Forearm Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Forearm Plank Pose (Sanskrit name: Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana), sometimes also called Dolphin Plank Pose, is a total body strengthening position. It takes the traditional plank position and drops it down onto the forearms. This can be very challenging for the shoulders and core to hold. It is important to keep breathing during such a challenge!

Forearm Plank is a great warm-up posture for other postures that require a lot of strength, such various arm balances and inversions. It can also be a good precursor to Dolphin Pose, which is like Downward Facing Dog, but on the forearms. Learning to use the forearms and shoulders for strength in this position greatly helps build a solid foundation for learning headstands and forearm balances.

How to Do Forearm Plank Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Start in a High Plank position. If you need to modify, you can lower the knees at any time. Lower the forearms to the mat one elbow at a time.

Step 2

Make sure that the elbows are directly underneath the shoulders with the wrists in line with the elbows. If you need to check your alignment, place a block between your forearms. Your forearms should be parallel to the block with bowing in or out.

Step 3

Press down firmly through the forearms to feel the chest open and shoulders draw into the back. Knit the lower ribs together and lift the belly muscles inward. Press back through the heels and feel the thighs firm. Take 5 breaths here.

Forearm Plank Pose Benefits

  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, back, core, and thighs
  • Connects the entire body together
  • Develops focus and concentration
  • Prepares the body for inversions and arm balances