Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Plank Pose (Phalakasana), as the name suggests, the body is held in a way that looks like a plank, thin and long. In Plank Pose a lot of emphases is on the muscles at the core and the shoulders. This pose essentially works for someone who wants to take the arms and shoulder strength to the next level in order to do more difficult arm balancing yoga poses.

Plank Pose is considered a base pose as plank pose variations can be derived from this pose. This pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start on all fours. Hands are shoulder distance apart with the fingers spread wide. The shins are hip distance apart. The shoulders are stacked directly over the elbows and wrists. The hips are stacked directly over the knees.
Step 2
Bring your gaze between you hands, lengthen the back of the neck and draw the belly button in and up towards the spine.
Step 3
Tuck the toes and step the legs back, bringing the head and body into a straight and strong energetic line (like a plank of wood). Don’t let the hips sink down towards the earth and don’t let the butt stick the butt up in the air. *Modification: If you are having wrist issues or don’t have the strength in your arms drop the knees to the ground. The knees sould be a few inches behind the hips. If your wrists are injured or tender you could also try making fists with your hands, which will protect the tendons in the wrists. **Be careful not to bring your shoulders past your wrists. This puts a lot of strain on your wrists and could lead to future wrist injuries. It is better to have healthy wrists and a sustained long term practice so back off a bit if your feeling any tenderness or discomfort in your wrists.
Step 4
Engage your quads and rotate the inner thighs towards the sky. As you lengthen the tailbone towards your heels.
Step 5
Broaden your collarbones and draw the shoulder blades down the back
Step 6
To release, slowly lower body back down to the earth, bring the arms alongside the body and turn the head to one side.

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine

Tones the abdomen

Contraindications

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

Think about the front of the body drawing up towards the back of the body.

Don’t forget about your thighs – engaging the thigh muscles will also help to activate the abdominal strength you need for Plank pose.

Try squeezing a block between your thighs to feel the action of the legs drawing together

Build your strength up by practising Half-Plank with your knees on the floor. Keep a straight line from your knees to your head.

If you are new to yoga, gradually increase the time you spend on your hands in poses like Plank and Downward Facing Dog so that you can build up strength in the wrist muscles.

Modifications & Variations
  • Mountain Climber Pose Flow
  • Plank Pose Wall Rope Variation Arms Extended
  • Plank Pose Variation Wall Shoulders External Rotation
  • Dolphin Plank Variation One Leg Raised
  • Jump Through Pose
  • Plank Pose Revolved Plank Pose Flow
  • Plank Pose Four Limbed Staff Pose Flow
  • Plank Pose Wall
  • Swan Pose
  • Plank Pose One Arm Leg Lift Opposite Knee To Elbow Flow
  • Eight Limbed Pose Flow
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Standing Forward Fold Pose
  • Runners Lunge Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Four Limbed Staff Pose
  • Side Plank Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.