The Best Arms and Core Move You’re Not Doing

 Photo by James Michelfelder

Yogis call it Crow Pose, or Kakasana.

But there’s a good reason to take this move out of the yoga studio. Like a plank, the position tests your shoulder, arm, and core strength. It also helps with wrist flexibility, which is an asset for those who do exercises such as front squats and clean and jerks. You can also use it as a stepping-stone to handstands. Owing to its yoga origins, there’s a mind-body aspect to this pose. “It improves focus and balance, and it’s relatively easy for most people to practice—once they get over the fear of falling forward,” says Michael DeCorte, the Toronto-based founder of Jock Yoga. (Crunches tone your abs, but you could hardly call them character-building.)

Start in a low squat, with your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground and your knees on the outsides of your elbows. Rise to the balls of your feet and lift your butt so your knees rest on the backs of your arms, just above the elbows. Shift your body weight forward slightly, keeping elbows stacked above your wrists, and bring toes off the ground. For your first attempts, try lifting your feet off the ground one at a time. Build to sets of 30 seconds or a minute.