Plank Pose

Plank Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


In Plank Pose or Phalakasana in Sanskrit, as the name suggests, the body is held in a way that looks like a plank, thin and long. In Plank Pose the emphasis is on the core muscles and shoulders strength. 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.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine

Tones the abdomen


Carpal tunnel syndrome

Photo poses in different angles


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
  • Forearm Plank Variation One Leg Raised
  • Plank Pose Wall
  • Plank Pose One Arm Leg Lift Opposite Knee To Elbow Flow
  • Plank Pose on a chair
  • Knee-down Plank Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.