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Bodyweight Is there an alternative to the gymnastic planche?

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Peaceful John

Level 4 Valued Member
My >70 yo body does not cheerfully accommodate itself to gymnastic planche progressions. Is there an alternative exercise that would compliment the front lever progressions?

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Peaceful John, perhaps you should set your sights on something other than the front lever and, when you achieve _that_ goal, then you can decide on whether to go after the lever.


Peaceful John

Level 4 Valued Member
Thank you, Steve. I might have written my query poorly. The front lever progressions are coming along splendidly and have, in fact, become a favorite.

But I've somehow gotten it into my mind that exercises should come in pairs: a push deserves a corresponding pull. I originally tried to use the planche progressions as the "push" component. My body, however, does not like them.

The question I probably should have asked in my original post was this: what exercises do bodyweight people do to work the posterior chain?


Level 5 Valued Member
Variations of Pull Ups/Chin Ups/Holds
Isometric "Superman" Holds
Just some ideas.


Level 6 Valued Member
The Planche lean is very similar to the planche in terms of building straight-arm pushing strength with the arm in flexion. However, it is much easier to scale back (you can determine exactly how much weight to use by recording where you place your hands/feet). It also doesn't have a balance component, which makes it a lot easier on the forearms.

Just start at the top of a push-up (fingers facing somewhat to the sides) and lean forward little by little until it feels challenging. Be VERY conservative. Only progress in lean once whatever lean you use for your workouts doesn't seem to stress the biceps tendon anymore (you'll understand what I mean once you try it).

Peaceful John

Level 4 Valued Member
Perfect, 305pelusa! I just tried the planche lean, following your suggestions, and it exactly answers the need. Thank you very much.
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