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