The tuck planche holds different meanings for different people. Some view it as the pinnacle of achievement, while others see it as just one step in their journey. However, regardless of where you stand, the tuck planche holds significance for everyone.

Whether you’re striving to master your first tuck planche or you’re using it to further strengthen and refine your skills, it serves as a valuable training tool. This exercise not only helps you develop specific upper body pushing strength but also serves as a powerful source of motivation to push yourself further in your fitness journey.

So if you’re interested in tuck planche, you know what to do! Keep reading this blog for more interesting facts and tutorial about tuck planche.

General things about tuck planche


What is tuck planche? The tuck planche is a challenging yet attainable skill in the realm of calisthenics, particularly for those at an advanced beginner level. It serves as a foundational move for individuals looking to delve deeper into the world of calisthenics. The primary objective of the tuck planche is to develop the upper body pushing strength necessary for more advanced maneuvers.

In this exercise, the athlete aims to elevate their body vertically, relying solely on the strength of their arms and shoulders. The ultimate goal is to achieve a position where the hips and shoulders are aligned at the same height, creating a parallel plane with the ground.

As implied by its name, the legs are tucked close to the body, with the knees drawn towards the chest, further challenging the muscles and enhancing overall stability.

Skills needed

Straight arm skill

Straight arm skill
Straight arm skill

In many advanced calisthenics movements like the iron cross or full planche, athletes are required to fully straighten their elbows. This puts significant pressure on the joints, requiring the body to be well-prepared over a period of several years.

The tuck planche serves as one of the initial straight arm skills that athletes learn. It is this precise detail that makes the tuck planche a crucial and noteworthy milestone in your journey through bodyweight fitness. While it’s important to gradually increase time spent in this position to prevent injuries, it’s equally vital to prioritize locking out your elbows right from the beginning.

Full body engagement with shoulder focus

The primary objective of the tuck planche is to raise the hips to the height of the shoulders while pulling the knees toward the chest. When we discuss planche conditioning and workouts, we often emphasize the importance of shoulder and arm strength.

While this is indeed crucial since all the pressure is transmitted through the arms to the floor, it’s essential to recognize that the entire body must be strong and coordinated to function in perfect synchrony.

How to tuck planche?

How the tuck planche goes?

Tuck planche tutorial
Tuck planche tutorial
  • Planches work by shifting the weight forward onto the shoulders. Imagine yourself starting in a push-up position with your feet elevated on a bench.
  • As you walk your feet forward while keeping your hips straight, you’ll notice your shoulders extending out in front of you.
  • With each step forward, more weight transfers from your feet to your hands until you reach a point where you might collapse forward.
See also  Straddle Planche tutorial

Now, imagine being able to resist this collapse using only your arms—that’s essentially what a planche is all about.

  • In a tuck planche, the knees are brought close to the chest, creating a compact and tight body position.
  • Because of this, we require less forward lean compared to other variations of the planche where the legs are extended.
  • As we extend our legs outward from the tucked position, we increase the lever length, requiring us to lean further forward.
  • This increases the load on our shoulders, making the movement more challenging.

To achieve your first planche and progress to more advanced variations, several factors need to align. Strength, coordination, and technique all play crucial roles in mastering this skill. While mobility isn’t as crucial for a tuck planche, having basic flexibility can help prevent injuries during training sessions.

Important notes to achieve tuck planche

Main focus – Shoulders

Undoubtedly, the shoulders bear the brunt of the work in a tuck planche. Your anterior deltoid, along with the chest and biceps, must exert considerable effort to resist and maintain the static position. These muscles work in concert to provide the necessary strength and stability for holding the tuck planche with control and precision.

  • Shoulder protraction: While this might sound a bit strange, it’s essential for maximizing muscle engagement and preventing injuries. Of course, the reality is a bit more complex, but this visualization helps me understand the concept better. For many of us, it also involves developing upper back and shoulder mobility before we can fully achieve this movement.
  • Shoulder depression: During tuck planche training, it’s beneficial to push the shoulders down, away from the ears. This creates a slight mechanical advantage and helps protect against injuries. By pushing the shoulders down, we can slightly adjust the length of our lever, reducing the load on our shoulders.
  • Shoulder flexion: This involves the deltoids, chest, and even the biceps pushing the hands toward an overhead position while remaining static. While this may sound like a complex scientific concept, it simply means that your shoulders resist gravity, helping you maintain your position and keep your hips up.

Second focus point – Core

The tuck planche stands out from other, more advanced planche progressions in a significant way. While higher-level planche variations aim for a perfectly straight back, in the tuck planche, it’s perfectly acceptable to round the back. The key factor here is compression.

  • To get into a tuck planche position, start by assuming a regular upper support position on parallel bars or between two chairs.
  • Lean your shoulders slightly forward, bend your knees, and pull them toward your chest. Voila! You’re already in a tuck planche position.
  • The more you lean forward and lift your knees, the higher your hips will rise, bringing them closer to aligning with your shoulders.

The magic of compression lies in the ability to pull your knees in toward your chest. This action reduces the weight on the opposite side and decreases the workload on your shoulders. Essentially, you’re making the exercise easier by taking advantage of technical and mechanical benefits.

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However, mastering compression isn’t something that comes naturally for most of us. It requires developing coordination first, followed closely by building strength. So, while it may seem challenging at first, with practice and dedication, you can conquer the tuck planche and unlock its full potential.

Additional working parts of tuck planche

Coordinating the shoulders with the core is indeed a significant challenge, but mastering the tuck planche involves more than just this coordination. To keep things engaging and dynamic, there are several other key areas of focus to consider. Let’s explore these elements step by step.

Exercises to strengthen wrists are recommended
Exercises to strengthen wrists are recommended
  • The wrists: When you’re performing a planche, the pressure from your shoulders travels down to your wrists and onto the floor. As you lean forward more, the angle of your wrists becomes sharper, increasing the pressure. To protect your wrists from injuries, it’s highly recommended to turn them outwards. Using parallettes can also provide better control and reduce the risk of injuries.
  • The elbows: As mentioned earlier, the planche is a straight arm skill, meaning your elbows must remain fully locked. However, building the tendon and joint strength required to support your entire body in a leaning position takes time. Rushing this process significantly increases the risk of injury.

And next, let’s explore the role of the biceps, back, and knees in mastering the planche:

  • The biceps: Surprisingly, the biceps are heavily involved in resisting shoulder collapse during static holds. They also serve to protect the elbows from hyperextension, making them essential for planche training. To strengthen your biceps and prevent injuries, consider incorporating exercises like preacher curls into your training routine right from the start.
  • The back: While it may seem logical to strengthen your back with exercises like superman lifts or reverse hypers, it’s not as critical as you might think. In the tuck planche especially, the back muscles don’t have to work as hard since the knees are tucked close to the chest. However, maintaining overall back strength is important for stability and posture.
  • The knees: Lastly, let’s not forget about the knees! In the planche, you must fully bend your knees and engage your hamstrings by pulling your heels toward your glutes. Avoid letting your feet hang down; imagine the floor is lava! Keeping your knees bent and actively engaged helps maintain proper form and stability during the planche.

If you need a more detailed guide for tuck planche, don’t miss out this YOUTUBE video!

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