How to Do Plank Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Considered a vital arm-rest, and upper-body strengthening posture, the Chaturanga Dandasana or Plank Pose in Sanskrit is a pose that securely builds power at the core, and prepares the body for engaging in more advanced, core-strengthening postures. Variations with the Reverse Plank and Upper Plank Pose are also known to stabilize the nervous system when practiced for a few breaths over some extended minutes.

You can find Chaturanga Dandasana in a traditional Sun Salutation sequence.

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Perform Plank Pose :

  1. Start the plank pose exercise as a follow-up from the Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward facing dog. Draw out your chest to the front coordinated with a big inhalation. Let your arms come perpendicularly to the floor and shoulders positioned at a point right over the wrists and the torso maintained parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping the tips of your index fingers dug into the floor, use the cultivated force to press in your outer arms to the inside. Fling your shoulder blades away from the spine and observe your collarbone spread outward from the sternum.
  3. Lengthen your tailbone downwards, in alignment to your heels and at the same time, assert your thighs to the ceiling. Keeping your neck pulpy and gaze soft look to the floor but align the skull away from the back of the neck.
  4. Feel currents of tension spread through your arms and shoulders. Keep 30 seconds – 1 minute of deep, mindful breathing at this point in the standard pose and also in all the side plank pose variations.

Plank Pose Modifications & Variations

  • Plank with Hip-Raised
    Come into the standard Plank Position and follow this up with elevated hips. The raised pelvis and angled legs must typically form a V-shape. Feel the pull at your muscles in the thighs and hamstrings as you rise. Hold the hips at the highest point for a few deep breaths before coming down from this high plank pose to the standard pose again.
  • Knee to Elbow Plank
    Assume a high plank pose. Hitch the left knee across the torso and attempt to touch it to the right elbow. Go as far as that attempt takes you, then go back to the starting point, bringing the right knee to come down touching the left elbow. Keep alternating between the left and the right, continuing to appoint all of the muscle groups, one after the other.
  • Side Plank
    Get into the yoga Side Plank pose variation basing on your right forearm and the right foot. The left foot can go on top of the right, maybe a little behind the right foot to maintain balance. Your body must come in a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles. Take the half plank challenge deeper by lowering the hips close to the floor, followed by a lunge of the pelvis up to its original position. This rocking movement will intensify pressure thrust at the hips and core, as well as strengthening the feet mini-muscles.

Reverse the exercise on the left and enjoy!

  • Upward Plank
    Purvottanasana or the Upward Plank pose is a counteracting posture to the Chaturanga Dandasana. Do this by moving from the Dandasana to a reverse tabletop form, keeping thighs and the torso carefully parallel to the floor. Go on to straighten your legs to the front, one a time. Lift your chest and your hips higher with support created from hardened shoulder blades. Drop the head back and dwell there for a few seconds.

Chaturanga Dandasana Benefits & Advantages

Toning the Belly Fat: Yes, yoga has that ‘wow’ factor too. Besides providing a great strengthening and mindfulness, it is also effective for shaping up those flabby areas. Planking does it to stubborn belly fats. Expect the mid-section to tighten and abdominal muscles getting the cut.

Back Pain Reduced:  Beginner Plank Pose is not the one to act on the back. All the pressure caused by its movements is rather concentrated at the core, which when strengthened, has a good way of giving relief to the back. In this regard, you can actually enjoy its benefits even when you are going through pain in the spinal area as you don’t have to engage the rear muscles, weakened, fatigued directly in the exercise.

Finding Great Flexibility: Expect an increased range of movement because Planking is going to make the muscle groups in the shoulders, collarbone, and the musculoskeletal frame of the shoulder blades move. These are going to consecutively expand and contract. Moving down, the exercise shall engage other not-so-frequently and not-so-deeply employed set of muscles—the hamstrings, the little muscle strands at the hollows of the feet, and toes.

Also, more agility to the sides comes with Side Planking and with a rocking plank — which is to rock the body front and back, moving the feet in the two opposite directions –when in the standard Plank Pose.

Mood Lift Like No Other: Any kind of fully-engaging physical exercise is a trigger for cheerful neurotransmitters—Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphins, and the Plank is no exception. By working out some muscle columns which are seldom worked in a day-to-day deskbound lifestyle, the Plank helps release pent-up negative emotions accumulated in these parts. Spirits are successfully lifted with such a detoxification.

Balance and Staying Gracefully Upright: Planks are often performed on a ‘stability ball’ as balance and correctly repositioning the center of gravity is a general outcome of doing the posture, and this playful exercise deepens such an outcome. Going advanced into the practice of the pose, try an Upward Plank Pose with a raised leg!


Performing Chaturanga Dandasana is inadvisable in—Carpal Tunnel syndrome, injury in the wrists and arms.

To know more about Plank Pose in further details, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.

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