Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Last Updated:

Plank Pose, Phalakasana, (fall-ack-AHS-anna)

phalaka (plank) + āsana (pose)

Also known as: Kumbhakasana

Pose Type: Strengthening, Core Activating, Balancing

Difficulty: Beginner

Plank pose

Tap into your inner strength and light a fire in your core with Plank Pose.

Plank Pose Fundamentals

One of yoga’s foundational poses, Plank Pose holds vast amounts of depth for you to play with.

As much a mind strengthening pose as it is core strengthening, Plank Pose can teach us to find mental and physical ease within a challenging position. A reminder that we can tackle obstacles on and off the mat.

Briefly hold a Plank Pose in a Sun Salutation A or B sequence, or pause in Plank Pose to play at the edges of your body’s limits.

an annotated image of a woman in black yoga clothes doing plank pose

Plank Pose benefits

  • Strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders
  • Prepares the body for further challenging arm balances

How To Do The plank Pose: Step-By-Step

1. Starting in Tabletop Pose, fingers spread, shoulders over your wrists.

2. Extend your right leg out and back, tucking your toes under.

3. Extend your left leg out and back to meet your right.

4. You should be in a high push up position and your body should be in one straight line, from the crown of your head to your heels.

5. Push the floor away from you, slide your shoulder blades down your spine, and pull your core in to meet your back body.

6. Engage your core, thighs, and tuck your tailbone.

7. Gaze gently at the floor slightly in front of you and stay here for 5 breaths, or for as long as you can.

Plank pose variations

Knee To Nose Plank Pose / Knee To Elbow Plank Pose

  • knee to opposite elbow plank 1
  • knee to elbow plank 2
  • knee to nose plank 2 2

To stoke that fire in your core, bring your knee up to your nose or elbow in Plank Pose. Squeeze that knee up and in with a powerful contraction of your abs.

Come into these variations of Plank Pose from Plank Pose itself, Three Legged Downward Facing Dog, or Downward Facing Dog.

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.

Forearm Plank Pose

Side Plank Pose

Preparatory Poses

Downward Facing Dog

Four Limbed Staff Pose

Counter Poses

Upward Plank Pose

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

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.