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Planche Progressions

The frog stand is the first in a series of static exercises that are used to improve balance while developing incredible core strength and rigidity at the same time.  The eventual goal is the planche, which looks like a pushup except the only part of the body touching the ground is the hands.

To start the frog stand, squat down and put your hands just on the inside of your feet, about mid-foot.  The next part of the movement involves you putting your knees onto the top of your bent elbows, so you’ll need to slide your hands forward until you find the position that feels the most natural.  This will depend upon the relative length of your arms and legs, but your hands will not travel much more than a foot from your feet (4-15 inches away may be appropriate).

Once you’ve found the best hand placement, rest your knees against the back of your elbow just below the tricep and lean forward.  As you bring your shoulders ahead of your hands, allow your body weight to begin to transfer from your legs to your arms.  A balanced position will have your hands underneath your hips (or pretty close) and therefore your shoulders will be well ahead of your hands.

Once you’ve found your balance, hold the position for as long as you can.  Maintaining a tight core can help make the exercise easier.  When you first start, aim to accumulate 30 seconds total in the frog stand, in as many sets as it takes.  Once you can reach 30 seconds, aim for 60 seconds, then 2 minutes.

Be careful not to fall forward onto your face.  When you do fall, there can be a tendency to leap forward to catch yourself, so make sure that nothing/no one is in front of you that you might run into.  A well-placed mat can help protect your face in case you don’t catch yourself when you fall (yes, you will probably fall).

Frog Stand

Frog Stand

 

The next exercise in the progression is a tuck planche.  It is similar to the frog stand, except that instead of putting your knees on your elbows, you instead lean forward onto your arms and draw your knees up into your chest, forming a tight tuck position.  Work on accumulating time in this hold just as you did with the frog stand.

When you can easily hold the tuck planche, you can begin to work on tuck planche pushups (lower yourself to the ground and back while holding the tuck planche), and also extending the legs and body out backwards, towards a full planche position.

Check out our planche pushup progressions for complimentary exercises that will help you achieve the planche even more quickly.

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