How To Do A Forearm Plank To Work Your Whole Body

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant

Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

How To Do A Forearm Plank To Work Your Whole Body

Image by Hannah Schwob / mindbodygreen

If you want a move that works your whole body, plank pose is a great place to start. And if you're looking to kick it up a notch to challenge yourself even more, consider forearm plank.

Forearm plank can be a part of yoga flows, bodyweight workouts, or even a stand-alone exercise whenever you want to get your heart pumping and core shaking.

Learn how to do it—plus why it's so beneficial—from certified yoga instructor and mbg staffer Amanda Quadrini.

How to do forearm plank, Phalakasana variation:

  • Begin in plank pose (or a high pushup) with shoulders stacked over wrists and the body in a straight line.
  • Lower down onto your forearms, one arm at a time, keeping shoulders and elbows in line.
  • Press your hands and forearms down as you draw your belly up and in.
  • Push heels back and engage your thighs, squeezing them together.
  • Gaze just in front of your hands, keeping your neck in line with your spine.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Exit by gently coming onto your knees.
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Some tips to remember.

If this variation is a bit too challenging for right now, you can also drop your knees to the floor.

To work your legs a little extra, try squeezing a block between your thighs, to activate them.

Remember to keep the hands and forearms actively pressing into the ground, core engaged, and heels back to keep everything in alignment. Otherwise, this pose can be bothersome to the lower back and shoulders.

Keep your gaze soft and your face and jaw relaxed. And don't forget to breathe.

What are the benefits?

"I love forearm plank because it's a functional, full-body exercise that doesn't require a ton of time or equipment to be super effective," Quadrini says. "Forearm planks activate your 360 core, firing up your transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and your obliques, along with your glutes and arms."

And having a strong core, she explains, is very important for balance, posture, supporting your low back, and enhancing your overall workout performance.

Plus, the benefits don't stop in your core. This pose works everything: arms, legs, glutes, abs, chest, shoulders—you name it. (And if you're incorporating forearm plank into your yoga practice, you'll be glad to know this pose is excellent for strengthening your chaturanga arms.)

"A quick forearm plank is also a great way to boost your energy and mood," Quadrini adds, "and I love that there are tons of plank variations you can add to your workouts to keep it fun and challenging!"

There's a reason planks and plank variations are a standby in so many different workouts: They work. Next time you need a boost or find yourself in a yoga flow, add a forearm plank to the mix to target and strengthen your full body.

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