What Are Pseudo Planche Push-Ups?

Do you like a challenge? Add planche push-ups to your list of exercise goals. You'll see martial artists and gymnasts perform this incredibly challenging that requires a ton of core and upper-body strength.

Master the standard push-up before attempting pseudo planches. (Image: nicoletaionescu/iStock/Getty Images)

The full planche push-up requires you to balance just on your hands with your legs extended straight behind you. You bend your elbows to push up and down, carrying all your body weight on just your palms.

Pseudo planche push-ups are a progression toward this extremely difficult final variation. Your hands are in the position to support all of your body weight as in a full planche, but your toes remain on the ground. This teaches you to leverage your weight properly so you can eventually progress to the full variation.

Even if you never achieve a full planche push-up, the pseudo planche is still an impressive version to conquer.

A full planche push-up looks like you're levitating. (Image: cokacoka/iStock/Getty Images)

How to Do Pseudo Planche Push-Ups

Before attempting a pseudo plank push-up, it's a good idea to have mastered the basic push-up and be able to crank out 50 to 100 in quick succession. The ability to do one-handed push-ups also gives you an advantage in learning pseudo planches and full planche push-ups.

Step 1

Lie on a mat chest down with your legs extended behind you. Put your hands on the floor alongside your stomach, bend your elbows against your ribs and turn your fingers to face away from your trunk.

Step 2

Tuck your toes under and rise up so you're just supported on your toes and palms. Squeeze your thighs together and brace your abdominal muscles to keep your body in a rigid line.

Step 3

Bend and extend your elbows to push up and down. You'll feel the weight of your body drive more into your chest and fronts of the shoulders. Contract your abs the entire time to prevent your hips from dropping.

Pseudo Planche Push-Up Progressions

The pseudo planche push-up is impressive on its own. It requires greater upper-body strength and core control than a standard push-up.

If you're working toward a full planche push-up, progress to the pseudo planche variation by using a wall. Get into the position for the pseudo planche in front of an empty space on a wall.

Instead of tucking your toes into the floor, raise your feet several inches off the florr and brace them against the wall so they are even with the height of your shoulders. Then, attempt to push up and down. This variation still supports you, but builds more of the essential core strength required for the full planche push-up.

Other push-up variations that help you develop the upper body and core strength and finesse to do a planche, or even a pseudo planche, are handstand push-ups and decline push-ups. Both develop the back and abdominal control necessary to balance your body weight. You also work more of your upper chest, shoulders and triceps in these variations.

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