Planches (and other gymnastics moves) are made in the kitchen


I love to do little experiments. One of my most recent involved working on a Reverse Grip Planche.

Recently I noticed that with my hands facing backwards I could hardly hold even a Tuck Planche with straight arms.

I’m really into the idea of piggybacking stuff I want to do with stuff that I already do anyway, so the countertop in my kitchen was the perfect solution. You’ll notice that when you prepare food there is usually down-time waiting for the pan to heat, food to cook, etc—that’s valuable planche time! Thus the Reverse Grip Planche Experiment was born.

Every time I cook, I do a reverse grip planche variation on the countertop. I don’t do any other specific planche training.

The progression:
1) Support position with reverse gripSupport position with reverse grip

2) Straight leg hip liftsStraight leg hip lifts

3) Tuck PlancheTuck Planche

4) Legs outside arms and holdLegs outside arms and hold

5) Straddle PlancheStraddle Planche

Accessory movement: Straight Body LeansStraight Body Lean

No specific reps/sets/etc. Just the idea that when I’m cooking, I’m planching. Sometimes I’d get about 2-3 sets in, other times I’d get upwards of 6. No stress, no counting, just a solid but easy effort on the Reverse Grip Planche.

I didn’t notice anything immediate. In fact, I stayed at a Tuck Planche for a long time. I tried to progress often but wasn’t able to bridge the gap to the next step.

Then one day it just felt easier. I was able to hit the legs outside the arms and hold pretty comfortably. I thought, wow that was cool. Then about a month later I was able to hit a fairly decent Straddle Planche for a second.

Baby steps every day is really the big secret you’re looking for. It’s not the magic fast track that people promise you, but consistency that really works. When I started doing the planche training, I felt my bicep strain a little bit every time with the reverse grip. Over time that began to lessen and I got more and more comfortable with the position.

Magic doesn’t happen in seconds, it happens over longer periods of time–it’s just been so long that we forget how far we’ve come.

So here’s the plan: piggyback an exercise that you want to improve on top of something you’re already doing. For example: brushing your teeth, cooking, showering, getting dressed. Do the exercise every time you do the established activity. Watch how you progress.

Want to achieve something that requires you to get a little sweaty but don’t want to ruin your day/outfit/whatever? Just piggyback your exercise to right before you hop in the shower. See my article here for more on that: https://www.t-nation.com/training/8-minutes-to-awesome

Go put that countertop to use and get stronger every day.

Better every day,
-Max

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