Core strength towards planche on fingertips

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Anastasis
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Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Anastasis » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:14 am

Planche on fingertips is way off my league at the moment yet I will be more than happy to spend the 3 next years of my life practicing a routine daily that would get me closer :)

Obviously the level where one starts can make a massive difference. I currently do sets of high reps on my back for core (ie. scissors with anklets, neutral spine variations) but these exercises resemble little the planche position. So here is where I currently am:
• I can hold a plank (toes untacked), shoulders leaning forward, protracted shoulder blades for 5 sets of 30 sec
• In a prone position (on an elevated surface), lift my legs and hold for 15 secs 5 sets
• Hold crow with elbows bent 30 sec (with elbows straight I can hold for 10 secs if there is a "safety net" like a bed in front of me)
• With a purple band around my waist I can hold a tack planche for 20 sec but shoulders are not protracted fully.
• On fingertips I am not yet able to do crow (although I used to, I hope I will be back at it soon)

My thoughts on my goal:
• It requires strength so doing high reps in abdominal exercises will not harm but will not necessarily help
• As the planche is close to a plank spending a lot of time on plank is necessary (I am not doing that yet)
• As lats and lower abs work overtime in this position, chin ups & leg raises on a chin up bar should be part of the program
• Finger strength takes time, even more so for non climbers. I should go slowly to avoid injuries.

Judging from other posts I think there are silly strong people in hear so I will not be surprised if a few can planche on fingers. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

Happy 2019 training.

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Vagabond
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Vagabond » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:17 pm

Actually, I planche semi on my fingers because I lack wrist mobility. If you really want to use fingertips only, I think that you should simply practice a lot of fingertip push-ups. This video illustrates the correct technique to rely on the strength of your fingers and hands rather than on your ligaments:



Train your finger and hands strength separately, or else the weakest link will prevent you from gaining strength elsewhere. Focus on the planche on its own. Now, a few facts about planches:

-The strength actually comes from the shoulders and upper back. The chest muscles are stabilizing, and the core only serves keeping itself and the legs straight. If you can do reverse hyperextensions, your lower back is strong enough to hold a planche. If you can do a good, solid hollow hold, your abs are strong enough to brace in a planche
-When one gets tired and the lower back starts to sag or arch, it's not because the lower back is weak. It's because the shoulders are getting too tired or are too weak, and the person tries to lift their hips up. Since they can't lift using their shoulders anymore, they use their lower back muscles to lift the hips, which causes the lower back to stay low but the hips higher.
-All in all, I recommend doing abs and back exercises to get a really strong core. But not in the goal of doing moves like the planche. Just for the sake of having a super strong core. A strong core protects you against impacts, helps with bracing and transmit force better, so it's good for active people to have strong cores.

All in all, keep working hard to secure your tuck planche. Do them starting from higher up on parallel bars, and do lots of short sets to get used to it. Planche leans are a great way to build time under tension. Keep going with sets of 30 seconds, but always try to get your shoulders more forward and remove weight from your feet so that the exercise gets harder over time. Still keep good form (don't sag in the shoulders, keep your back straight). And dynamic exercises such as pseudo push-ups and presses to handstand help building mass around your shoulders. Which brings me to the handstand. Learn how to hold a handstand. It's very helpful to be able to do a steady one as you'll control your planches better.

In terms of programming, here's my suggestion specifically for planches: do a short, instense static exercise. Then do something dynamic that works the same muscles. Include some form of lean in it to make it specific enough to carry over well (pseudo push-ups and presses to handstand, man!). Then finish with longer holds to build time under tension, familiarize yourself with the position and focus on good form. Do that 4-6x/week. Frequency really helps improving faster.

And in terms of finger strength, don't rush doing the planche on them. Leaning forward with your shoulders will put quite a bit more weight on your fingers, so you'll have to get ready for it. I suggest working up to a minute on fingertips in the top of a push-up. Then a minute in bottom push-up position. Then work on doing it with elevated feet, until you can do a minute in a handstand on your fingertips. Then you can start practising planche leans on your fingertips, and then tuck planches, straddle planches, etc. I'd use a careful approach because if you sprain your fingers once, it's going to become easier to sprain them in the future. So avoid that, and take the slow road.

Anastasis
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Anastasis » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:24 am

Thanks Jonathan,

Your response is pure gold. The last think I would think that needs strength is my shoulders but you are probably right. The program you suggested will be put into practice starting today.

A

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Vagabond
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Vagabond » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:09 pm

Excellent! Keep us updated on your progress. Create a training log, maybe!

And no one's shoulders are ever strong enough! :lol:

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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Anastasis » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:22 pm

Vagabond wrote: Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:09 pm And no one's shoulders are ever strong enough! :lol:
Apologies, I didn't mean to be arrogant, it's just that I always thought of my shoulders as relatively stronger than my abs. Your breakdown of the pose helped me understand the requirements better. I will get on with setting up a log as well.

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Vagabond
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Vagabond » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:53 pm

Don't worries, you didn't come off as arrogant! :) And awesome, please do make a log!

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Against Gravity
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Against Gravity » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:58 am

This is definitely a very cool exercise to train for!

I've always admired finger strength. I still remember the first time I saw a fingertip V-sit in a picture many years ago:

Image

Some time ago I tried to build up finger strength through fingertip push-ups, but for some reason I've never stick with it for more than a few weeks. I guess once I get the first symptoms of finger joint discomfort through the next days I feel discouraged and eventually stop training it. It probably requires a lot of patience to slowly adapt those little joints, without trying to rush the process.

Keep us updated about your progress!

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Vagabond
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Re: Core strength towards planche on fingertips

Post by Vagabond » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:26 am

OMG, I have a very similar photo of myself during the Canada Games in 2003! I was doing a v-sit just like that one on my fingertips, and I was pressing to handstand from that position during my floor routine. On the photo, I was facing the other way (flip that image horizontally, and that's how I was), and I was wearing a blue fading to yellow singlet with blue shorts. Man, I wish I could find it! I was about the same age as this fellow above.