So If I am stronger at hollowing my tummy tightening my butt and can hold this strong alignment through my core then my ability to increase the number of repetitions in something like a push up would also increase due to the reduced load on my arm from improved body stabilisation??

Is this a fair analysis?




I don't think it'l help a whole ton, but it definitely can't hurt. The amount of weight your arms/shoulders have to bare doesn't shift due to body stabilization but holding that hollow body position is important and will transfer well into other movements.

Keep working at it!


replied to comment from Gregory Diaz

No....Its planche


wrote …

Thanks for all the great comments about this video! Anybody that is looking for specific help or instruction can shoot me an email at

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