The No Handed Planche (April Fool’s Joke from 2007)
The No Handed Planche
The no handed planche is quite simply a planche variation where the body is held in a horizontal position to ground with no use of the hands. They are still kept underneath the body for balancing purposes, but they should not touch the ground.
I’ll assume from the start of this tutorial that you already have mastered the regular, two handed planche. If not, check out this great article written by Coach Sommer. The young kids in the article will undoubtedly progress to the no handed planche as they get older.
I regret that I haven’t released a regular planche tutorial yet myself, but I was too excited about this skill. I had to write up this tutorial as soon as I could.
The progression for this exercise starts with getting the body comfortable with being up and above the ground. If you simply try to get yourself into this position without preparation, the body will get scared and throw itself down. It has a natural fear of heights that we must work to overcome.
What we’ll do is start small. Grab yourself a set of dumbbells and get into your planche.
You’ll notice in the picture that there is a small space underneath my hands. This small space will start getting the body use to being higher than ground level. It may not seem like much, but it’s more than enough space to get started. When first trying to hold this position, your body may shake uncontrollably from its fear of heights.
One should continue to elevated their body off the ground until one can easily do the regular old planche on a set of parallettes, like shown below.
At this point, we are getting very close to the no handed planche. What you can try at this point is to hold this planche for as long as you can. You’ll want to work up to a single planche hold of five minutes. It’s around this time that the body stops being scared and starts becoming bored that you’re holding the same position for five minutes. When you’ve reached this point, it’s time to start removing the parallettes.
If you can remove both parallettes and hold your hands off the ground, then congratulations! You’ve gotten the skill. Go outside and get away from the computer. Most people though will need another transition. Below is an old time photo of a one arm planche, or as it’s sometimes called – “the no handed planche where one is scared to let go of the ground” – this archaic name hints to its importance in the progressive learning of the no handed planche.
The sideways lean is acceptable, but one should really strive to keep the hips and torso square with the ground. The arm over the head will also cause a problem when the acrobat decides to remove his other hand from the ground. I don’t know the circumstances of the photo though, perhaps he was reaching out to give that young boy a “high five”.
It’s also a bit hard to see in this photo, but this acrobat is on top of a small platform that is raised above the ground. Again, this is to remove the fear of heights that is natural in anybody. If you see an acrobat performing very high up, you can safely assume that he has absolutely no fear left in his body.
Anyways, one will eventually square up their bodies with the floor and remove the second hand from the ground. Keep the hands underneath the hips though! If you bring your hands forward, you will quickly fall down.
I keep falling down
As I mentioned before, one should progress into this skill. If you simply try to throw yourself into it, you’ll accomplish nothing but a broken nose. If your regular planche is strong, but you still have trouble with this skill, try the no handed planche with your feet resting on something. This will take away some of your bodyweight and make the skill easier.
I keep falling up
This problem is often a result of low bodyweight. This is also why the kids in this article have not yet mastered a no handed planche. They are so skinny that if they tried, they’d fall right off the Earth! For those looking to solve this problem, may I recommend two staples in any athletes diet – Fried Twinkies and the 30,000 calorie sandwich.
The no handed planche is a skill that will require a lot of hard work and focus. Many will feel it is just impossible to get. Having this attitude won’t help at all. Where would we be if we all had that attitude? We would never have put a man on the Moon, and later a man on Mars. So keep motivated and good luck with this skill!