Phalakasana or Plank pose can help you build core strength! Know its benefits and how to do it

Looking for yoga asana to improve your core strength? Do Phalakasana or plank pose to strengthen your core.
View All Images Woman doing the plank pose
Phalakasana is good for core strength. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 1 Mar 2024, 08:59 am IST
  • 127
Inputs from

Phalakasana or the Plank Pose involves a variety of muscle groups. Your shoulders, arms and wrists can get stronger if you do this yoga asana.
Your core has to work really hard to hold this pose, so it can help in getting a toned midsection. It is a great yoga asana to improve your strength, but it needs to be done correctly. You cannot let your hips drop towards the floor or put a lot of pressure on your wrists. Make sure not to make these common mistakes while doing Phalakasana. We tell you how to do Phalakasana in the right manner.

What is Phalakasana?

The Plank Pose or Phalakasana is about holding the body in a manner that resembles a long, thin plank. Stability in alignment is its main feature. This yoga asana is great for increasing strength and endurance, says holistic health expert Dr Mickey Mehta.

Woman doing the plank pose
Plank pose is great for strength and endurance. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the benefits of Phalakasana?

The major benefit of Phalakasana is body strength. Plank-type exercises can be effective in developing strength as well as endurance, according to a 2021 research published in the Medicina journal.

The capability of strengthening the body with Phalakasana comes from its capacity to work several muscle groups at once. The core muscles, such as the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques, are efficiently targeted and strengthened by maintaining the body in a plank posture. These muscles are essential for maintaining proper posture, lowering the risk of back pain, and stabilising the pelvis and spine.

To support the body’s weight, the muscles in the back, chest, shoulders, and arms are also used, which improves upper body strength and muscular tone.
Phalakasana demands continuous muscle control and activation, so practicing it regularly can help improve general endurance, says the expert.

It also helps to remain focused and improve concentration.

What are the mistakes to avoid while performing Phalakasana?

The Plank Pose might look easy, but people tend to make mistakes.

1. Not keeping pelvis in a straight line

It is important to keep the pelvis in a straight line from head to heels, neither too high nor too low. One common mistake is to let the hips drop towards the floor. This puts too much tension on the lower back and reduces the activation of the muscles in the core, says Dr Mehta.

2. Sagging or arching the back

If you let the hips sag towards the floor or lift them too high, it can strain the lower back. Engage the core muscles to keep the spine neutral.

3. Collapsing the shoulders

Keep the shoulders stacked directly over the wrists and avoid sinking into the shoulders or rounding the upper back. This helps distribute weight evenly and prevents strain on the shoulders.


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

Check BMI

4. Dropping the head

Avoid dropping the head and neck, which can strain the neck muscles and compress the cervical spine. Instead, gaze slightly forward, keeping the neck in line with the rest of the spine, says the expert.

5. Locking the elbows

While it is essential to keep the arms straight, avoid hyperextending or locking the elbows. Maintain a slight bend in the elbows to protect the joints and engage the muscles.

6. Overworking the wrists

Plank pose can put pressure on the wrists, especially if they are not properly aligned. Distribute weight evenly across the palms and fingers, and avoid dumping weight into the wrists. Consider using yoga blocks under the hands or practicing on the fists if you have wrist sensitivity.

Woman doing the plank pose
Avoid common mistakes while doing the Phalakasana. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to do Phalakasana?

To perform Phalakasana, follow these steps:

  • Go on all fours
  • Inhale as you extend your legs one after the other, come in the Plank Pose
  • Engage the core muscles by drawing the navel towards the spine and pressing the hands firmly into the ground. Ensure that the shoulders are stacked directly over the wrists and that the neck remains in line with the spine
  • Hold for 10 to 30 seconds then exhale, slowly come back and relax.

Who should avoid doing Phalakasana?

Your health condition needs to be kept in mind if you want to do Phalakasana.

1. Wrist injuries

Plank pose may put significant pressure on the wrists. People with existing wrist injuries or conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, which is numbness and tingling in the hand and arm, need to avoid or modify the pose.

2. Shoulder injuries

Plank pose requires stability and strength in the shoulders. Those with shoulder injuries or instability may need to avoid this pose or practice modified versions that reduce strain on the shoulders, says Dr Mehta.

3. Lower back issues

Plank pose engages the core muscles, including those in the lower back. People with lower back pain or injuries should proceed with caution and may need to modify the pose by keeping the knees on the ground or shortening the duration of the hold.

If you are new to plank pose or have specific limitations, use props or modifications. Dropping the knees to the floor, practicing against a wall, or using props like yoga blocks can help to build strength and stability while maintaining proper alignment.

  • 127
About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

Next Story