The True Planche

In Bodyweight Mastery by admin8 Comments

An older hand balancer recently sent me a CD full of pictures of himself and others hand balancing. There are some amazing pictures and I thought I’d start off with one of the best. And there will be many more coming posted up here. Without further adieu meet Rafael Guerrero.

A Planche in the best form.

What most people don’t realize is how to do the planche correctly. While any semblance of a planche is a great display of strength and skill, when you can pull it off in this form its that much better. Of course to do it like this being a much smaller size is a plus!

Here’s a small section from The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing talking about the correct form of the skill.

“As exemplified by Paulinetti, the planche on two hand’s finds the body straight, flat and horizontal from throat to toes, and especially from throat to pelvis. Since the chest is thicker than the waist, this means that the shoulders are decidedly humped, corresponding very much to the hips. The position is much as if the performer were lying on a bench with chin and toes extended over either end–there is no arch in the back, and the hips are NOT flexed at all. This is where much of the trouble comes in, just as in doing the straight handstand with the head between the arms. Usually the performer gets the chest fairly well positioned, but instead of leaving the hips straight and then flexing the waist area of the spine slightly, he leaves his arch in the back and jack-knifes the legs forward (pretty much as in Figure 6) in order to get the feet down into line with the trunk. Again, in trying the planche–especially if endeavoring to get the flat chest effect–he neglects to thrust the chin forward and as a result has his face looking right at the floor instead of raised about 45 degrees and looking straight ahead.

“All in all, the correct position is decidedly not a normal one to attain, especially to a balancer accustomed to arching his back, and nine out of ten aspirants never even approach it. They usually wind up in nothing other than a “horizontal handstand” position–back arched, head up, and latissimus muscles hooked against the triceps. Understand, this is much of an accomplishment in its own right…but it is not the true planche.”

If you want to find out much more on the planche the read the full chapter in the book for the full details. But now you know some of the specifics for what it takes to do a true planche.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. There’s still time to take the short survey so I can find out exactly what you want.


  1. What I find most interesting about the photo, is his hand position: it’s hard to tell about his right hand, that one may be flat, but… his left hand is mostly off the ground… it’s only the “front pad” and fingers that are on the ground… his entire palm is elevated. I wonder if this hand position might be important in achieving the proper form, or at least something people should try out if they have issues of wrist flexibility. Or perhaps he was simply stabilizing, or about to go into a one arm planche. Nice photo, I look forward to seeing any of the others.

    1. from what i’ve read, a lot of it is preference. however, i have seen at least 1 video of a hand balancer doing (very clean) planche press to handstands, and while in the handstand his hands were flat on the ground, when in the planche he would bring the heels of his palms up and into the position in this photo.

  2. This is an incredible photo, and way beyond my skill level. Looking at the physics of this posture, though, it looks to me like the hand position gives him better leverage, moving the “fulcrum” back toward his legs while allowing him to keep a wider angle between his shoulders and chest. It’s so inspiring.

  3. Pingback: Planche and Hand Position | Lost Art of Hand Balancing

  4. Pingback: One Arm Half Planche Picture | Lost Art of Hand Balancing

  5. amazing level of skill displayed in the photo, that man was definitely trained by a master gymnast who knew how to teach proper form. the one thing i find disgusting about this website however is how much of a gimmic it is. it’s a damn sales pitch, plain and simple. I love the quality of this photo and it was a nice little article, but i always viewed this ‘lost art of handbalancing’ book as shoddy marketing ploys. people need to realize there aren’t too many secrets about this stuff, just hard work and patience. If you want an excellent and free planche guide check this out here, by Coach Sommers, it is thorough and completely straightforward, and free.
    i have yet to find a complete article around this site, only parts of articles leading you into buying a book. Shoddy ass marketing.

  6. Lol, i apologize for that comment i found some very nice articles on this site here, i use ad blockers normally so i felt bombarded by the crap on the right of this page as this pc doesn’t have any blockers. I am sorry Logan, this is a very nice site you have and didn’t mean to belittle it. Personally, i don’t think spending money on a book for handstands is worth anyone’s money. Hard work is the only secret you need, youtube and google are the only tips and pointer resources (free articles and videos via these mediums) for correcting form that one needs. Dropping 20,30,40 dollars on a book is not necessary lol. But to each his own.

  7. Hello,

    I am writing from a Weider Publishing, European publishers of Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines.

    One of our writers has submitted a piece which contains an image that he would like to use from your website. Is it possible for us to purchase the image in high resolution with the rights to publish it in our Muscle & Fitness magazines in Europe and Australia?

    The image is here:

    Any assistance you can provide with this would be much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    S: +44 1234 504 516 • D: +44 1234 877 035 • M: +44 7939 160 036
    E: [email protected] • W: • W:

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