Knee To Elbow Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

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Knee To Elbow Plank Pose Phalakasana, (pha-lah-ka-suh-nuh)

phalaka (plank or kumbhak = breath retention) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Knee-to-elbow kicks, Spiderman Plank, Full Plank with Knee to Elbow, Knee To Elbow Same Side

Pose Type: Balancing, Strengthening, Core Activating

Difficulty: Intermediate

  • a woman doing knee to elbow plank pose in yoga
  • a woman doing knee to elbow plank pose with her back turned

Light a fire in your core and tap into your inner strength with this Plank Pose variation.

Knee To Elbow Plank Pose Fundamentals

Knee To Elbow Plank Pose is a searing core strengthener. A strong core will help you to access new yoga asanas, find stability, improve your balance, improve your posture, and support your spine.

Rather than holding this as a static pose, flow through Knee To Elbow Planks, building strength, power, stamina, and revving up the engine, giving you a boost of energy.

Knee To Elbow Plank Pose Benefits

  • Strengthens the core, shoulders, back, and arms
  • Stretches and strengthens the hip flexors
  • Can prepare you for more challenging arm balances such as Crow Pose
  • Builds endurance
  • Boosts energy

How To Do The Knee To Elbow Plank Pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Start In a High Plank Position with your hands firmly grounded underneath your shoulders.

2. Press into the earth, finding a slight lift and rounding between the shoulder blades.

3. Inhale in plank, then on an exhale, draw your right knee towards the right elbow. Squeeze that knee up and in with a powerful contraction of your abs.

4. Tap the knee to the tricep just above the elbow if that is available to you. If not, drow your knee as close as it will go towards your elbow.

5. Inhale and send your right leg back into plank.

6. Repeat on the opposite leg and continue alternating legs 3-5 times on each leg, or for as long as you like.

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing knee to elbow plank pose

Tips And Tricks:

  • If keeping your body lifted in high plank isn’t available to you, come down onto your knees. It is more important to keep your form, rather than compromise on your technique.
  • Don’t kick up your knee with a bounce of momentum in order to get your knee to touch your arm. Instead of wanting to nail a specific shape, focus on controlled movements and staying powerful throughout the pose.

Knee To Elbow Plank pose variation: Knee to opposite elbow plank

  • a woman practicing knee to opposite elbow plank yoga pose
  • woman performing a yoga knee to opposite elbow plank with her back turned

For an equally as potent ab burner, take your knee to your opposite elbow in plank pose. You can alternate between knee to elbow and knee to opposite elbow in a single yoga flow to target much of your abdominal wall.

gif of woman doing knee to opposite elbow yoga pose

Precautions & Contraindications:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

This pose places a significant amount of pressure through the wrists. Come down into a forearm plank on the mat or on blocks for a wrist modification.

Preparatory Poses

Downward Facing Dog Pose

Tabletop Pose

Plank Pose

Dolphin Plank Pose

Counter Poses

Upward Plank Pose

Locus Pose

Bridge Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

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Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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