Forearm Plank Pose, also known as Dolphin Plank, or Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a full body exercise that tones your core, arms and legs.
The Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose differs from the plank in which the forelimbs rest on the ground, while in the regular plank, your upper body is supported by hands and wrists and your arms are straight.
Energetically, this figure provides an opportunity for grounding, strengthening, and intense attention. This is a great asana to practice to build up the heat in your core to burn your entire body at the beginning of class and take you through your entire session. You can use any variation of this pose as a quick stand-alone practice when you have only one or two minutes for yoga.
|Also name as:||Forearm Plank Pose, Dolphin Plank Pose, Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana, Plank Pose II Dolphin Arms, Phalakasana II|
|Sanskrit name:||मकरअधोमुख श्वानासन|
|IAST:||Makāra Adho Mukha Śvānāsana|
|Pronunciation:||MAH-kar-ah ah-doh-moo-kuh SVAH-NAH-sah-nah|
|Focus:||Arm, wrists, core, spine, leg|
|Total Time:||60 to 120 seconds|
|Strengthens:||Core, Arm, Legs|
|Stretches:||Shoulder, Hamstring, Calf, Arches of the foot|
|Contraindications:||Carpal tunnel syndrome or shoulder injuries|
Benefits of Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose
You will also notice that posture helps with stamina and helps bring you into the right mindset to help you to be patient, even if it feels hard. When you practice and break through the things that are difficult in your yoga practice, you cultivate the same kind of mindset to enter your daily life.
Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose makes the hands and feet strong, the abdominal muscles are stretched, and all the back muscles are joined. It also stretches and tones the muscles in the legs and feet.
Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose is one of the most effective poses for strengthening all abdominal muscles: transverse, rectus, quadratus lumborum and oblique. Since it strengthens the back muscles at the same time, it is fast and effective.
The posture also lengthens your spine, creating strength and flexibility at the same time. Pose is also a weight gain exercise that can prevent osteoporosis, when used in combination with a healthy diet, fresh air, and plenty of water.
The posture improves digestion, increases circulation, and stimulates the respiratory system. Pose is quite rejuvenating as it increases the blood flow in the body rapidly. Any poses that increases blood flow faster can bring you to a state of meditation faster, which may have additional benefits.
Practicing Dolphin Planck Pose can help focus on peace, peace of mind and the practitioner. This pose can give you an outlet for high frequency energy of anxiety, tension, frustration and anger. It can give you a physical challenge that can get you out of your head full of unproductive thoughts.
Step by step Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose
- Start in downward-facing dog. Begin on your hands and knees with the shoulders directly above the hands and your hips above the knees. Press the hips straight up until both legs and arms are straight. Let the neck continue the straight line of your back from hips to head. Breathe deeply and slowly.
- Inhale, and pull the body forward until your shoulders are directly above the wrists. This should bring the body parallel to the ground with your arms perpendicular to it.
- Press the outsides of the arms in and forcefully press the underside of your index fingers into the ground. Lower the elbows to the ground. Tense the shoulders, contracting them together and then expanding them away from your spine. At the same time, expand the collarbone from your chest.
- Press the front of the thighs upward while allowing your tailbone to resist the ground as it naturally elongates down toward the soles of your feet. Lift your head until the back of the neck is parallel to the ground and gaze straight downward. Stay in this position for 60 to 120 seconds.
Safety and precaution
Avoid practicing Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose if you have a recent or current shoulder, back, arm, or neck injury. Avoid this pose even if you have high blood pressure, or an infection in the eye or inner ear. Always work within your own limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk to your doctor before practicing this yoga pose.
Beginner yogi can do this yoga pose while being on their knees. They can also be place yoga blocks below the forehead to support the weight of the body.
Modifications and variations
Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose can be modified to accommodate your fitness level, whether you need to work your way up to the full plank or need an extra challenge.
- Knees on the floor: If your stomach is a little weak, then place your knees on the floor. Be sure to keep a straight line from your knees to the top of your spine.
- Palms: Bend your palms to challenge your shoulders. When you take away that stability, you force your shoulder muscles to work harder.
- Side planks: Shift your weight on one elbow, place the other hand on your hip or point it towards the sky, and stack your feet. Keep a straight line from the heel to the shoulders. Hold until you can create the proper form. Repeat on the other side.
- Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose Repeater: While holding a Forearm Plank, raise your right foot and tap your left ankle. Keep your right foot back down, and then tap the left foot on the right ankle.
- Single-leg planks: Raise one leg while holding the Forearm Plank or Dolphin Plank Pose. Repeat on the other side.
- Single-arm planks: Yes, instead of lifting one leg, you’re going to do it one-handed. Raise one hand in front of you and hold your planking plank.
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Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.