How to do maltese planche | progressions & tips

In this article, you will learn what maltese planche is, progressions and tips

What is maltese planche?

Maltese planche is a static skill in calisthenics and it is a more advanced version of the planche.

Maltese planche consists of holding your body horizontally facing downwards with only your hands touching the ground. The grip is much wider compared to the standard planche. Because your arms are further apart it makes the angle between your chest and arms much bigger and you’re closer to the ground. That makes a maltese planche more difficult than a regular planche.


Maltese planche is an advanced calisthenics skill. You cant train maltese without a solid foundation. There’s only one prerequisite I would suggest.

The foundation of maltese is planche. It’s essential to master the planche first. I would suggest that a 5-10 seconds hold of full planche with good form is necessary before starting with maltese.

Muscles worked during the maltese planche

Maltese planche works most of the muscles in our body.

The primary muscles worked in the maltese planche are:

  • trapezius
  • rhomboids
  • deltoids
  • pectoralis minor
  • biceps brachii
  • triceps brachii

Additional secondary muscles worked include:

  • core muscles
  • forearms
  • serratus anterior


3 progression to help you master maltese planche.

Maltese lean hold

Maltese lean hold consists of leaning forward in the maltese position with feet touching the ground. It will teach you the right body position and get you used to it.

Here’s a tutorial for planche lean hold, you can also apply it to the maltese – just put your arms wider.

Maltese dumbbell presses

Maltese dumbbell presses are great to build up necessary strength in the muscles involved in the movement.

You can use a bench or something else to keep your body elevated during the exercise to gain some space and work with a greater range of motion.

Lie on the bench facing upwards, grab dumbells to your hands, raise your legs, hold a hollow body position and raise your straight arms inwards, so the dumbbells are above your chest

Start with small weights – 2 – 4kg for each dumbbell. Increase the weight once you can do 15 repetitions

Band assisted maltese planche

Training with band assistance is great because the movement is identical to that of real maltese planche hold, but it requires significantly less strength.

Attach the band to the bar and in the maltese planche position, keep it at hip level.

Here’s an example of training with a resistance band.


Few tips to help you progress faster

Arms width

The wider your arms are the harder it is. Start with normal planche and slowly over time increase the distance between your arms.

Scapula activation

Scapula position plays a very important role in the maltese planche. While doing maltese lean hold focus on scapula activation. Learn how to properly control your scapula.

Injury prevention

Maltese planche puts a lot of stress on your shoulders. Be careful while training it. Remember to always warm up before training and to fully recover after.

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